Monette Council draws city ward boundaries

Monday, March 30, 2009

The division of three city wards was discussed and a rough sketch was presented by Mayor Chub Qualls at the Monette City Council meeting held March 23. Ward one will consist mainly of residents on the south edge of the city. Ward two will be residents on the northeast portion of the city. Ward three will consist of residents on the northwest section. The decision to adopt the wards was tabled until a detailed map could be completed.

The council discussed adoption of a swimming pool ordinance.

"Most insurance companies already have it in underwriting of the policy," Alderman Bob Blankenship said. "Companies have inspectors that come randomly to check the property."

"We can't ordinance everything," Alderman Byron Sparkman said. "Not having handrails on the back steps are dangerous, but we can't set an ordinance on them."

"The potential for loss of life is so much greater with a pool," Councilman Tom Carroll said.

"The ultimate goal on this ordinance is safety," Police Chief Brian Carmichael said.

"We need to do something to protect kids," Alderman Jamie Strickland said.

The proposed ordinance would be in effect within 30 days of passage and would require gate and fence regulations, distance from property line, and use of yearly permits for any pool over 12 inches deep. The decision was tabled until the April meeting, in order to give the city attorney time to review the ordinance.

The Buffalo Island Museum Committee set the grand opening of the newly renovated building for May 23. Details for the big event will be released at a later date.

Mayor Qualls reported the roof at the old ambulance service has been repaired.

"We are about 95 percent complete on cleaning up after the ice storm," Qualls said. "It is a continuous thing. We haul about 10-14 loads a day. So far we have recorded 1,761 hours of work by our firemen and more by other volunteers. FEMA was pleased with our documentation."

All limbs are to be put out for pick-up by the city's April 15 deadline. The annual citywide spring-clean up is scheduled for May 2-3.

The council approved the request by Jeff Finch for installation of a guidance system on the city's water tower. The city does not currently have guidelines for placement of equipment on the tower, and acts on each request separately.

A donation of $500 was made to Relay for Life.

"Our city copier is down," Qualls said. "We need to either buy a new one or consider leasing one. I'll try to get more details on this, so we can compare prices."

Alderman Strickland reported need for repair of streetlights north of town. He also gave the MYA February financial report.

"One of our antique street lights was knocked down, near the American Legion building," Qualls said.

Fire Chief Blankenship reported a need for a new generator for the fire department and city safe house.

"We are looking for a 20 kw generator," Blankenship said. We feel it will take one that large to meet our needs."

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, April 27, at city hall.

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