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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Council addresses damage payment

  • Michael Pruitt, an employee for the West Helena Water Co., presented the city council with a list damages his personal vehicle sustained while traveling home from work back in June.
    The incident occurred when his vehicle struck a pothole on Kentucky Street.
    “My rims were cracked and my tires were damaged,” reported Pruitt. Pruitt.
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  • Michael Pruitt, an employee for the West Helena Water Co., presented the city council with a list damages his personal vehicle sustained while traveling home from work back in June. The incident occurred when his vehicle struck a pothole on Kentucky Street. “My rims were cracked and my tires were damaged,” reported Pruitt. Pruitt. Pruitt provided a receipt totaling $1,400 for the set of tires and rims that need to be replaced. “That's not including the repair that needs to be done to my shocks, and struts,” added Pruitt. Councilman Joe St. Columbia reported that an incident on Springdale Road caused major blowout that cost more than $400 to fix. Councilman Jay Hollowell stated that he sympathized with Pruitt but that from the city's standpoint, “there is no way that we can afford to take on the responsibility every time something like this happens to the drivers on the road.” Hollowell did say that it is the city's responsibility to make sure the streets are safe. Whoever forced Pruitt off the road was actually liable. Councilman John Huff agreed with Pruitt stating that it is the city's job to fix the problem that is disturbing traffic. “That situation is just not feasible,” stated Hollowell. “The city has the right to immunity first of all and the situation is not something can be compensated.” Hollowell asked if a police report was filed and stated that if there was any information obtained concerning the violator. Huff asked why the city fixed the hole if it was not their problem. Councilman Larry Brown questioned City Attorney Chalk Mitchell, concerning his position on the issue to which he replied he doesn't think the city has to reimburse Pruitt for the damages. “That's a decision you have to make,” commented Mitchell. “You're going to have the whole city requesting reimbursements, though.” Councilman John Huff motioned that the city pay Pruitt for his tires and rims and whatever damages were done to his vehicle. Due to improper documentation, the council decided to table the issue until the proper documentation was provided to the city attorney. The matter is expected to be on the agenda of tonight's city council session.

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