Grants and streets among Caraway City Council topics

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Cleffie Gipson, Caraway Senior Citizen's Director, gave the council an update on the center and programs during the regular council meeting April 8.

"We want to thank the city for taking such good care of us," Gipson said. "I appreciate the police watching our van and keeping it safe.

"Our group is looking forward to another hay ride," Gipson said. "For some of our seniors last year's ride was the first one they had ever been on."

The council gave their permission for a steam table, at the center, to be donated to the New Hope Baptist Church, since it is no longer needed.

Caraway Mayor, Joe South, gave an update on plans for the city safe room.

"We have not had the new safe room location approved yet," South said. "We have been advised to let bids for both sites, in case we do not get the new location approved. Then we would have something to fall back on. The completion date for the project is September 30."

The council approved plans to accept bids for both locations.

South announced that bids would also be accepted for the new ball park.

"We got a $25,000 grant for the safe room and a $45,000 grant for the ball park." South said. "We need to allocate money for both projects until we can file to get our money back on the projects."

The council voted to appropriate $70,000 for the two projects.

"Will they be finished by the fourth of July?" asked alderman Roger Williams.

"We have no way of telling," said South. "We have the fences built, poles set, and dirt work done on the park."

South requested funding for a new computer and printer to be used by the city recorder Rick Stevens.

"Rick has been using his own computer, but it is not compatible for a printer," said South.

The council approved $1,000 for purchase of a computer and printer.

After a brief discussion, the council voted to close the west end of the alley behind the Methodist Church so they could connect the two buildings.

Bids for the new sewer system extensions will be opened at 11 a.m. April 28 at city hall. There is to be a 180 calendar day completion date.

When asked if the city went over budget on acquiring easments for the sewer extensions, South replied, "Yes, $3,500."

"We had budgeted $6,000," South said. "We paid Hershal Kelton $2,000, W.A. and Helen Starnes $2,500, Barrett-Watkins Farms, $2,500, and Donald Jefferes $2,000. Mary Schoolfield and Dean Himschoot donated their easments."

"Riverside school has $70,000 of their money tied up until the safe room, which can't be released until we get the sewer out there," said Danny Dunigan."

"We will make a request for the work west of town to be done first," said South. "I wrote Gale Yates a letter to that effect."

The council tabled the Delta Disposal request for a five year contract and use of pick-up containers until the May meeting.

South gave a report on the fishing pond.

"Signs have been ordered and will be put up listing times and limits," South said. "We also want to thank the Caraway Lion's Club for donating $200 for stocking fish. Our fishing derby will be in May."

The council voted to order small fish to stock pond.

Ray Owens has been contacted to help take down the emergency siren, so that it can be repaired or replaced. South plans to ask Jack Richardson if he has a spare siren that the city can use until theirs can be fixed.

Terry Couch and Merle Bard will serve as coordinators for the sale of Basler Addition property.

At the close of the meeting, Danny Dunigan, asked Mayor South when the city was going to fix the street by his house (Johnson Ave.)?

"I really don't know," said South.

"The city gets state turn back money to fix the streets and we need to fix streets," Dunigan said."

"A cold patch won't fix it," said South.

"Also, I use the street every day, and it needs to be opened up," said Dunigan. "The city can take the street back the way it should be, if they want to."

"We haved looked at the situation," said South. "The street was originally an alley exit from Tennessee Street on Mr. Ward's property."

"Just because he is an older man, we are going to sit there and let it be like it is," said Dunigan. "We don't need to ask permission to do it. It has been that way for over seven years."

"It is up to the city council," said South. "They can get it surveryed and make it bigger if they want."

"Joe, you made a lot of promises when you ran for office about a youth center, grants and such, and the city is worse now that it has ever been," said Dunigan. "I'm ready to see you do something.

"Explain why the city wants to build an arena, when we need housing more," said Dunigan. "No one wants to build where there is a rodeo. We need housing.Houses bring people, people bring stability for the city and the school. I haven't heard very many people who wanted an arena."

"Most people were hollering for a rodeo arena as one idea," said Alderman Marvin Browning.

"You (South) also promised harmony, and I don't see it," said Dunigan.

"Lord, I haven't either, but I sure have prayed for it," said South. "There ain't no harmony anywhere. It didn't used to be a bed of roses, but we are heading for a point where it is not going to get done and will fall by the wayside."

"Do you (Dunigan) think that this is all the council's fault?", asked Browning.

"No, you didn't promise harmony, he (South) promised it," said Dunigan.

"We have all been working on it," said Browning.

"So when are you going to fix my street?" said Dunigan.

"Repair of streets are up to the council," said South. "We have a fund to repair, replace or blacktop the streets. We will look into concrete and cold patch."

No decision was made on the street problems, by the council.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 6 p.m. May 6 at City Hall.

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