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Bayou Meto Basin residents get closer to NLR Electric

The North Little Rock City Council Monday adopted amendments to an ordinance for the city’s electric department to supply power for pumping water to irrigate farmland in the Bayou Meto Basin from the Arkansas River. The action will eventually lead to residents of the basin to get their electric service from the city’s electric department.

The amendments were the finishing touches of resolutions adopted during the regular Sept. 23 council meeting. The council has been involved since January in moving toward being the electric service provider in that area.

On Jan. 28, the council adopted Ordinance No. 8502, annexing the Bayou Meto Water Management District Pump Station; on March 22, the city provided notice to Entergy Arkansas that the city invited to acquire the electric service territory and facilities within the Bayou Meto Annexation;and on June 6, Entergy timely responded to the city’s notice with an estimate for the cost of acquisition of $266,793.

“The city reviewed qualifications for professional services and issued bids for work related to the cost of extending electric service to the Bayou Meto Annexation as follows,” reads Resolution R-13-189.

According to the resolution, the most qualified design firm is Fisher & Arnold Inc. at a cost of $610,500; the lowest bid for construction work was submitted by Power Secure at a cost of $6.67 million plus tax; and the lowest bid for transformers was submitted by Virginia Transformer Corp. at a cost of $1.41 million.

“The city has negotiated construction cost with the Corps of Engineers for total cost of $9,712,928 which includes the city’s internal costs of bonding, training, material, maintenance costs and Entergy and the city have agreed that the Bayou Meto Water Management District would be best served by Entergy continuing to provide electric service until such time that the city has constructed facilities necessary to provide service,” reads the resolution.

In a June 6 letter submitted to City Attorney Jason Carter, Entergy’s Janan Honeysuckle said it will be important that residents living in the Bayou Meto area know about the upcoming change in electric service providers.

“It is critical before closing we advise these customers of their change in service,” Honeysuckle said. “Currently, the city of North Little Rock does not have in place the electrical facilities to serve this load,” Honeysuckle said. “Obviously, I am sure it is the intent of the City of North Little Rock to coordinate this transition so it is seamless to these customers.”

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