Caraway City Council to purchase bleachers

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Caraway City Council agreed to purchase bleachers and passed two ordinances concerning budget and unsightly property condemnation at the city council meeting held Thursday, June 14.

The council voted to purchase 120 feet of angle line bleacher frames, estimated to seat 1,000 people, from Craighead County Fairgrounds at a cost of $3,500.

"Wood will be needed for placement on the frames," Mayor Barry Riley said. "We estimate that will take 210 planks, 2x10 feet. We are looking at using a $15,000 grant, which will more than pay for the frames and wooden seats."

The council approved the purchase.

The council declared an emergency and voted to pass Ordinance 2012-3 on all three readings. The ordinance will move the payment of Marsha Stevens' salary back to the General Fund, constructing the revision of this year's budget.

"We are expecting our first check next week from the new city sales tax," Riley said. "That is going to help so much."

Mayor Riley proposed passage of Ordinance 2012-4 to establish rules, regulations, and penalties for having unsightly and unsafe property. After discussion about uses of farmland inside the city limits, the council agreed to declare an emergency and pass the ordinance on the third and final reading. Need for inclusion of agricultural clause for farmland use will be added later, unless state law satisfactorily covers it.

Mayor Riley expressed concern about the current fire station and need for replacement.

"We need to repair or build a new fire station, as our old one has been damaged by water and has mold in parts of the flooring," Riley said. "A new station with three bays and classrooms would cost around $75,000 to $125,000. We can apply for a 90/10 grant to build it, using in kind labor for the city's part of the cost. We have until December to decide on the grant application. We will also need to hire a civil engineer."

The council discussed construction at the same location or south of it, and possible need for partial loan financing. Consideration was also given to building up and connecting the ambulance bay area.

"I think tearing down and replacing the current fire station will be the best idea in the long run," Riley said.

The council agreed to tear down and replace the station and consider also tearing down the ambulance building and combine bays in one unit.

After completion of the new flooring for city hall, an excess of old records was discovered.

"We checked with our auditors and found we are keeping many more records than we need to," Riley said. "We have set them aside for disposal, while keeping all necessary support records."

Records due for destruction will include all 1999 thru 2005 utility stubs from the Water and Sewer Departments, receipt books from 1992-2005, tax receipt ledgers, bank statements and customer service deposit fund ledgers, 1999-2005 General Fund bank statements, receipt books ledgers, paid bills deposit books, from the Street Department 1999-2005 ledgers, paid bill receipts, deposit books, bank statements, and receipt books. Police ticket books from 2003-2005 will also be destroyed.

The council passed Resolution 2012-3 for destruction of unnecessary records. Council members Mark Bell and Austin Zamora agreed to serve as witnesses to the destruction and burial of records.

Plans are complete for the annual Caraway July 4 picnic, midway, demolition derby and fireworks.

Councilman Mitchell Tipton inquired about the Lion's Club payment of utilities for the carnival bandstand and park area.

"We want to be fair to them about this," Tipton said.

Riley agreed to check into billing.

The Park Committee pays for the fireworks display.

The council discussed need for reduction of asphalt buildup on main street, with concerns for proper drainage. A decision was tabled until more information could be added.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 12, in city hall.

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