Town Crier News Staff
Caraway officials held the first council meeting for the new year, on Thursday evening, Jan. 18, and worked through a busy agenda consisting of meeting rules, appointments and sale of unneeded equipment.
Mayor Barry Riley discussed updating rules of order for council meetings, suggesting agenda, time limits for speakers and voting preferences.
The council voted to require people wishing to be put on the agenda to register with city hall on the Friday before their regular meeting, 3-5 minute time limits be allowed for speakers, no disruptions will be tolerated, and the council preferred voting by a roll call vote. Public comments will be allowed.
"The roll call voting will help when our city recorder needs to rely on our meeting tape to type up the minutes," said Riley.
City Recorder Lisa Taylor was unable to attend the meeting, due to the illness of her daughter.
Recommendations for appointments were read by Mayor Riley and adopted by the council. These include: Jerry Vaughn, Chief of Police; Bo James, Fire Chief; and Greg Douglas, Park Commission.
The council agreed to donate the city's unused street sweeping equipment to Craighead County Road Department.
"If we give it to the road department then they will maintain our streets for us," said Riley. "We will both benefit from this."
Councilmen voted to accept sealed bids for several pieces of equipment. These include: 15 kw generator; Ransoms Green Mower; air compressor and trailer; John Deere sickle; and a 1968 dump truck. Bidding dates will be Jan. 22 at 8 a.m. until March 8, 4:30 p.m. Bids will be opened at the March 8 council meeting and reviewed. The city reserves to accept or deny any or all bids.
The council discussed what to do with the loads of mulch, which was placed in the city park. A decision was made to keep half the mulch at a fenced area and half at the sewer pond. Mulch at the pond will be made available to anyone wanting to come and pick it up. Use of the mulch will be offered to Riverside East Elementary for their use. Some mulch may be needed by the city for planting flowers, if they re-establish their City Beautification Committee.
The council discussed the sale of the city's 1998 Crown Vic white police car, and Jeep. The minimum price for the Crown Vic was set at $1,000, and the Jeep, for no less than $3,000.
Discussion ensued about which policeman would get the new police car.
"I would like to see Pete (Hicks) get it," said alderman Johnny Boatman.
"Why not pass it down to Jerry (Vaughn) and his car down to Pete (Hicks)?" asked alderman Marvin Browning.
"Why should Jerry get all the new cars?" asked Boatman. "I still think it should go to Pete."
Aldermen John Boatman and Bo James reported on their survey of roads in the city needing work. These included: Chicago, 1/10 mile chip and seal; Johnson Avenue, redo and possibly pave; North San Francisco, driveway needs concrete; alley behind drug store full of water, needs work; Dogwood, chat; Moore Road, needs ditch work; bridge at Basler Addition, needs reinforcement; Cove at Jennings Drive, asphalt; and tennis court, asphalt.
The council voted to complete work at the Basler Addition bridge first, for an estimated $3,5000, and take bids on the other projects. Financing will be from the Street Fund.
"We need to ask our legislators for help on this also," Riley said.
The council discussed reports on vicious dogs roaming the streets.
"There are 20 bull dogs from the dollar store to the gin," said Police Chief Vaughn.
"They are everywhere," said Alderman Diane Powell.
"What constitutes vicious?" asked Alderman Brent Powell.
The council discussed their versions of vicious and the need for adequate confinement.
Mayor Riley agreed to review the problem and come up with some solutions.
Mitchell Shannon inquired about the Basler property for sale near the city pond.
Mayor Riley explained the city had things to work out before the sale could be authorized.
"We have to get our city attorney involved in this," Riley said. "We definitely want to develop the land in the city and prove that Caraway can grow."
Alderman Bo James expressed the need for police department help.
"Jerry (Vaughn) told me last week that everything was fine," said Riley.
"I have not taken any applications yet," Vaughn said. "There is an opening for a part time 2 officer. I would hire Tim Gaynes today, if I could. He would make a good policeman.
"Adam (Reed) will be out three more weeks," Vaughn said. "Tim would not cost us anything, unless we use him. Adam will be back by Feb. 5."
"If we hire someone, you are not going to just put him in a car, with a gun and let him go are you?" Riley said.
"No," said Vaughn. "He has to do 80 hours riding time with a certified officer."
After discussion, the council voted to give Vaughn permission to make the decision to hire a part-time police officer.
A special called council meeting will be called later in January to discuss and adopt the 2007 city budget.