The City of Monette councilmen reviewed annexation meeting plans, city beautification and street paving during their regular session Monday evening, March 24.
Mayor Chub Qualls reminded the council that the second public meeting to discuss annexation will be held on April 14 at 7 p.m. at the Buffalo Island Central West Elementary cafeteria. Qualls reported rules and ordinances could be adopted to cover issues and concerns from homeowners in proposed annexation area, with no cost to citizens.
Beautification Chairman Joyce Read reviewed cost estimates received regarding the fertilizing and mulching at city park, intersection and city hall. Bob Elwood bid $2,150, Sartain Services $3,297 and MidSouth Nursery $2,060. Read proposed that the city accept the lowest bid from MidSouth Nursery.
Councilman Steve Suber volunteered to do the work at the intersection and city hall for no labor cost to the city if they provide materials. He said he would not do the city park or trim the trees at city hall. Alderman Jamie Sparkman recommended the city go back to MidSouth Nursery and see what they would charge to do the work at the park. Mayor Qualls agreed to contact MidSouth Nursery.
The city's street budget contains $40,000 for work in 2008. A major portion of the paving allotment is for completion of Edna Mae Way Street, south of town. Councilmen discussed using the county to lay chat on the road, and let it settle for about a year before paving. Using the chip and seal procedure was also discussed as a possibility. The council will review all procedures and study cost before making a final decision.
Mayor Qualls reported having the drug dog in Monette is not working out, as there is not a police officer able to keep the dog and utilize it like it needs to be used or to stay trained. The City of Lake City is willing to take the dog. Donors have been contacted and all are in agreement to let Lake City have the dog. The original agreement for surrounding community use will remain the same. After a brief discussion the council agreed to give the dog to Lake City.
Clean Sweep Week is scheduled for May 5 - May 9. Roll-off dumpsters will be provided. A citywide yard sale will be held on May 3.
Mayor Qualls recommended putting money in the budget to purchase a new city truck. The council agreed to get truck bids from state bid program and also reviewed the possibility of securing a truck from the county recycling program. The truck will be discussed at the April meeting.
Mayor Qualls said the city had paid Christian Nuckles to remove the older tornado siren from the old water tower. Plans are to place the siren on the new water tower so the city can have sirens on both sides of town. Terry Edwards and Mayor Qualls repaired the new siren after it quit during the storm last month. Police Chief Brian Carmichael is checking to see if both Monette sirens can be activated by a special tone from Craighead County Emergency personnel when the city is under a tornado warning.
Copies of updated emergency preparedness plans were distributed to the council for review. Police Chief Brian Carmichael was appointed to serve as acting mayor in the event that the mayor is indisposed during a disaster or emergency situation. Policeman Anthony Petty was appointed as Sergeant and second in command to replace Carmichael at that time.
Mayor Qualls read a letter from Terry McNatt, D.A.R.E. coordinator, thanking the city for its contribution of $250. The D.A.R.E. program is used to educate children in the school system about the use of drugs.
No word has been received from Frolic Footwear concerning the disposition of their property.
Alderman Strickland presented Monette Youth Association financial statements and reported that they were in good shape. The council discussed additions to concession stand space and bathrooms and placement of new seating areas for the third ball field.
The new police computer is up and running. Chief Carmichael praised Dusty Ross for his help in saving the city $600 on cost.
The annual Relay for Life will be held in Leachville on June 27. The city donated $500, as in previous years.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on April 28 at 7 p.m. at city hall.