Council appoints Planning Commission

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A city Planning Commission was appointed by the Monette City Council in a meeting Monday, Feb. 18. Council members also accepted bid for storage construction, passed two ordinances and lowered working hours for one city employee.

Aldermen approved Mayor Chub Qualls' recommendation for members of the City of Monette Planning Commission. These include Bob Hurst, Dick Pace, Shawn Nance, Landon Barrett and Johnny Dunigan. The commissioners met Feb. 14 to discuss possible grants to do a land use study for the city. A representative from Urban Planning Commission will attend the March council meeting to provide more information concerning land use study costs.

Two bids were received for storage cabinetwork in the water office and included RGL Construction for $2,450 and Wood Construction for $4,575. The council accepted the RGL Construction bid, with a request for further specifications.

Mayor Qualls opened discussion of a sales tax election. Councilmen agreed they should do a better job of getting information to the voters before the election.

The council passed Ordinance 2013-4 to provide the levy of a one percent sales use tax within the City of Monette. Ordinance 2013-5 also was passed calling for a special election in the City of Monette to levy the one percent sales and use tax.

Aldermen voted to allocate $950 to repair the transmission on the Water Department van.

The council went into executive session to discuss promotion of an employee. After a brief session, the council reconvened and voted to allow Delbert Clayton to go from a 40-hour work week to a 32-hour work week and still be considered as a full-time employee.

Council members discussed the recent heavy rainstorm and flooding inside the old city hall building, now rented by Emerson Ambulance. Discussion included possible tearing down of the building in part, leaving the ambulance bays, and possibly placing a trailer there.

Discussion also involved seeking grant money or the possible purchase of a FEMA trailer. Councilmen tabled the issue until more information can be obtained from Toby Emerson or estimated cost of demolition of the old building and replacement with a new structure or trailer.

Alderman Duffel reported that sanitation tipping fees soon will increase 50 cents a ton. He also stated the department will need a new truck in the future. He suggested two possibilities, either outsourcing the city's sanitation pickup or raising the sanitation rates to pay for a truck. Duffel agreed to come back to the council next month with more information as to cost.

Police Chief Brian Carmichael addressed the council about a proposal from the Monette Youth Association to allow them to name each field at the sports park to help with fundraising needs. A field sponsorship would be sold on a one-year term with the sponsor having the option to purchase up to three years at a time. Funds would be used to pay off the existing park loan at the bank. After the loan is paid, the funds could be used to purchase things such as batting cages and shade-providing structures and to maintain the park.

Alderman Carroll asked that the association first check with Parks and Tourism. Alderman Stewart asked that the association talk with City Attorney Johnny Dunigan to draw up some guidelines.

In other action, the council:

* voted to donate $500 to Relay For Life.

* passed Ordinance 2012-6 on a second reading. The ordinance provides for the condemnation and removal of houses, building and/or structures constituting a nuisance, the provision for a lien on the property and a penalty for non-compliance.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 18 at city hall.

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