David Clark, Monette Youth Association president, addressed the Monette City Council Monday, March 23, concerning financing for preparation of the new ball fields in time for the summer youth program to begin.
"We got a lot of work done last week," Clark said. "Ronnie Qualls and his farm crew got the dirt work done for the fields and the infield is done. There is still an awful lot of things that need to be done, if we are to get it done in time. They are to begin playing the third week in April.
"Right now we are in need of funding. We are making every effort to get grant funding, but that takes time and the season is fast approaching."
Alderman Ernestine Harrell reported that the MYA had applied for a $30,000 50/50 matching grant from Rural Development.
"They (MYA) are in a tight spot right now," Monette Mayor David Fletcher said. "They are working hard on this, but are limited to just how much that they can do without money. We have to get the children where they can play ball this summer."
The council voted to donate $15,000 to help get the ball fields playable for the 2004 season.
"We appreciate all the city is doing to help with building the ball fields," Clark said.
The MYA scheduled a fund-raiser for Saturday, March 27, which was a Fun Fest in the city park, with games, rides, and food. All proceeds will go to help with the summer sports program.
Alderman Byron Sparkman reported on plans to pave several streets. He reviewed a list of streets and asked the council for their input as to more areas in need of repair or paving. Council members voiced their concerns as more sites were added. Plans are still ongoing and the decision was tabled until the April meeting.
"I looked at the roads at the city cemetery also," Sparkman said. "They are in need of repair. I hate to see them go down."
"The cemetery has a fund of its own," Alderman Earl Read said.
"I think the fund is depleted most of the time," Alderman Martha Jane Hout said.
"We can patch spots, but I don't know if we can do paving," Fletcher said. "They have worked up a good contact list and perhaps they can do a mail out or something to raise some money for the paving."
Alderman Tommy Carroll reported that the new water lines are in the ground, and all that is needed is to bore under Highway 18. The new water tower should be up in about a week and a half.
Mayor Fletcher agreed to check with the Arkansas Highway Department again about widening the Highway 18 and 139 intersection.
The council discussed purchasing new street flags, new city businesses, need for light in back of city hall, need to turn off tennis court lights after 10 p.m., and selection of new play ground equipment.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 7 p.m. April 26 at city hall.