Monette Council passes ordinances, finalizes parade plans

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Monette City Council met Monday, Nov. 19, passing two ordinances, setting employee bonuses, and completing plans for the Christmas Parade.

Mayor Chub Qualls announced the members of the newly formed City Planning Commission, which include Mark Hurst, Shawn Nance, Landon Barrett, Phillip Duffel and Dick Pace.

The council passed Ordinance 2012-5 on the first reading. The ordinance regulates unsanitary and unsightly conditions within the city and sets penalties for non-compliance.

Ordinance 2012-6 also passed on the first reading, and provides for the condemnation and removal of houses, buildings, and structures constituting a nuisance. Provision is made to place a lien on the property for non-compliance.

City employee holiday bonuses were set at $1,000 for nine full time employees and Mayor Qualls. No pay increase for 2013 is being considered at this time.

Mayor Qualls reported all work has been completed at the Sports Park, and the final check for $2,408.08 had been received from the state grant. The Liberty Bank note for expenses is listed at $33,000. Plans are to winterize the park, secure entrances and lock bathrooms.

Qualls reported the work on the alley drainage problem behind Dowless Carpet and Dr. Dennis Parten's office has been completed, at a cost of $2,500 for parts. City employees did the work, with owners agreeing to share the cost.

Qualls expressed his regret that the proposed city sales tax had failed to pass.

"We need to promote and advertise the need for the tax in the future," Qualls said. "Once our people know how much it is needed, I'm sure they will be willing to help. We hope to come back in March or May and implement the new sales tax proposals."

"We are expected to receive $11,000 next year from the half cent sales tax passed for streets," Qualls said. "We will also receive $26,636 in 2014. We will be able to include this in our budget plans next year. This is going to be a great help for some much needed work on our streets."

Water line extensions on Alena Street were discussed as was need to complete loop on the north side of the city.

"We need to get this work done before the new highway goes through," Alderman Tom Carroll said.

Mayor Qualls agreed to check on easements and utility location possibilities.

The Monette Christmas Parade is set for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3.

City Beautification Committee Chairman Joyce Read reported the city has completed city decorations with the renovation of five lighted displays. Committee members have worked on decorating and lighting for weeks, along with city employees.

"Bill Benham completely restored the large snowman display that sits in front of the museum," Read said. "He did a wonderful job on refurbishing this. We have a lot of people stop by for photos during the holidays."

Residential and business Christmas lighting winners will be selected beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14.

The next council meeting will be 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at the Buffalo Island Museum, with a luncheon provided at city hall following the conclusion of the meeting.

Budget Committee members Dick Pace and Jason Stewart, along with Mayor Qualls and Treasurer Vickki Carroll, are working on the 2013 proposed budget for council consideration next month.

Mayor Qualls announced the post office is no longer a full time operation and will be open six hours a day. Representatives from the U.S. Postal Service will be at the January council meeting to discuss future plans.

CPA Tim Short will be at Monette City Hall the week of Nov. 26-30 to audit water and sewer records for 2011.

Alderman Bob Blankenship proposed that the council put a freeze on 2013 water and sewer monthly service increases and come back in 2014 to review.

"We are doing good right now but are not doing any upgrades," Alderman Philip Duffel said.

Sanitation dumpster drop off charges were increased from $16 to $35 for each emptying, due to loss of revenue for service.

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