The Monette City Council accepted bids on water improvements, passed three resolutions, and set employee Christmas bonuses at the regular council meeting Oct. 27.
Monette Mayor, David Fletcher, introduced Wayne Menley with Miller-Newell Engineers, who reviewed maps and plans for planned water system improvements.
After a brief discussion the council passed Resolution 2003-06, authorizing the city to enter into contracts for purposes of making water system improvements. A bid to construct a new water tank was accepted from Phoenix Fabricators and Erectors, for $418,894, and a bid to lay water lines and do other improvements was approved from Critco Construction for $98,728.
Councilman Tom Carroll recommended that a 10 inch water line be laid on the northern loop of the city, in place of the proposed eight inch line. The city agreed to pay any part of the additional $17,450, necessary for line size changes, that is not covered by the allotted contingency fund.
Carroll moved that $25,000 be placed in a reserve certificate of deposit for the water department. The council approved the recommendation.
Carroll also discussed new procedures and machinery for processing sewage quickly, as a reference when considered making improvements at the sewage plant.
The council approved Resolution 2003-4, continuing a 1.8 mill personal and property tax collection.
The council approved Resolution 2003-5, from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, to upgrade a signal at Highways 18 and 139. Expenses for the project will be shared, with 80 percent federally funded, 10 percent state, and 10 percent local. The city will be responsible for maintaining the signal.
City Christmas bonuses were set at $300 for full time employees and $150 for part time employees.
The council agreed to proceed with possible annexation of property owners adjacent to the city.
Councilman Byron Sparkman reported on the success of the recent Buffalo Island Garage Sale (BIGS), and that plans were to make it an annual event.
Sparkman also reported that the Buffalo Island Leadership Group had decided at this time not to pursue establishment of a Rotary Club.
Sparkman announced that a special business recognition luncheon would be held at the Monette Community Center, on Nov. 4, to show appreciation for the local merchants. Lil' Vera's Cafe will cater the event.
The council listed several overhanging tree sites and blind corners that need trimming and will be working to get them taken care of. The police department was assigned the task of listing street lights that need replacing and other hazardous intersections that might need tree trimming.
Councilman Ernestine Harrell reported that Monette will be presenting their park grant proposal at 10:30 Nov. 13, at the Jacksonville Complex. Nan Snider will be making the formal five minute presentation.
Harrell reported that the the wood pile at the park is being used to line the children's play area. New picnic tables, barbecue grills and benches have been installed.
Councilman Martha Jane Hout complimented Mayor Fletcher for his work in having pansy plants placed in the uptown flower pots.
Alderman Steve Suber asked Monette Police Chief Brian Carmichael to explain how the 911 call system works when calls came in from outside the city limits.
"From 5 in the evening until 8 a.m., our police calls are transferred to the Craighead County dispatcher," Carmichael said. "The dispatcher answers the call, and makes the contacts for help accordingly. If the call comes in from outside the city, on a gravel road or dirt road, then the Craighead County Sheriff's Department is notified. If it is on a highway, then the State Highway Department is called. Monette will not get called on these by the dispatcher but would be notified if needed for a back-up.
"In an instance last month, a bus accident happened near the Craighead and Mississippi County line," Carmichael said. "The call went through the county dispatcher, and Monette police did not get a call. A Leachville fireman came through the scene and called the Leachville police."
"If Monette had gotten the call, they would have responded immediately," Mayor Fletcher said.
After a brief discussion, Carmichael went on to show the council a design for a new Monette Police Department patch to be worn on policemen's uniforms. The patch was designed by former Monette policeman, Stu Sigman, and sketched by Christian Johnson. Gipson Sign Mart made a graphic print of the design for reproduction. The design reveals a mustang, a cotton boll, a brick building, an antique street light and the Monette flag with establishment date. Colors will be gray silver, light blue, dark blue, red, black, brown and white.
The council commended the work done on the design. Carmichael paid for the initial reproduction costs and the city agreed to pay for uniform patches, at $3.50 each, for all officers.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 24 at city hall.