Monette Council studying ballfield options

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Mayor David Fletcher reported to the city council on May 22 the new municipal complex downtown nears completion, with occupancy expected in mid-June.

Alderman Tom Carroll reported on his meeting with the Buffalo Island Central school board on May 15, concerning the city's willingness to help with construction of a new ball field.

"The board aired their frustration on me and told me they were not interested in turning their ball field around, nor having their proposed girls' softball field be a part of the city complex," Carroll said. "They still want to build the girls' field on the southeast corner of the campus and are requesting we move the city's access road to accommodate their plans.

"Everything we had talked about and hoped for seems to have fallen apart. We still have a couple of new options to consider and are seeking answers."

Carroll presented the school's request for the movement of the current city road to the council for consideration. Relocation of the road would allow space to build their new field on the Monette west campus. The aldermen discussed the feasibility of the move, underground utilities, and condition and stability of road alternative.

"We hope to continue conversation with the school and, hopefully, come to an agreement," Fletcher said. "There just has to be a way to work this out that would be agreeable to both parties."

"I never thought about their wanting to build a new field in that location, and this was not part of the original plan," Alderman Ernestine Harrell said.

"We are going to study the options, and we may have to call a special council meeting to make a decision," Fletcher said.

Mayor Fletcher reported the sewer connection project for new homes in the Pitts Addition, south of town, will be started soon.

Harrell reported the City Parks and Beautification committees had met to formulate plans to develop the intersection beautification project. Plans are being made to add benches, trees, picnic tables, and landscaping.

"We are waiting to hear from our grant before we go ahead with our plans," Harrell said.

Harrell reviewed the Monette Youth Association monthly report, which lists $10,877.10 in the general account and $2,150 in the sign project account.

"Plans are being made for the new concession stand and for the sale of engraved bricks in the wall around the flag pole," Harrell said. "Tina Metheny is the director of fund raising and has announced bricks can be purchased in two sizes. Small bricks are $100, and will include three lines, with maximum of 18 characters per line. The large bricks are $200 and will include six lines, 18 characters each."

The council unanimously approved the brick fund-raising project.

The council discussed banking establishment interest rates for their checking accounts and certificate of deposits. No decision was made as to location of future accounts.

Following the meeting patrolman Aaron Davis showed the council the new specially decaled police car. Davis reported on busy police pursuit during the past few months resulting in two drug related arrests.

"In one incident a man was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, tampering with evidence, fleeing in a vehicle, and public intoxication, drinking in public," Davis said. "He had 10.67 ounces of marijuana, that he had tossed from the vehicle, and a case of beer. In another case a man was charged with possession of drugs and possession of a firearm.

"It is nice to have a good police car and equipment when out on patrol, as I never know when a routine stop is going to result in pursuit of a drug trafficker or a vehicle being driven by someone armed and intoxicated," Davis said. "We work closely with the Craighead County Sheriffs Department to take these people off the street and put them in jail."

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