Town Crier News Staff
Monette councilmen approved a six-month business permit for Rick Pierce to operate a flea market in his former Kopper Kettle Restaurant building on Drew Avenue. They also restated their agreement with the Monette Youth Association.
"We have struggled with the restaurant business for two years before making the decision to change it to a flea market," Price said. "My brother owns Yesterdays in Jonesboro, and we intend to operate our business similar to that. We want a bigger building when we can find it and turn this one into a gift shop. Right now we are trying to get people's attention by sitting nice things out front."
Mayor Chub Qualls and the council discussed the permit at length with Pierce before making the decision to approve.
"By reviewing Permit 1981-1, I think we can all see it is outdated and does not cover all the things we need," Alderman Steve Suber said. "There is a whole list of things to update. With a six month permit this will give us time to see what people think of the flea market. We can work on updating our ordinance in the meantime."
Price's permit approval comes with the stipulation it not be kept in an unsightly order. Price agreed to limits and requirements.
Monette Youth Association representatives Billy Watson and David Clark addressed the council, requesting changes in percentages paid to the city for a maintenance account.
"We have concerns about the percentages that the MYA is obligated to pay the city for our maintenance account," Watson said. "We were told it was to be used in the event of an emergency, and we paid $2,240. Then when we had an emergency we can't touch it. Our organization thinks this is crazy.
"We recommend doing one of two things, changing the 30 percent of gross to 20 percent and be able to use it. Or change to 15 percent of gross of the gate and not use it for maintenance."
The MYA Maintenance Account balance is currently $4,787.41.
Watson expressed need for MYA to sod an infield.
"We don't want our coaches to have to go out and solicit donations for uniforms and improvements," Watson said. "We would like to add fall soccer. We can do a lot with more money. We don't want to horde up money but to actually use it to do something extra for the program."
"After the park was built this fund was for maintenance," Clerk Vickki Carroll said.
"When our fence fell down we couldn't use the money to put it back up," Clark said.
"The fence fell down because of the signs," Carroll said.
"We were told previously this was an untouchable account," Watson said. "There is plenty more that needs to be changed in our original agreement."
"The interpretation is non-binding, and we need to solve this," Mayor Qualls said.
"I would like to see a good ball field, to sod it and repair it," Suber said. "Ya'll can come to us when we need to release some funds."
"In the past, many things did not make it past the park committee," Watson said.
"This is a whole new day," Suber said. "I understand what you are saying."
"Everything we do we do for betterment, and we shouldn't have to fight for it," Clark said.
"I don't think we need to change the agreement, but just set aside money from the maintenance fund for use, " Alderman Tom Carroll said. "MYA leadership is constantly changing, and keeping it the way it is gives the council control. We want what you all want. We want improvements. We are going to work with you. We can leave it like it is and still give you more flexibility."
"The MYA works mighty hard to have to put up with all this," Alderman Martha Jane Hout said.
"We threw a lot of money into that account previously, then were told we cannot use it," Watson said.
"And we are telling you that you can use it," Suber said. "If it is 20 percent or 15 percent you will get it either way."
"The flexibility is up to you," Watson said. "What if your priorities are different than ours?"
The council agreed to leave the original agreement in place and give the MYA more flexibility. The council agreed to pay half the cost to sod the field.
The council discussed the use of fields, with payment of deposits, and MYA having preferential treatment for scheduling. No unauthorized vehicles will be permitted inside park area. Mayor Qualls, Alderman Suber and Police Chief Brian Carmichael will meet to solve problems with signs and authorized vehicles.
Other city business.
*Mayor Qualls introduced new policeman James Carpenter, originally from Mountain Home. Carpenter served the last two years in Blytheville. He is married to the former Regina Wallis of Pocahontas. They have two children, Austin, 4, and Breonna, 3. They are looking for a home in Monette.
*Police Chief Carmichael addressed the council concerning the late delivery of the new police car.
"We were disappointed that it was not here in January, but it should be here in one or two more months," said Carmichael.
*Mayor Qualls reported the City of Monette had failed to recover the $816 requested from the City of Lake City for Toby Rand's early departure.
*Mayor Qualls and Alderman Suber reported improvements in previously listed unsightly property within the city.
*The council approved the purchase of a Bad Boy heavy duty mover from Cox Implement in Hoxie, for $7,495 plus tax. The purchase of the mower was included in the 2007 budget.
*The council discussed upcoming paving and securing right-of-way to place a road at the south end of BIC High School.
*Alderman Joyce Read announced the City Beautification Committee had met and plans to start landscaping soon.
*The city will advertise the sale of two police cars and one drug truck, using sealed bids. Mayor Qualls was authorized to dispose of vehicles using required procedures. Proceeds will be used to purchase a new bus and truck for the Water and Sewer Departments.
*Mayor Qualls reported four mayors, from Leachville, Caraway, Lake City and Monette, have met to discuss problems with providing water to Rural Water Association.
"We are charging below the cost to provide," said Qualls. "We can't continue to operate like this."
*The city contributed $1,500 to the Buffalo Island Ambulance Service for 2007 and loaned the service $4,500 in 2006 for an offset emergency situation.
*Mayor Qualls discussed roof repairs needed for the Monette Museum, estimated at $10,500.
"We can't wait another six months to get this done," Qualls said.
No action was taken on the roof repair or replacement.
*Saturday, May 1, was set for the annual Monette yard sale, with cleanup week following the sale.