The Monette City Council reviewed FEMA grant purchases, saw a display of a thermal-imaging device, and heard police reports at the regular council meeting Monday, March 24.
Monette firemen Bob Blankenship, Kevin Kimberley, and Wade Gathright demonstrated several items purchased with the Federal Emergency Management Agency grant of $65,772, received earlier this year.
The fire department added Haz-Mat protective equipment, a thermal-imaging device, a computer, 23 helmets, 23 coats and pants, 23 pair of boots, 23 pair of gloves, 23 hoods, 23 PASS Devices, 23 flashlights, eight encapsulated suits, and 48 Tyveck suits.
The firemen demonstrated the thermal imaging device which is heat seeking and motion sensitive. The new equipment will allow firefighters to find the source of the fire quickly. The thermal imager is manufactured by Bullard.
"We have $7,000 left to spend from our grant money," Blankenship said. "We are writing a narrative for use of the funds. We want to update our ISO rating and get in compliance on all levels.
"We have 12 firemen who just finished first responder classes. They plan to back up the ambulance when needed. We have already had our first call, last Saturday. Our Haz-Mat classes will be the second phase of training. The course involves 32 hours of classes."
"We appreciate all that the mayor and the council do to help us and help the city," Blankenship added.
"All of you are so dedicated, and we are thankful to have you," Monette Mayor David Fletcher replied. "It is tornado season now and we will be putting together an assessment emergency plan, which the firemen play a vital part in."
"We have 21 guys working as firemen, and I have nothing but praise for them," Blankenship said. "They make my job a lot easier."
The council voted to destroy outdated and old financial records (1997-98-99) in order to keep storage areas manageable. The city clerk and one alderman will take part in the process.
Police Chief Brian Carmichael announced that the flashing lights at Buffalo Island Central School were back in working order. The warning lights will be flashing between 7 and 8:15 a.m. and 1 to 3:15 p.m. daily. The 25 mile per hour speed limit will be enforced.
Carmichael told of plans to purchase four new vests through the federally allocated Bulletproof Vest Partnership program grant, which pays half the costs of the vests. Monette policemen who will receive vests include Carmichael, Jered Rolland, John James, and reserve policeman Kevin Holt. The BVP is a part of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Plans are to enforce the ordinance against unsightly and unsanitary donations and inoperable vehicles. Letters have been sent to property owners and the police department will enforce mandatory compliance orders.
The CRDC office of Family Services announced plans to temporarily close its Monette office, located at the Monette Service Center. Help will still be available through the Jonesboro office.
The city-wide yard sale date was set for May 3, with the Clean Sweep week to follow May 5-10.
The council approved new 2003 Monette Youth Association officers which include: President, David Clark; Vice President, Lee Greathouse, Secretary/Treasurer, Stephine Strickland; Concession Manager, Jennifer McFarlin; Gate Manager, Shannon Berry; Field Manager, Jonathan Carmichael; Equipment Manager, Rick Harrell, and Tournament Director, Michael McFarlin.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 7 p.m. April 28.