Stewart welcomed as new Monette Councilman

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monette City Council met Sept. 19 and welcomed new councilman Jason Stewart, accepted the resignation of alderman Perry Wood and appointment of alderman Phillip Duffel.

Monette Mayor Chubb Qualls and Jason Stewart.

Monette Mayor Chub Qualls administered the oath of office to new councilman Stewart, who will fill the unexpired term of office for former alderman Billy Watson. Stewart was also appointed to serve as commissioner of the city's sports facility and as council representative on the Monette Youth Association Board.

The council accepted the resignation from Councilman Perry Wood. After a brief executive session the council reconvened and voted to appoint Phillip Duffel to fill the vacancy.

The council reviewed properties on the list to be condemned, and properties which have had progress in making improvements.

The council is currently seeking acquisition of the property owned by Ella Mae Dean on Stewart Street. The city has been taking care of the property for over 10 years. The council voted to instruct City Attorney Johnny Dunigan to write to the Commissioner of State Lands about steps to obtain ownership of the property.

The council went into executive session to discuss promotions/demotions and reassignment. After reconvening the council voted to assign Delbert Clayton to the Sanitation Department and Bill Benham to the Street Department.

Mayor Qualls reported the American Legion planned to renovate or build onto their building on Drew Avenue. He recommended that the council delay talks concerning the use of the community building as a source of public rental until more information was obtained.

"We increased the rent for the American Legion to $100 and now plan to lower it to $50," Alderman Blankenship said. "We also plan to work on the inside of the building."

"I think we should still consider the community building usage," Alderman Joyce Read said. "As we need a place to hold a reunion."

"Overseeing the community building for rentals is a problem right now," Blankenship said. "If we had a committee or someone to be in charge, it would be OK. Then we could have the use of both buildings."

"It is a shame to have a building for just 20 or so people to use," Mayor Qualls said. "We invested $50,000 in that building and call it a community building. We can bring this back for discussion at next month's meeting, when a full quorum will be here."

Plans are being made to replace the sign in front of the Police Station.

Mayor Qualls reported that tuck pointing work will soon begin on the west wall of the Buffalo Island Museum.

"The finished museum wall would give us another place to have a nice mural," Qualls said.

The city is continuing work to locate a potential grant for new water meters.

The council discussed the necessity of sand blasting at treatment plant and evaluation of work needed at water tower #1 (the oldest tower).

"When we built the new water tower, we said we would evaluate the old one to see if it was cost efficient to do it," Alderman Tom Carroll said.

"We need to keep tower #1 active if at all feasible," Blankenship said.

Mayor Qualls reported on the success of the Buffalo Island Museum Quilt Show, held Sept. 17.

Brian Carmichael reported on the City's Night Out held Sept. 12 at the city park.

"Over $3,300 in donations was received, plus donations of sodas, hot dogs, chips, and cheese dip," Carmichael said. "We estimated over 800 people were in attendance."

Joyce Read reported 11 dogs had been entered in the dog show contest.

Committees were formed to work on the 2012 budget, salaries and employee handbook. Aldermen Tom Carroll, Bob Blankenship and Phillip Duffel will work on salaries. Aldermen Dick Pace, Joyce Read and Jason Stewart will work on the 2012 budget. Aldermen Carroll, Pace, and Read will work on the employee handbook.

"I think everyone needs to have input on the budget, and we may need to hold a working meeting," Read said.

Alderman Read reported on upcoming plans being made by the City Beautification Committee to work on holiday decorations.

Discussion ensued concerning need for a new police car. Plans involved either placing funds in the 2012 budget for purchase or to look at a potential lease/purchase ageement.

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

Photo by Nan Snider

Chub Qualls and Jason Stewart.

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