City approves ordinance to spend $1.6 million on drainage improvements

Jonesboro Flooding Mitigation Plan
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - August 2 UPDATE: The Jonesboro City Council unanimously passed the ordinance to hire Kinder Brothers Excavating Inc. to make improvements to drainage within the city at their meeting Tuesday night.

The council waived the second and third readings of the ordinance. They also approved the emergency clause, so the ordinance goes into effect immediately.

The city's engineering department will meet with the construction company for a pre-construction meeting Monday.

Historic flooding in Jonesboro prompted city officials to purchase additional equipment and hire more street department employees to maintain ditches in the city.

Since the flood on May 24, city employees have used excavators to clear miles of ditches in flooding "hot spots".

Tuesday, the city council plans to discuss an ordinance to bring in an outside company to modify the drainage system in five creeks in Jonesboro.

The ordinance states that Kinder Brother Excavating, Inc. will rechannel and modify the drainage channels in Higginbottom Creek Tributary, Viney Slough Tributary, Murray Creek, Little Bay Ditch and Murray Creek at Bridger Road.

In total, the city plans to spend $1,614,000 on the various rechanneling projects. The money will come out of the city reserve funds.

Neighbors to Murray Creek, which runs near NEA Baptist Hospital, say the flooding event in May was the worst they'd ever seen.

"It was bad. I told the grandkids to come out and look because it looked like Spring River. That's how deep it was," Polly Greenhaw said.

Greenhaw has lived right beside Murray Creek for 16 years. She told Region 8 News that she contacted the city about clearing the ditch out about a week before the major flood.

"Because up here at the bridge, it had started piling up already and we didn't realize that kind of rain was coming," Greenhaw said. "I just wanted it cleaned out because it kept piling up."

Greenhaw said she's happy the city plans to address the area.

"I would love it if they widened it and if they put some rock, where it's not eroding on the side of the banks," Greenhaw said.

An emergency clause is attached to the ordinance. If they city council passes the ordinance Tuesday, it will go into effect immediately.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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