In Monette: Audit shows good increase

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

The Monette City Council met in regular session on Nov. 24 and reviewed the 2002 Water/Sewer audit, discussed the 2004 budget, and set new meeting date for December.

Tim Short, with Despain and Short CPAs of Jonesboro, discussed the 2002 Water/Sewer audit report with the council.

"The audit received a clean opinion," Short said. "You showed an increase of $27,000 from 2001 to 2002, which is a good increase."

The audit review included: a note for the council to make sure the departments had adequate pledges of collateral to cover FDIC insurance should the funds exceed $100,000; the city was in compliance for USDA bonds, and nothing else tested was out of compliance; a small number of staff is always a material weakness, because it makes it hard to segregate differences; oversight committee is an excellent procedure; need to segregate water and sewer record keeping; and error in rate table has been corrected.

"The city has excellent financial results," Short said.

The December council meeting will be changed to 11 a.m. Dec. 19. The annual Christmas party will follow the meeting.

Mayor David Fletcher distributed copies of the proposed 2004 budget for the council to review and make a final decision at a later date.

Alderman Steve Suber inquired about funding for parks and recreation and expenses to widen the Highway 18/139 intersection.

"The money set aside for parks and recreation will go to help with the construction of the new ball fields," alderman Ernestine Harrell said.

"The state will take care of the highway expenses, and we will have to pay for the traffic light," Mayor Fletcher said.

The council discussed using a different type of spray for mosquito control next year.

Mayor Fletcher thanked Parks and Recreation Chairman Harrell, alderman Martha Jane Hout, and Nan Snider for attending the Arkansas Parks and Tourism grant hearings in Jacksonville on Nov. 13. Fletcher thanked Snider for making the presentation, on behalf of the city, for the $300,000 park grant.

"We should hear something on the grant a couple of weeks before Christmas," alderman Harrell said.

Mayor Fletcher also thanked the legislators, his fellow mayors, and the people who signed the petitions to keep the Lake City Revenue office open.

Upcoming conferences and meetings include: pre-construction conference, Dec. 4, 10:00 a.m. at city hall; shelter safe room bids will be opened on Dec. 18 at city hall; and the next BIC school board meeting will be on Dec. 8.

Mayor Fletcher announced that David Moore had identified about 10-12 residents that have infiltration of storm water in the sewer system. He has sent letters to them with a request to take corrective action. Several people receiving the letters have called and made inquiries.

Alderman Byron Sparkman praised Entergy for the work done on trimming trees in the city and reported on the Business Appreciation Luncheon.

Suber brought pictures of the continuing water drainage problem south of town.

"It looks like the only way to get anything done about this is to turn it over to HUD," Suber said.

Alderman Tom Carroll reported that the city is still working on the north loop of the water project and will be ready to complete when the easements are obtained.

Alderman Suber inquired about health benefits.

"The council is eligible for health benefits if they pay for it," Clerk Vickki Carroll said. "They have an accidental death policy."

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