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Monette City Council discusses potential tax increase

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monette City Council made plans for potential city sales tax increase, reviewed cable television services, and voted to upgrade the fire truck at the regular city council meeting held Monday, April 16.

The council voted to pursue a potential percent sales tax increase to finance much needed work on the water and sewer plant, replacement of sanitation truck, and street paving. Working meetings will be held to draw up an ordinance and consider designation of revenues.

At the request of the city council, Doug Warzecha, Ritter vice president of Residential Services, was present to review cable T.V. services, viewing packages, and costs.

"We offer a basic service, consisting of 23 channels for $19.95," Warzecha said. "There is a broadcast fee of $4.33 added to that, then state and federal taxes. If someone wants the expanded package of 80 channels it is $58.00 plus the broadcast fee and taxes. We have had no change in billing or fees, and we feel that our cost is very reasonable."

"Many of our senior citizens who are on fixed incomes have been concerned about the cost of cable television," Mayor Chub Qualls said. "I can see now they can have standard stations for a reasonable cost, but specialized channels are going to be more expensive. This gives them a choice."

The council discussed plans for more street repairs this year.

Alderman Bob Blankenship reported estimates from Eagle Sand Blasting for painting the outside of the old water tower were listed at $42,000, inside sandblasting with two coats of paint at $13,850, outside spider rods replaced at $7,000, and other expenses $6,800.

"We are still looking for money available through historic preservation," Qualls said.

Eight new pens will be added to the city's animal shelter during renovation and will include slanted concrete drainage.

The council approved a donation of $500 to the Relay for Life Campaign.

The citywide yard sale will be held May 5, followed by Clean Sweep May 7-11. Pick up rates will be increased after Clean Sweep, with details listed on new water bill.

The council approved a request by Fire Chief Bob Blankenship to have the 1996 International fire truck taken to Hope, Ark., and equipped for use with a compressed air system at a cost of $48,000. Sixty-one thousand dollars in Act 833 money will be used toward total cost of transition.

"This is a 1,000 gallon tank, and the water capacity will increase two-thirds with the compressed air system," Blankenship said.

City Beautification Chairman Joyce Read reviewed plans for trimming and mulching trees, shrubs and plants at the Highway 139/18 intersection park, at a cost of $605.43.

Concrete will be poured at the entrance of the police station to make it wheelchair accessible.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, May 21, at city hall.



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