Caraway Council seeks beautification grant
The Caraway Council passed an ordinance, a resolution, and made plans to reapply for a state beautification grant during the regular council meeting Thursday, Aug. 14.
The council voted to reapply for the state GIF Grant for city beautification after plans for completion of the rodeo fell through.
"I found out we can't apply for rodeo arena completion with this grant," Mayor Barry Riley said. "The state will not fund it. Looks like we need to go back to our original plan for beautification, and hope for the best."
The council passed Ordinance 2008-1 on the first reading. The ordinance listed guidelines for condemning structures that are deemed hazardous, dilapidated, unsightly, unsafe, unsanitary and obnoxious structures detrimental to the welfare to the City of Caraway.
Such property owners will be notified and given 30 days to comply with the ordinance. If the structure becomes a candidate for destruction, the notice will be published and sold to the highest bidder. If property is deemed a nuisance and sold, only the amount of cost incurred by the city will be reclaimed. All other proceeds will go back to the owner.
"I wanted to stretch out the ordinance readings in order to give people time to respond," Riley said.
Resolution 2008-5 was passed by a 4-1 margin, with alderman Bret Powell casting the dissenting vote. The resolution does away with accumulation of vacation pay for employees and establishes a policy of pro-rating the pay. Powell stated that he would like to see the vacation pay stay as is in order for employees to have something to count on after leaving their jobs.
Gas expenditures continued to be a concern during financial discussions by the Caraway councilmen.
"Gas is a major issue," Mayor Riley said. "We spent $8,000 in the last two month. The higher prices are beginning to hit us hard."
Mayor Riley reviewed a brochure on hand held water meter readers. The cost will be $14,950 each. No decision was made.
"We have two readers now and could use a third," Riley said. "With the new handheld unit, the job could be done faster, but is costly."
"We have had an offer for help in filling out a grant for a new community center," Riley said. "We need to consider how the building could be used. We might want it to be a multi-purpose building used for a new fire department, public computers, police department use, meeting room to hold over 100 people, kitchen and bathrooms."
"This could be used in case we have a disaster and people need a place to take shelter," Alderman Diane Powell said.
"I'm sure we can think of so many uses for a nice building like this," Riley said. "It might end up costing $15,000 for a $200,000 project. We came up with $15,000 last year for a police car, so it is possible we could do this too. Land behind the dollar store could be used. We have to apply by April 2009.
The council went into executive session to discuss promotion of an employee but reconvened a short time afterward without making a decision.
Alderman Bo James forwarded a request concerning the Caraway Senior Service Center.
"The front of the building needs to be cut down and concrete put in," James said. "We may need to cut the pavement between the street and sidewalk and cut a trench for drainage to the side ditch."
"We have spent a lot of money on the center this year and may need to look into this for our next budget," Riley said. "It is something we need to look at for sure."
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 6 p.m. Sept. 11, at city hall.