Caraway Council OKs new retirement plan

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Caraway City Council met in short session on Monday, April 13, and discussed retirement restructure, purchase of equipment, and refurbishing water tank.

Mayor Joe South reviewed the current city retirement plan and explained possibilities of restructuring.

"I feel our employees need the freedom to go to other agencies, such as 401K or IRA," South said. "This would be very little cost to the city and be very beneficial to the employees. This would mean allowing someone else to manage their retirement, with everyone using the same plan. They are only drawing 1.7 percent interest where it is now."

"We want to help our employees out as much as possible," Alderman Bo James said.

"The council can always come back and change the percentage of contribution later on, if they want to," South said.

After discussion the council voted to go with the A.G. Edwards plan of investment and match each individual employees' withholding up to 3 percent.

The council voted to purchase a new generator for use with mosquito fogger, out of the Street Fund and a 72" John Deere finishing mower.

Mayor South discussed an Arkansas Rural Development grant to purchase new or used equipment.

"Jerry Vaughn, Barry Riley, Marsha Stevens, and I have been working on a grant to get a new or used police car," South said.

"It is a 55/45 grant, and they may consider 100 percent if we can show need," Riley said.

"We are looking at two used cars, at about $12,000 each," Vaughn said. "One is a 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis, with only 25,000 miles on it. It is an individual owned car priced at $6,500, and is a good deal."

The council approved the purchase of the Mercury.

"We need to sell the jeep, the white car and the black car, when we get the two new police cars," James said. "We can use the one from Lake City as a reserve unit."

The council passed James' recommendation.

In other council business:

*Council appropriated funds for expenses for Mayor South to attend the Arkansas Municipal League meeting in June.

*Approved donation of $500 for Buffalo Island Relay for Life.

*Heard report from Terry Couch on repair of city water tank.

"The tank inspection is very important," Couch said. "It has been 10 years since the ceiling has been painted and it is beginning to flake. It needs to be sanded and primed in epoxy within the next three years. Estimated price will be about $20,000 to $25,000. If we sand blast to the bare white it will run $40,000 to $50,000."

The council agreed to look at ways to secure funding to repair inside and out, top to bottom.

*Council voted to rent a trailer vac machine to remove median from sewer filters, at an estimated $900 a week.

"We will need to shut down while working on the filters," Couch said. "I think we can do it in a couple of days, but it might take more. Having the machine for a week will help."

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 6 p.m. May 11 at city hall.

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