Caraway Council searching for ways to increase revenue

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Caraway city council met Thursday June 9, and discussed financial concern and possible solutions.

Mayor Barry Riley proposed the council consider adoption of a one-cent sales tax in order to obtain revenue to replace water lines and repair streets.

"There has been discussion on increasing rates on water and sewer services in order to obtain money to work on the water lines," Mayor Barry Riley said. "If taxes are the answer, we need to get started with the process, as we have a lot of work that needs doing, and no money to do it with. We have serious financial concerns and have to come up with something or five months down the road we are going to be broke."

"I'm not for a tax increase, as we already have the highest millage rate in Craighead County," Alderman Bo James said.

"We wouldn't be able to pass an increase right now with the economy so bad," said Alderman Austin Zamora.

"We have to put our heads together and cut corners," James said. "We can't get in a bind financially, or in a hole we can't dig out of. Our water system is in bad need of money to fix it. We are not rich and cannot replace miles of pipe. Before we start talking about lay-offs lets try to cut expenses."

"We may have to call a public meeting, to get some input about solutions," said Alderman Mitchell Tipton.

The council agreed to pursue solutions to the increasing imbalance of city revenues verses expenses.

"Basler Electric Is about through with their clean-up," Mayor Barry Riley said. "It will be good to get that property released to the city, so we can rent it out and bring in some revenue."

Police Department salaries discussion is temporarily on hold until committee reports can be reviewed.

The council discussed condemning properties that do not comply with city ordinances, as well as leaving vehicles parked on the side of streets.

"It won't do us any good to vote on something if there is never enforcement to see to it that it gets done." James said. "This is getting old. It needs to be done."

"Our policemen will take care of the notification," Riley said. "We have had two houses burn this month," Riley said. "If they are not cleaned up then we can do that, and put a lien on the property."

After a brief discussion of questionable properties the council passed Resolution 2011-2 to condemn property on 220 W. State Street. Resolution 2011-3 was passed condemning property on 308 E. Missouri Street.

The council voted to hire John Boatman to work for the Water Department at $12 per hour.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 6 p.m. Thursday, July 14, at city hall.

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