Caraway Council pays tribute to councilman

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Caraway Mayor Barry Riley (standing) proclaims March 12 as Marvin Browning Day in Caraway. (Town Crier photo/Nan Snider)

Caraway Mayor Barry Riley presented a special framed certificate proclaiming March 12 as Marvin Browning Day in Caraway when the city council met Thursday evening.

"Marvin is a faithful community servant," Riley said. "He has overcome many health obstacles recently and we are very glad to have him back to work on the city council."

Glen Boone and Billy Pendergrass were appointed to serve as new park commissioners. Larry Mason was chosen to serve as the new Caraway Park Commission chairman.

Resolution 2009-1 was passed to condemn property owned by Carrie Ann Benson, site of the former Rebel Den business establishment. The building was described as being a hazard, uninhabitable, and a public nuisance. Thirty days will be given the owner to get the property back in order or face placement of a lien on the property and removal of the structure at the owner's cost.

Councilman Mark Bell presented a swimming pool safety ordinance to require fencing for bathing or swimming pools holding more than 12 inches of water.

A lengthy discussion followed the proposed ordinance. Some councilmen were concerned about the regulation of such small pools, considering it a hardship on people with small wading pools in their yards or above ground inflatable pools.

"There is a growing concern about the safety of children who wander into a yard and get into a pool without supervision," Bell said. "This happened in Lake City and a child's life was lost. I sure don't want it to happen here.

"Lake City plans to ask their meter readers to make a note of any pool that is out of compliance. I think that would work for us also. I'm looking at this as a safety issue."

"Why are you trying to regulate something that is already a homeowner's liability?" asked Jerry Murphy. "Their insurance will already have requirements for swimming pools."

"We are just trying to save someone's life," Alderman Bo James said.

The council passed Ordinance 2009-1 on the first reading, by a 4-2 vote. Aldermen Johnny Boatman and Diane Powell voted against the ordinance, sighting a hardship on residents of the city that were trying to provide a place for their youngsters to cool-off during the summer months.

Mayor Riley agreed to check with the city attorney to look at wording of the ordinance before it is finalized.

In other business Mayor Riley announced the annual Caraway Easter Egg Hunt was set for 1 p.m. Saturday, April 11.

An application is being completed to apply for financial assistance through the Cop-Fast Program to pay for additional city police officers. The application is due March 16.

The council turned down a yearly raise request from Delta Environmental, sighting disappointment with the company's recent handling of trash pick-up.

A letter from Delta requested a pass-along increase of 19 cents per customer, due to increases in the company's dumping fees.

"Their last raise was due to the high cost of gas prices," Browning said. "Now gas has gone down, and their prices should go down. It has not."

"They got a raise last year and they broke their promise to us to lower it if the gas prices went down," Riley said.

The council was in agreement with Riley to not give an increase to Delta this year.

Mayor Riley announced the closing of Basler Electric this spring.

"This is a very sad thing for us, as they have been an important business to have in Caraway," Riley said. "They will donate their building to the city. We plan to maintain the grounds from now on. The intended date to take over ownership is June 5. After that we will be advertising for new occupants."

The spring cemetery clean up is slated for 8 a.m. Saturday, April 4.

No date has been set for a citywide clean up. Much of the work has been accomplished while cleaning up after the ice storm.

Continued concern for dogs running loose throughout the city was discussed. Many complaints have been received.

"I am hoping we can pass a stronger ordinance for picking-up dogs," Riley said. "We need one with more specific regulations for us to go in and get this taken care of."

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9, at city hall.

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