Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently issued Executive Order 19-10 to create the Arkansas Levee Task Force to study and analyze the current conditions of the state’s levees.
During June’s historic flooding, several levees were impacted including a breach to the Holla Bend Levee in Yell County. The first meeting of the Arkansas Levee Task Force will take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 12. The meeting location will be announced later this week, according to a news release.
Hutchinson announced the full list of appointments to the task force July 8. They include:
Jami Cook - Chair, Secretary, Department of Public Safety; Tommy Land, Arkansas Land Commissioner; Wes Ward, Secretary, Department of Agriculture;
Larry Walther, Secretary, Department of Finance and Administration; Bruce Holland, Director, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission; A.J. Gary, Director, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management; Deidre Smith, Director, Arkansas Waterways Commission; Shelby Johnson, Director, Geographic Information Office;
County Judge Mack Ball, Chicot County; County Clerk Pam Ennis, Pope County; Mayor Jimmy Witt, Dardanelle – Yell County; Mayor Shirley Washington, Pine Bluff – Jefferson County;
Senator Jason Rapert, Senate Appointment; Senator Gary Stubblefield, Senate Appointment; Representative Mary Bentley, House Appointment; Representative David Hillman, House Appointment; County Judge Mark Thone, Yell County; County Judge Jeff Phillips, Jackson County;
Rob Rash, St. Francis Levee Board; Mike Lowe, Representing Miller County; Tim Ralston, Representing Pope and Conway Counties; Marty Shell, Representing Sebastian and Crawford Counties; Evan Teague, Engineer, Farm Bureau; Tommy Bond, Engineer, Pulaski County; and Hal Kemp, Attorney, Pulaski County.
Members of the task force will also identify sources and requirements for funding the construction, repair, and maintenance of the levees; study prospective monitoring and reporting systems for maintenance of the levees; and review adequacy of current laws and organizational structure of the levee system and levee district boards, according to the news release.
The Task Force shall provide a report of its findings and make recommendations to the governor for improved monitoring and maintenance of the state’s levee system by Dec. 31, 2019. The Task Force may provide additional reports and recommendations to the Governor as necessary.