Town Crier News Staff
The Caraway council met on Thursday evening, Sept. 13, and worked through a short agenda consisting of a committee resignation, two appointments, and rural water rate discussion.
The council accepted the resignation of Brian Clark from the City Park Commission, due to his moving away from Caraway. Brian Archer was appointed to finish out Clark's term on the committee, which expires in 2010. Greg Douglas was reinstated for another five-year term on the committee.
Jerry Murphy asked if Brian Archer could work well with the Lion's Club, as a member of the Parks Committee. Mayor Barry Riley assured him that Archer was "a real good guy," who could indeed work with the Lion's Club members.
"Our parks look so good," Mayor Barry Riley said. "These people work very hard to make our park look nice, and I appreciate it very much. Soon we will have the completion of our walking track, with handicapped parking strips. We are always looking for ways to improve the park and surrounding public areas."
Alderman Marvin Browning reported that stocking the city's fishpond had been completed.
Riley also reported that the parking lot at the fire department was completed, with investments for all city park improvement projects totaling $15,000 to be taken out of city funds.
Riley discussed their prior decision to raise water rates to the Buffalo Island Regional Water District.
"We had to raise our water rates to them," Riley said, "and they told us they would be passing that increase on to their customers. The bad part was the letter that their customers received said we were the reason for the increased cost. We only raised our rates to them to 33 percent, from $1.50 per thousand gallons to $2. This would result in a $2.50 increase to their customers, but they chose to raise their rates much more."
"This is not the city's fault," Terry Couch said. "This should have been $2.50 per customer for them, not the increase of $7.00."
The letter from rural water, signed by Tate Apple, dated Sept. 4, stated: Buffalo Island Regional Water District is a distribution system. We have no wells, pumps, or tanks. One hundred percent of all the water we furnish to our customers comes from water we purchase from four towns (Manila, Monette, Leachville and Caraway). The mayors and city councils have notified Buffalo Island of a 33 percent rate increase. Their last increase to Buffalo Island in 2001 was a 50 percent increase. Our current income is not enough to operate our system with this large increase from the towns. Therefore, this increase must be passed on to the rural customers. The rate increase will be reflected on the next billing schedule and will be $25 for the first 1,000 gallons (minimum rate) and $4 per 1,000 gallons for the remaining gallons."
"Our city recorder, Lisa Taylor, plans to continue her leave of absence through Oct. 1," Riley said. "We appreciate Rick Stevens serving as recorder/treasurer during her absence."
The council passed a resolution declaring Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in Caraway, observing the 220th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
The council voted to replace the old wooden roof at the water filtering plant, with a metal one. A decision was tabled to study a proposal to spray and line the water holding tank.
Riley reported that the city's Bad Boy mower was down and plans were to take it back to the factory on Friday, where the company guaranteed to fix it.
Marsha Stevens, Barry Riley and Jerry Vaughn are working on a $26,000 grant to purchase a new 2008 Ford Crown Victoria police car. Currently the city has three police cars, Policeman Adam Reed's car has 10,000 miles on it, Jerry Vaughn's car has 51,000 miles and Pete Williams's car has 140,000.
The council voted to submit the application for the new police car, which should result in the city's portion being $11,700.
"It looks like Pete should get the new car since his has the most miles on it," Riley said.
The council discussed problems at the city dog pens, consisting of illegal release of impounded dogs. The chain on the main gate has been torn up, as dogs were confiscated. Plans are to secure the pens and insure that fines are collected for all released dogs.
At the close of the meeting Riley encouraged all those present to get out and vote their convictions in the Riverside School election on Sept. 18.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on Oct. 11, beginning at 6 p.m. at the city hall building.