Flood plain maps reviewed

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Monette City Council reviewed new flood plain maps and flood insurance at the regular council meeting held Monday, Oct. 25.

Craighead County Environmental Specialist George Johnson addressed the council concerning flood plain maps.

"We got our letter to review the maps on Aug. 23," Johnson said. "We have 90 days to review it, and then we enter the comment period on Nov. 23. We have six months to pass the resolution to accept the map. The levee has never been certified, but we came out so well not having to have flood insurance. Monette and the eastern St. Francis River levee is still O.K. The flood plain for the city of Monette will remain the same as before.

"If you see someone building in the flood plain, please tell them to get a flood elevation study done and get a flood elevation certificate first," Johnson said. "Regulations will get tougher as time progresses."

"Our original scare was that we would have flood insurance imposed on us," Monette Mayor Chub Qualls said. "It is a relief that the city will remain the same as before."

Alderman Billy Watson presented Monette Youth Association financial reports, which included sign, brick, and general ledgers.

Mayor Qualls reviewed the status of the cities emergency warning sirens.

"We have been monkeying with this thing for over a year now, and we need to get them fixed," Alderman Bob Blankenship said.

Alderman Perry Wood offered the use of his commercial lift equipment to help with placement and activation of the sirens.

The bid of $17,500 for the sewer skimmer project has been accepted and is scheduled to begin fabrication this month.

Gene Vance will begin work soon on construction of the concession stand at the ballpark. His bid of $144,500 will include installation of the proposed sewage grinder.

Alderman Tom Carroll agreed to dig out excess wiring and move the existing building out of the way for the new construction.

Alderman Wood announced that the new Farmers Market would be open for business by Thanksgiving.

Mayor Qualls announced that repair of the Buffalo Island Museum roof would begin on Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Delinquent sanitation bills were discussed.

"We started with 86 delinquent bills, and all but 21 have been paid.

"This is better than what it was 45 days ago, when we started," Alderman Dick Pace said.

The council passed Ordinance 2010-5 on the first reading, setting Sanitation service guidelines for collection of garbage and refuse, inspections, fees, and penalties.

Mayor Qualls announced the Budget Planning Committee will begin work on Monday, Nov. 1, and requested all commissioners have input into their department budgets.

The Monette Christmas Parade is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 6.

City Beautification Chairman Joyce Read announced that the committee would begin re-wrapping hanging decorations next week.

"We can refurnish them for half what it costs to purchase new ones," Read said. "We make improvements wherever we can in the effort to keep the city looking good not only for the holidays but all year around. Chub and Linda Qualls were responsible for getting five shrubs replaced at our welcome sign, and moved two of the larger ones. Our committee will be meeting soon to finalize plans for Christmas decorating."

City employee bonuses were set at $500 for each of the nine full time employees and $250 for the one part-time employee. Bonuses will be distributed the week of Thanksgiving.

"I think they deserve a bonus," Wood said. "Monette operates more efficiently with less employees than any other city around us. The city is doing well this year and I'm for them getting a bonus."

The council discussed purchasing a new police car, and to apply for grants to offset estimated expenses of $25,000 to $26,000. Plans are to place the cost of the new car in the 2011 budget, if feasible.

The council passed Resolution 2010-1 to re-dedicate the current 1.8 millage rate for real and personal taxes.

Police Chief Bob Blankenship reviewed plans to improve the cities ISO fire rating to a class 4, with the upgrade of equipment and fireplugs.

"We need a tanker truck," Blankenship said. "We can build it ourselves for $30 to $40 thousand dollars. We would finance it with the Act 833 funds we receive, and donations. Before we spend the money we will go before the Black Oak and Monette councils for approval. We are in good shape, and are looking to the future. We have great firemen.

"Our Fire Department has invited the neighboring Fire Departments in Lake City, Black Oak, Caraway, Manila and Leachville, to a cook-out on November 9 to show our appreciation for coming to our rescue when the Farmers Market building burnt.

The council discussed the city's sewer lift station and generator hook-ups.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Nov. 29, at city hall.

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