The Monette City Council made plans for the first National Night Out, slated for Aug. 7, focusing on crime prevention awareness, when the council met Monday, June 27.
"The people who work and live here in Monette sincerely care about their community," Police Chief Brian Carmichael said.
Carmichael proposed the city take part in the National Night Out campaign, geared at heightening crime and drug prevention awareness, generating support for and participation in local anticrime programs, strengthening neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and sending messages to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Free food and drinks will be served at the city park from 6-9 p.m. Aug. 7. David Grim, of NEAR Enterprises, will provide special karaoke entertainment. Three giant inflatable rides will be provided for kids. Basketball shooting contests with prize awards will be given, along with other free prize drawings.
"We have already secured sponsors for the event," Carmichael said. "This could be a very positive thing for our community.
"We want people to turn on their porch lights and let criminals know we are not going to put up with crime in our city. At 8:30-8:45 we want people to bring their flashlights and take a walk around the park with us, to show support."
The council voted to allocate $1,000 to support National Night Out.
"When I first discussed this with Mayor Fletcher, he told me he would sing," Carmichael said.
"That is just hearsay," Fletcher said, not making any public commitment to do so.
Carmichael announced patrolman Aaron Murphy had decided not to fulfil his commitment to relocate in Monette, and Aaron Davis of Lake City had been selected to fill that position. Davis is a certified part-time officer in Lake City and has not attended the police academy.
"Aaron Davis came highly recommended," Carmichael said.
The council approved Carmichael's recommendation to hire Davis.
*The council approved a three percent cost of living raise for employees, effective July 1, 2005.
"We need to look at some salaries in the future, as they may be out of line," Alderman Steve Suber said. "We may be underpaying some."
"We are competitive to other towns in our area," Fletcher said. "We can look into this for next time.
Complaints were received for four homes and lots needing cleaning-up included 706 Finch, 606 Texie, a trailer on Virginia, and the northeast corner of Honis and Stewart.
Mayor Fletcher announced the fire hydrant company would be in Monette the week of July 4th to begin work on hydrants needing replacement or repair.
Mayor Fletcher expressed appreciation to the donation of a rescue vehicle from the City of Jonesboro. The vehicle had been involved in a wreck on the bypass, but is fixable.
"Our firemen are looking at repairing it for use in Monette," Fletcher said.
Alderman Suber recommended the city take financial responsibility of hosting the Buffalo Island Industrial Development Committee meeting, held in Monette every four months.
"I would like to see Monette take on this responsibility as part of a support role," Suber said. "We would love to have the public attend these meetings also. The next meeting will be held in Manila at 6 p.m. July 11."
Alderman Ernestine Harrell announced the next park grant application is due in the state office by Aug. 26, and work was being done to complete it.
The Monette Youth Association reported a balance of $4,983.66. The last meeting was June 19. David Clark is president of the MYA.
Mayor Fletcher displayed the Four Star Award presented to the City of Monette at the recent Municipal League meeting in Hot Springs. Twenty-three towns out of the 501 in Arkansas were selected to receive the award. The City of Caraway also received the award.