Caraway Senior Center receives $47,000 grant

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mayor Barry Riley announced the receipt of a $47,000 grant for work on the Caraway Senior Center at the Caraway City Council meeting held Thursday, Feb. 14.

"In order to qualify for the grant we will need to change the name on the building to Caraway Community Center," Riley said. "The city owns it, and we have received approval from St. Bernard's that runs the senior citizen program there. We will receive the award from Governor Beebe on Feb. 27. I hope we can use the senior citizen van to take a group of people with us for that special occasion."

Site Director Cleffie Gipson was present and expressed her appreciation for the work on the grant. She agreed to check and see if St. Bernard's would approve the trip using the van for transport. The van will need to leave Caraway at 6:30 a.m.

"This grant will get us a nice roof and enable us to do away with the flat roof problem," Riley said. "We will also have better lighting, plus heat and air conditioning. The city's part will only be $4,750. We owe a debt of thanks to Rick Crawford, Homer Lenderman, and Cleffie for their help in getting this grant."

Mayor Riley announced the near completion of the Caraway Rodeo Arena.

"The forms are ready for the concrete to be laid for the bleachers," Riley said. "The cost for electricity was $6,800. Lonnie Anderson did the work on the pole. We will be ready for events next month. We need to consider what to charge for rental of the arena."

Ten percent of gate proceeds was proposed. Questions concerning who pays for the port-a-potty rental for events arose. Charges for park and arena rentals will need to be consistent with any charges already implemented by the Park Commission.

Mayor Riley agreed to check with the Park Commission and other arena rentals and report back to the council next month.

Mayor Riley read a letter of resignation from police officer Justin Faulkner.

The council accepted his resignation and agreed to advertise for the open position.

"I sure hate to see him go, as he has done a great job," Riley said.

Officer application deadline is March 4. Shane Kellums will be used as a part-time officer until the position is filled. Four thousand six hundred dollars has been budgeted for part-time officer expenditures.

Fire Chief Scotty Browning reported on repairs at the fire station.

"We have the back lights on the back bay now," Browning said. "All the tanks are certified and should last for five years. B&K Construction of Jonesboro gave an estimate to fix the roof by putting on flashing and reattaching loose screws. The overhead door is due to arrive in two weeks. We will address the ceiling problems when we review roof repairs."

Shirley Redding addressed the council concerning the construction of a veteran's memorial at the city cemetery.

"I want your approval to start raising money for this memorial, because I think our veterans deserve it," Redding said. "I have checked with other small towns our size who had a successful projects to build memorials. We estimate almost 1,000 veterans come from our town and area. It may take a while for us to come up with the names before we can decide what size monument we need. We have already had some donations for this. Estimates to build a monument have run from $10,000 to $16,000, and it could be more, according to the names we need on it."

"We will have a Medal of Honor recipient on it, as well as a general major," Redding said. "We would like to have it around the flag pole, if it can be worked out."

The mayor and council were very supportive of the project and gave their full approval.

"The lots around the current flag pole have been sold," Mayor Barry Riley said. "However there is empty space available. We could move the flagpole if necessary."

"We would like to have the Arkansas flag fly on the pole with the U.S. flag if possible," Redding said. "We value your support. "

Redding proposed the use of a Veteran's Memorial Committee to work with her, consisting of Gail Ramsey, Jean Jeffers, Kim Kelton and Mark Shasteen. Redding agreed to check back with the council as work on the memorial progresses.

Riley announced a mesh fence has been place by the dirt pile at the city cemetery for hand glowers that have been displaced from graves due to high winds.

"Hopefully people can locate their flowers and place them back on the proper graves," Riley said.

The next regular council meeting is 6 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at city hall.

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