The City of Monticello is searching for a full-time licensed water operator and distributor, according to the Advanced Monticellonian newspaper.

In its Wednesday edition, the newspaper reported tbt the subject of a licensed operator at a meeting of the Monticello City Council where water issues were discussed.

Jeff Stone, the director of Drinking Water for the Arkansas Department of Health said that the Monticello Water System currently serves 8,000 to 9,000 customers with an additional 5,000 outside the city limits. That size of water distribution requires a level 3 operator, but Stone recommended that that Monticello try to get a level 4 operator due to the possibility the city will move up to a larger category.

The newspaper reported that the city is currently using a part-time operator who is a level 3 and Stone said the Department of Health recognized issues such as retirement and COVID handicapped the city’s ability to get a new operator trained and certified but added that the city has only a couple of months before they begin to get fined for not having a full-time certified operator. The city currently has three people taking classes in an effort to become certified water operators and distributors.