Co-op not billed for water usage

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monette city council met in special session March 6 to discuss potential charges for water usage incurred by the fire department during the Monette Co-Op fire on Nov.19, 2011.

Monette Co-Op Manager Sam Wilson and board member Dennis Gathright were present for discussion of the matter.

"There is a misunderstanding concerning the fire at the co-op," Mayor Chub Qualls said. "Our firemen felt like the fire could have been prevented. Bob (Blankenship, fire chief) wanted to meet right after the fire, but we felt the co-op was too busy with ginning at that time. I had surgery after that, and there seemed to be no good time to do it."

"We pumped 80 to 90 thousand gallons of water," Blankenship said. "We have talked to the gin in the past to make changes, so the threat of fire would not be so great. The gin made some changes and continues to improve now, so the problem should be eliminated. Piggy backing the water is not necessary."

"We have a new person to get rid of our trash on a regular basis now," Wilson said. "In the fall we will put a sprinkler system over the conveyor and hope those two efforts will solve the problem. The trash pile is in a bad spot, between the gin and the seed house, but there is no place to move it. We appreciate the fire department for their job, and we don't want to be a bad neighbor. Any suggestions that the fire department or city has will be listened to."

"I think this meeting will settle the problem," Qualls said.

The council agreed not to bill the co-op for water used during the extinguishing of the fire.

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