Caraway to apply for grants

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Caraway City Council met on Thursday, March 10, and worked through a short agenda.

Mayor Barry Riley gave a brief overview of his recent trip to Washington, D.C., with the Arkansas Delegation.

"I was able to obtain information concerning several upcoming grants," Riley said. "We will be eligible to apply for grants helping us to purchase radio controlled water meters and replacing the roofing for our 25 Caraway Housing Association structures."

The council approved $541 to cover the increased cost of metal roofing supplies needed for the city complex project. The original pricing on the bid was with Aug. 3, 2010 prices. Labor cost for the project remains at $21,260.15.

Saturday, April 16, will be the Caraway Cemetery Clean-Up date, beginning at 8 a.m.

City Wide Clean Sweep begins Monday, April 18. The pick up list will be the same as last year.

The annual Buffalo Island Classic Car show will be held April 30.

After a brief executive session the council approved the recommendation of Police Chief Pete Hicks and hired Chris Kelems as new part-time police officer.

"Chris is already trained, is certified for radar usage, and is experienced," Hicks said. "He will be a great asset to our department."

Kelems will be eligible to work up to 39 hours per week, at the part-time rate of $8 per hour.

Mayor Riley reviewed potential shortages in revenue due to decrease in the census population.

"We don't know how this will affect us yet, but we would do good to cut back expenses and try to sell off any unused vehicles and equipment," Riley said. "We have a lot of miscellaneous things we can let go of, such as old generators, a Ditch Witch, and dump truck."

The council set a reserved amount for the Nissan truck of $250, with $2,500 reserve price for the dump truck, $3,000 for the Ditch Witch and accompanying trailer at $500. Bids will be negotiable and will be opened at the next council meeting, April 14, at 6 p.m.

Discussion was held about the feasibility of placing caution lights at both Riverside School entrances. No decision was made.

The council discussed the increasing problem of firemen not showing interest in department training meetings or attending fires when called. The city pays LOFTE retirement on each fireman at $90 per month.

"We need all the help from volunteers in the city that we can get," Fire Chief Bo James said. "Attendance is becoming a problem, for one reason or the other. It is important that the city stand behind us in this process, as it affects everyone in town. Low attendance and response causes a loss of morale to those who do their part."

The council will study the situation and take appropriate action to insure that adequate fire coverage is provided.

"Families come first, but fire meetings are important also," James said. "The original agreement signed by each fireman was that they would attend meetings and respond to fires calls. "

"Sixteen hours of training are required each year for firemen and 24 hours of training for EMTs," Riley said.

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