Friday, August 15, 2008


City Engineer Ron Petrie, one of our more thoughtful and conscientious city employees, is directing the projects to address the problems caused by developers that have resulted in stream banks eroding into parkland and contributing to excessive sediment in the tributaries of the Illinois River watershed. Working with the Watershed Conservation Resource Center, using matching funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant through the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, and 1,200 tons of rock donated by the Ruskin Heights project, this is a good thing.

Stream bank restoration and stabilization of the
tributary of Mud Creek in Gulley Park and the tributary of Hamestring Creek in Red Oak Park will reduce sediment in the streams, thereby improving the water quality and the aquatic habitat, as well as improving the recreational usefulness and safety for those using the parks. These are far better projects and a much more appropriate use of public funds than the proposed $70,000 no-bid contract to dredge a private lake owned by the Boardwalk POA and closed to the public. Like a bad penny, that dreadful idea will be back on the City Council agenda before November.

If the city wants to start spending our tax dollars on private projects, there are far better ones than the exclusive Boardwalk Lake. The scarred landscape of Aspen Ridge in south Fayetteville, which is private property of the developers,
was extensively dredged and filled for get-rich-quick development in the summer of 2005, and it continues to fill the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River with sediment and other pollutants in the stormwater runoff that ultimately ends up in our community drinking water supply from Beaver Lake.

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