Caraway beautification committee formed

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Town Crier News Staff

The Caraway City Council met on Monday evening, Oct. 11, and worked through a short agenda consisting of appointment of a city beautification committee, passage of five resolutions, and plans for a cemetery cleanup day.

Mayor Barry Riley appointed six people to serve as the new beautification committee. They are Haley Faulkner, Casey Emery, Tonya Bell, Jennifer Powell, Violet Whithead, and Vera Sneed. The council unanimously approved the appointment.

"Cheryl Schoolfield served on that committee before and she might be willing to help again," said Alderman Marvin Browning

"If she wants to serve, we can check with her, and come back next month to add her in," Riley said.

When asked who would be serving as committee chairman, Riley said the committee would meet and elect their own chairman.

Five city resolutions were passed: Resolution 2007-3 for Fire and Rescue Project; Resolution 2007-4 establishing use of excessive force; Resolution 2007-5 residential anti-displacement; Resolution 2007-6 fair housing practices; and Resolution 2007-7 Arkansas Community and Economic Grant public hearing and housing needs, authorizing grant application to Arkansas Community Development for Fire and Rescue project.

Oct. 20 was set for the cemetery cleanup, beginning at 10 a.m. No dirt moving will be done, but older loose flowers and materials will be removed.

Mowing of the cemetery was discussed. Concerns over days of week mowed, use of weed killer, and city employees doing the work were all topics to consider. The council tabled the decision to secure job bids in January (for a one year contract). The position pays around $6,000 annually. The council plans to stipulate the mowing take place on Thursdays and Fridays, so the cemetery will be more attractive for weekend visitors.

"The Bad Boy mower we purchased is being rebuilt," Riley said. "They are bringing the city a new mower in its place next week."

A decision to have another citywide clean up was delayed until April 2008.

The council discussed the availability of the old Pritchard lot owned by Bill Hawkins. Possible uses were discussed but no decisions were made.

"We need to do something with the kids who skate or use skateboards in town," Browning said.

"I think it might be too small for a skate park, and right now I don't know what other needs we would have for it," Riley said. "At one time he (Hawkins) was asking $5,000 for the lot. He might be willing to donate it to the city or something if we could come up with a plan for its use."

The council agreed to check with Hawkins concerning the matter.

Repairs to the city park were discussed.

"We put up new swings and new and purchased 12 shackles," Riley said. "They cost about $1,300. We still have paving to be done from bridge to walking track."

Riley passed out copies of the recent city audit completed by Despain, Luther, Short and Company, CPAs of Jonesboro. A cover letter from Tim Short listed areas in which changes could be made to enhance operations and items that should be noted by the city. Some suggestions included segregation of duties in a small office; internal controls; oversight and review practices; keeping council minutes readily available for review; and safeguarding documents.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on Nov. 8, beginning at 6 p.m. at city hall

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