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Monette Council approves salary increases

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Monette City Council met on June 25 and realized plans for their upcoming Municipal Complex open house, slated for July 9, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Mayor David Fletcher reported that the building is completed and is currently being furnished. Offices have been moved, but there is still work to be done.

"We are looking forward to having people come in and look at the new building," Fletcher said. "This is something we can all take pride in."

In other business:

The council voted to reimburse the City of Caraway for Toby Rand's academy expenses listed at $4,122.88. Rand was hired by the City of Monette as police officer last month.

A three percent cost of living raise was approved for the mayor, council and all employees.

Properties listed as needing cleanup or maintenance included 400 Texie Street, 606 Texie Street, 401 S. Edwards, corner of Hogan and Dewey, 407 S. Williams Street and 503 Virginia. The city will work with the Police Department to inform owners of need to comply with city ordinance to maintain properties, before legal action is taken.

Council approval to purchase a new lawn mower for maintenance of the ball park was given to Mayor Fletcher.

City garbage pick up, regularly scheduled for Tuesday July 4, was changed to July 3.

Councilman Ernestine Harrell announced the home of Frank and Val Smithee had been chosen as the June Yard of the Month, and a special presentation had been made to them.

The Monette Youth Association reported $9,170.02 in the general account and $2,650 in their sign account, as of June 22.

Police Chief Bryan Carmichael reported on the results of the 2005 National Night Out and plans for the 2006 event, to be held on August 1 from 6-9 p.m.

"We had 500 to 600 people attend the event last year," said Carmichael. "We cooked at least 540 hot dogs, and finally ran out. We are currently collecting donations for this years event. We have reserved the kids rides again for this year and plan to have karaoke singing."

The council voted to donate $1,000 toward the National Night Out expenses.

"This is going to be another great night of fun for the whole town to enjoy," Carmichael said. "It will be even better than before."

Chub Qualls reported on plans to revitalize the Buffalo Island Museum. Qualls has agreed to serve as the museum curator.

"The community originally helped Boots Pitts organize the museum, and it was something to be proud of," Qualls said. "He devoted himself to it. We were sad to lose him. Unfortunately, the museum has been inactive since his death.

"I walk downtown every day and always go by the old bank building on the corner of the intersection. I think it is the most beautiful building in town. It is historic and in good shape. Jerry Reed, Nan Snider and I met with the owners David and Karen Wallace a few weeks ago to talk about the feasibility of him donating the bank building to the city for use as a museum.

"They were most generous and volunteered to let us have it. They have to work out some detains on it first. Along with the property will come responsibility. It can be an asset to the town, as it sits next to the library and has parking all around.

"I visited the Lepanto Museum and got a lot of ideas from them. Their building is similar to the Wallace building. I am interested in putting some time and effort in on this. it will take all of us to make it work. It can be an asset to the town and be something we could all be proud of.

"I haven't been inside yet, and David said it had some leaks and needs for work. It appears to be structurally sound. There will be money and time involved, but we hope to get it where it is open three days a week, four hours a day. During the winter time people can call for an appointment to tour. We will need to plan some fundraisers to help with expenses of restoring it."

"The city already pays the utilities and security cost for the museum," said Mayor Fletcher. "This will take a real community effort and a lot of work. Perhaps you could form a Friends of the Museum group, or some type of non-profit organization. We want to be as supportive of this as we can be, and are glad that Qualls is working on it."

No decision was necessary on museum plans at this time.

Alderman Steve Suber addressed the council about proposed revision to Section 9 of the current dog policy.

"We need to put in writing what happens when a dog bites a person inside the city limits," Suber said. "We need to pull the old ordinance and compare it with revisions for next month's meeting."

Alderman Tom Carroll is currently working for best solutions to move the city access road through the BIC school property so that they will have room to build a new girls' softball field.

"We might be able to swap an easement for an easement and relocate on the south side of the property," Carroll said. "We are looking into all possibilities at this time, and want to do what is best for the city and the school. We can work this out. It is doable."

The next regular scheduled council meeting will be on July 24 beginning at 7 p.m.



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