Monette Council reviews revenue, accepts resignation

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Monette City Council reviewed city revenue and expenses, new equipment and plans for a handbook and construction of a park bathroom at the council meeting held Monday, June 22.

Mayor Chub Qualls reported the money used to purchase a generator would be put back into the Act 833 Fire Fund after it is received from FEMA.

Alderman Bob Blankenship pointed out Water and Sewer Department expenses were more than the income and inquired about the need for spending cuts. Mayor Qualls said some spending was incurred to repair items used during the ice storm. Councilman Tom Carroll pointed out the revenue would increase during the summer months.

The council discussed separation of water and sewer income and expenditures for better bookkeeping records.

Mayor Qualls reported a new fire hydrant had been installed at the Kiech Shauver Gin and the city had been reimbursed for half the cost. Plans are to complete the connection of the city's other new water lines. Some of the installation can be done by city employees while other sections will need to be contracted.

Police Chief Brian Carmichael sent 12 letters to residents last month regarding inoperable vehicles on their property. All 12 people have complied with the ordinance regarding vehicles. Six more letters have since been sent.

Mayor Qualls reported several properties on North Stewart have been mowed in the past by the city. Plans are to place a lien on the properties to help recoup some of the expenses incurred.

The new Dodge police car has arrived and is in use. Lights and console additions have been made at a cost of $3,353 and the car is fully operational. New video cameras for police cars are still needed, as the current ones are undependable. The cost of each camera is listed at $5,100 each.

Plans are to develop an employee handbook with policies for each department.

The appraisal for the former Tool Tech property is listed at $18,000. Mayor Qualls reported a business has expressed interest in the property.

Alderman Byron Sparkman read his letter of resignation to the council and then left the meeting. The council accepted the resignation effective immediately. A discussion followed about the procedure to appoint a new councilman to fill the vacancy. No decision was made.

Installation of security lights were discussed for the newly annexed property. Lights are to be spaced like street lights, similar to the way Leachville has placed its lights. No cost for installation will be incurred but the city will pay a monthly fee for usage. Entergy will also be painting the existing street lights in Monette in the fall.

Mayor Qualls reported Jeff Finch and Scott Colbert will be paying for the electrical service on the radar at the water tower that will service their equipment. Revenue collected will go to the Sports Park Fund.

Four new lights have been ordered for placement at the tennis courts.

A 50 cent per hour raise was given to all full time city employees and elected officials excluding aldermen. The issue of raises will be addressed again in December 2010.

The Monette Youth Association is looking into having bathrooms designed for the Sports Park. Plans are to build a concession stand bathroom as originally planned.

Alderman Bob Blankenship said the idea for a community center has fallen through at this time but there was suggestion the General Improvement Fund money be used for other projects. Mayor Qualls agreed to look into the possibility.

Alderman Blankenship requested the wiring at the fire station be rewired, as it is not sufficient to run the new generator. Alderman Carroll agreed to look at the building's wiring and report back to the council.

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

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