Bids were opened for the cemetery lawn maintenance contract when the Caraway City Council met Thursday, March 11. Mayor Barry Riley opened the 17 bids ranging from $13,200 to $3,900 a month.
"The cemetery property is almost six acres," Riley said. "We are very particular how our cemetery looks and like it to be mowed, trimmed and well maintained. The mowing season is approximately six months, or 24 weeks."
"I would like to see someone from Caraway do the job," Councilman Diane Powell said. "They will be close enough to keep it watched and do what is needed."
The council awarded the mowing contract to Jerry Gant of Caraway for $650 per month, or a total of $3,900 for the season.
Mayor Riley announced the city is awaiting the receipt of test results from Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) on the former Basler Electric Company property, before continuing with future site development.
The council voted to replace the heating unit at city hall for a total cost of $3,498.
Fees to respond to calls for out of city residents were set at $275 per incident, as proposed by the Caraway Fire Department. The charge will not apply to grass fires and will be discressionary as in the past.
The fee charge passed 4-0 with Fire Chief Bo James abstaining from voting. The city will draft an ordinance to that effect.
Riley reviewed the condition of the roof at the Fire Department building and damage done to the ceiling because of leaks. After a brief discussion the council voted 4-0 to replace the roof. The metal roof cost is estimated at $8,600, with work done by Barretts Construction. Funds from insurance claims and city budget funds will be used to make repairs to the inside of the building.
Mark Shasteen was appointed to the Park Commission to fill the position left by outgoing member Larry Mason.
"Trash barrels are being left out on the street after pick-up," Powell said.
"Give us a month or two and we will take care of this problem," Riley said.
Alderman James proposed the increase in hours for city hall maintenance to four hours a week instead of two. The council voted to approve four hours a week at minimum wage.
The council discussed need for pothole repair on Highway 158, near city hall. A letter will be sent to the Arkansas Highway Department requesting repair.
Alderman James announced the testing of the city's weather siren scheduled for Friday, March 12.
"The second siren is not hooked up yet," Riley said. "We will talk to Craighead Electric as to where the pole needs to be placed."
Reports will be sent of city streetlights that are currently out.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 6 p.m. Thursday, April 8, at city hall.