Monette Council reviews water cut off policy

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Monette City Council met Monday, April 18, and reviewed the Water Department policy on delinquent accounts.

Water Superintendent David Moore addressed the council concerning the increasing difficulty of posting cut-off notices, making cut-offs and then doing re-connections in such a short time frame.

"It takes us four hours to hang notices on doors, four hours to do cut offs and then four hours to hook them back up," Moore said. "Since August 2010 there have been no special arrangements allowed to pay bills late, and no exceptions. This is creating a problem. Sometimes there are more urgent things that interfere with our work. This is a hardship on Dana (McKuin) and everyone else and is a problem to enforce.

"It is hard to get to many old meter valves. Anything that is in the ground is hard to dig out, and they have to be replaced under pressure. We had 80 notices last month. We shut them off, then they pay and we go right back out to turn them on. Emergencies happen and it takes us away."

The council discussed time management and organization.

"You will have to prioritize what is most important," Alderman Dick Pace said.

"Shut offs are often low on our list," Moore said.

"You and Jerry (Lamar) have routines and can usually get it done," Alderman Bob Blankenship said. "We may have to look at computerized water meters in the future, if this continues to be a problem."

"If an avoidable emergency happens, you can stop hanging out notices," Alderman Tom Carroll said.

"Dana has a big responsibility too, just like you and Jerry have," Mayor Chub Qualls said.

The council encouraged Moore and Lamar to continue meeting the deadlines for posting, cut-offs and re-connects and if emergencies arose to check with the mayor for recommendations.

Brian Carmichael reported the new concession stand at the Sports Complex is running smoothly. Drainage in the women's bathroom is being corrected, and electrical unit will be located on the outside until changes can be made at the end of the season.

Discussion on employee pay scale has been tabled until the May meeting.

Leasing of the Craighead County Sheriff's Department sub station for use as Monette Police Department was discussed. Renovation cost is estimated to be less than $1,000. The decision to acquire the building was tabled until information on lease agreement could be obtained.

The annual Monette yard sale was set for April 30, and the first week in May was designated clean sweep week. After clean sweep there will be a charge for any pick up except limbs.

Fire Chief Bob Blankenship reported that no bids had been received for the 1972 fire truck, and a mutual aid agreement had been made with the Vandale, Ark., Fire Department to allow them the use of the truck. Should Monette ever need the truck back they will return it.

The Fire Department has purchased a new truck for use on brush and levee fires, with Act 833 money. Labor was donated to upgrade the vehicle.

The council voted to pay $15 yearly Arkansas State Firefighters Association memberships for the city's 23 firemen.

The council commended the work done by Monette volunteer firemen.

"We have a fire department second to none," Pace said. "As well as police officers. They all do an excellent job."

The city sanitation truck has been overhauled for $6,200 and is currently in good shape.

Homes on Nance and Virginia Streets are being considered for condemnation. Owners have been notified. The council will finalize plans during the May meeting.

The council voted to donate $500 for the upcoming Relay for Life.

Old metal light poles on Main Street are scheduled for refinishing.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, May 16, at city hall.

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