Monette sports complex usage rules revised

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

The Monette City Council met on Monday, March 27, and discussed completion of new sports park complex, proposed usage agreement and the city ordinance for rental of mobile homes.

Mayor David Fletcher reported work on the sports park was nearing completion.

"People really rolled on this project," Fletcher said. "We have a lot of people to thank for getting this job done. Jeff Finch and his crew worked for two weeks. Wayne Couch brought several men to finish the dugouts, poles, and covers. Terry Edwards and Tom Carroll did the electrical work. And the county always comes when we ask them, which has been a great help in many ways."

Plans and paper work are being completed for the Parks and Tourism Grant for $225,000 in funding.

"The plans for the concession stand and lighting require an engineer," Alderman Ernestine Harrell said.

"Tom Carroll can show where the underground lighting is," Fletcher said. "Fortunately Miller Newell engineering firm did the work on the concession stand already.

"The Monette Youth Association financial report for March showed a balance of $3,365.00 with $4,700 on the sign project. Stephanie Strickland has resigned as the fund raising director. Gate Director Tina Matheny has agreed to take over as fund raising director, leaving the gate position open."

The council approved the changes in MYA officers.

Harrell reviewed the proposed agreement for group use of the Sports Park Complex. Scheduling sheets will be posted at McFarlin's Drug Store during the regular ball season and at Monette City Hall afterwards. Park is to be cleaned and lights turned off after using. The team/group will supply their own equipment. Groups/teams will be responsible for providing insurance. A deposit of $250 for park usage was requested, with charges of $15 per use to be deducted from the deposit. Any damages would be deducted from the deposit.

Aldermen Tom Carroll and Steve Suber raised concerns about the original proposed agreement.

"It costs us about $5.40 to light the park for one hour, and for four hours it would run about $21.64," said Carroll. "I think it should be $25 for using the lights."

"I have heard from two families (Jeff Finch and Justin Wildy) who spent a lot of time and money working on the fields," Suber said. "It seems unfair that they would have to pay the $250 fee upfront to use it."

After discussion by the council they agreed to change the deposit per use to $25 for park usage, only if lights are used. If lights are not used an agreement would be signed to reserve time and date for usage, with no fee.

"The $250 deposit is for groups if they want it for the summer," Fletcher said. "Or organized teams who plan to use it for a period of time."

"The MYA will keep up with this," Harrell said.

The council passed the revised Sports Park usage agreement with a 5-1 vote. Suber cast the opposing vote stating concerns over lack of clarity concerning the agreement on deposit fees.

"We have to have some standards and rules to go by," Fletcher said. "The agreement may need to be revised when the concession is completed."

The council inquired about curfew for ball park usage. City Police Chief Brian Carmichael reported the city park curfew was 10 p.m. and the city curfew was 11 p.m. week days and 12 a.m. on weekends.

Harrell reported a $3,000 check for the sports park grant has been received from Heritage Bank, with other local donations expected.

The Monette Youth Association Fun Day is set for April 8, at the city park, from 10-2 p.m. This is an annual MYA fundraiser.

Bill Fleetwood addressed the council concerning desire to rent a mobile home formerly occupied by his daughter, Sandy Gray, who is deceased.

City Ordinance amendment #1, to the original ordinance 1-88 was passed in May of 1990 allowing any mobile homes being used as rental property by owner to be grandfathered in as rental property. After that date, only mobile homes can be placed on property for owner's residence only, and not for rental property.

"This mobile home belongs to Jessica (Gray), and she would like to rent it out, as she is too young to live there alone," Fleetwood said. "It was rental property before 1990, and I have been told I can't rent it out. Steve (Suber) you have four mobile homes rented out, don't you?"

"Yes, I do," Suber said.

"I don't see why we can't rent this one out too," Fleetwood said.

"I think Bill can do anything he wants to with it," Suber said.

"If it was rental property before 1990, and has not changed owners, then it meets the ordinance requirements," Harrell said.

Any mobile home originally grandfathered in by May 1990 as rental property, but has since changed owners to become rental property, would be in defiance of the city ordinance.

All aldermen agreed if Fleetwood owned the mobile home in 1990, and it was used as rental property then, that he should be allowed to rent it now.

Mayor Fletcher appointed aldermen Tom Carroll, Martha Jane Hout, and Joyce Read to serve on a special committee to review the ordinance 1-88 and amendment.

Other council business included:

*Approval of an increase in the city's donation to Relay for Life, as proposed by Alderman Martha Jane Hout. The city donated $300 last year.

*Mayor Fletcher gave an update on work being done at the new city hall building on Drew Street.

"A lot of progress has been made in a month," Fletcher said. "They still have a couple of months to go. The new facility is going to be very nice and will serve our needs well."

*Alderman Byron Sparkman reported May 6 has been set for the city wide yard sale, followed by the cities Clean Sweep.

*Mayor Fletcher announced two lots have been sold in the Boots Pitts Addition, south of town. Water service is already available at the addition. Sewer service and lift station will be provided as per the cities agreement five years ago.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on April 24, at 7 p.m. at city hall.

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