Chambers retires from Monette Cemetery Board
Monette Mayor Chub Qualls honored outgoing Cemetery Board member Marsha Chambers during the monthly council meeting June 23 at city hall.
"I am so thankful for the cemetery board and all they do on our behalf,
Qualls said. "All I ever hear are positive things about how well our cemetery is kept."
"Marsha Chambers has served on the board since 1985," Qualls said. "We want to officially honor her with a plaque of recognition for her years of service."
Monette Cemetery Board members Janet Rolland and Shirley Bronaugh were in attendance for the presentation, along with Deb Whited, who will be filling the vacancy left by Chambers retirement.
"I think it is time to pass the cemetery duties on to someone else," Chambers said. "Shirley asked me to serve on the board years ago, when we worked at Mid-South Bank together. Shirley will have served on the board for 50 years in 2009.
"Janet has done a great job since she has been on the board. She maintains our records and has everything on computer. We welcome our newest member, Deb Whited, and anticipate things will run just as smoothly as they always have in the past."
The council unanimously appointed Whited to fill the vacancy left by Chambers, and expressed their appreciation for a job well done by the cemetery board.
The council conducted other business following the presentation and appointment.
Jamie Strickland gave the monthly Monette Youth Association report and reported on the brick project report.
"The foundation has been laid at the park for the bricks," Strickland said. "They have $2,200 in their brick account for sales to date."
The council discussed rising employee health cost and agreed to stay with Arkansas Municipal League insurance provider until further information could be obtained from Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
The council approved a bid from Atlas Asphalt Inc. to complete street work for the city as advertised last month.
After a brief discussion the council agreed to check on the status of Carol Street before doing work on it, for clarification as to it being a designated street.
"We plan to leave Edna Mae Way as it is for now, and let it settle good," Qualls said.
Qualls presented several departmental needs for discussion, which consisted of purchase of sewer pumps, work at sewer plant, and inspection of new water tank.
New water tank inspection cost was listed at $900.
"We need to replace our sewer pump this year and keep the old one as a spare," Qualls said. "The El Dorado Pumps and Power Company said that the pump parts would be interchangeable. We can finance it through Heritage Bank and save some money."
The council discussed the feasibility of financing for 36 months at $771 per month, using 5.2 percent interest rate.
"The work on the sewer plant has to be done now," Qualls said. "The work was estimated at $11,000 last year and has now gone up to $13,000. This can't be put off, as it has been neglected too long. It needs to be sandblasted, welded, repair catwalk, and the structure made safe. We can clean and work on sewer plant and then go into financing at Heritage without any strain.
"We have kept $30,000 in the Water and Sewer Fund," said Vickki Carroll, treasurer.
The council agreed to continue with ongoing projects and replace the sewer pump,
Qualls reported the truck would be purchased for use in the upcoming recycling project. BIC recycling project will continue as planned.
Properties throughout the city are being cleaned up with plans to recover cost from owners.
After a brief discussion the council approved a four percent cost of living increase for all employees, not including councilmen.
Alderman Joyce Read reported on the recent Municipal League meeting in Hot Springs.
"We are to receive our $40,000 museum grant next month," Qualls said. "Then we can proceed with our renovations."
After a short executive session the council agreed to accept the resignation of policeman Freddie Polk effective June 16.
Work on new city mural will begin on July 1. It is now fully funded.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. July 21 at city hall.