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Billy Sullivan named new Monette patrolman

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Monette City Council completed plans for the upcoming "Monette Night Out at the Park" and were introduced to the city's new policeman at the council meeting held Monday, Aug. 25.

Stephanie Strickland gave an overview with plans for the Monette Night Out at the Park, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 9, from 6-9 p.m.

"We plan to have R&R Rides back again this year, as the kids seem to really enjoy that," Strickland said. "David Grim from Ryan's House of Music in Paragould will be back. People seemed to enjoy the karaoke music. We will have a dog show, two grand prizes, lots of food items, and other miscellaneous prizes. This will all be free to whoever comes to the park that night, young and old alike. There will be something for everyone."

"We have scaled down our prizes this year and plan to give out gas cards and limit the large items to one for adults and one for children," Monette Police Chief Brian Carmichael said.

The council voted to pay $1,000 toward the music provided by David Grim.

Carmichael introduced the city's new policeman, Billy Sullivan, who will be working with patrolman Anthony Petty.

"Billy is from Leachville and is a BIC graduate," Carmichael said. "He has passed all of his testing classes and is clear. We are training him about law enforcement in Monette, and he doing a good job."

Water and Sewer Superintendent David Moore addressed the council concerning the old city well.

"We have been written up by the Health Department several times concerning the old well," Moore said. "It was installed in 1936 and is no longer in use. The one next to it was opened in 1978. We have estimated it would cost $4,500 to have the old well checked out, with labor running $100 an hour to pull the pump to test it. We would have to have the city engineer produce plans for the well use. I think it would be better to just abandon the well and turn a record in on it for approval."

A bid from Lane Well Company was received for $6,000 to close the old 8-inch well. No bid has been received from Gipson Well Drilling as yet, but Larry Gipson expressed desire to do the job as needed.

"We might put it in the budget for next year, as we have time to work on it," Alderman Tom Carroll said. "This would give us time to get a firm quote from Gipson."

Carroll moved to table.

"Why table it?" Mayor Chub Qualls asked.

"You are going under the assumption that no one else in the world can do this work, and there may be more," Carroll said. "This would give us time to ask around."

"I think we should use Monette people to do the work," Alderman Joyce Read said.

"Then why did we go to Walnut Ridge to buy a lawn mower?" Carroll said. "We have three years to do this and we can table it and still get it done by the end of the year."

The council voted unanimously to table the decision.

Mayor Qualls announced the Randall property was due to be put up for auction in Lake City on Aug. 19, but has been postponed until Sept.15.

Qualls gave an update on the Frolic Footwear property. An environmental study will be needed before the property can be approved by the city. Plans are to have the test done as soon as possible.

Qualls announced 27 donors have been secured to help with expenses on the renovation of the Monette Museum. Donations were estimated to total $27,000 and were expected to be paid by November of this year. A grant has already been received for $40,000. This would give $67,000. Contractor Lawrence Wayne Fletcher bid $56,000 for the work on the museum.

"Local Government Finance Fund Amendment #78 will allow funding use for the museum with a pay back due in five years," Qualls said. "We also have an agreement with Dickie Pace at Liberty Bank to loan us money needed to complete the job at a 4.10 percent interest rate. We could make a draw as needed.

"The Museum Committee has met and would like to add another bathroom and extra air conditioning. The added improvements would bring the total cost to $80,000 to $84,000."

"Until we get the money from the donations in our hands, we don't want to go and borrow money," Alderman Steve Suber said.

"It was hard to ask these people to donate to the museum in a bad crop year," Qualls said. "But they were willing to help after the crops are harvested."

"Can Fletcher do this in part and let the extra things wait?" asked Carroll.

"Who's going to finish it if we don't?" Qualls said. "These donations have been verbal commitments. Some wanted to give $500 this year and $500 the next."

"The donations are tax deductible," Alderman Read said.

"We don't want to run Fletcher off," Suber said. "It may take him three months or so to get it done anyway."

"We won't be pushing him for time," Qualls said.

"How can we do it all now, out of what fund?" Carroll said. "We can do it out of next year's budget."

"Plans for three bathrooms seems a lot for such a small space," Suber said. "This would be excessive, when one nice unisex bathroom would do."

The council voted 5-1 to let Fletcher start when he was ready and complete the $56,000 job, and keep on working as long as the city has the money. They agreed that no money would be borrowed past the $16,000 necessary to meet obligations of the first $56,000. Councilman Suber voted against the agreement stating he wanted to make sure the city did not have to use city funds, as that would not show they were being good stewards of city money.

The council discussed painting the antique streetlights. Entergy has agreed to pay for the painting.

Qualls reported the bluebag-recycling program has doubled each week it has been in operation, and the new pick-up truck and trailer are working out very well. No newspapers will be collected during the recycling pick-up.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Sept. 22 at city hall.



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