Monette Council talks proposed sales tax

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Monette Mayor Chub Qualls informed the city council at the March 25 meeting that no changes needed to be added to the city's existing planning committee ordinance, and it stands as written, even though the committee has been dormant. Newly appointed members of the Monette Planning Commission include Dick Pace, Shawn Nance, Johnny Dunigan, Bob Hurst Sr., and Landon Barrett.

James Walden, president of Urban Planning Associates of Little Rock, discussed a comprehensive planning project for the city that would include short and long-range plans. Zoning, land use, transportation, easements, advertising regulations, future subdivisions, and isolated unannexed properties were listed as potential concerns.

"Your planning would be geared toward attaining attractive growth for your city and how to maintain a good quality of life," Walden said.

Walden agreed to return to the council in April with an itemized proposal for review.

An open forum will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 15, at city hall to discuss the purposed 1-cent city sales tax request. The sales tax is slated to appear on the May 14 election ballot. The regularly scheduled council meeting will follow the open forum at 7 p.m.

"I think it is important to discuss the need for the tax before the residents have a chance to vote on it again," Alderman Shawn Nance said. "I think it failed before because of lack of proper information to the public."

"We plan to put an article about it in the paper also," Qualls said.

The council discussed a letter from the Arkansas Highway Department requesting the City of Monette assume maintenance responsibility of Highways 18 and 139 inside the city limits, after the northern bypass is completed. The council tabled the decision until the April meeting.

Plans are underway for the construction of storage units in the Water Department at city hall. RGL co-owner Billy Gathright has made measurements for the facility and Jerry Shrable will construct the cabinets.

Mayor Qualls announced he had been contacted by John O'Brian of Frolic Footwear concerning their desire to sell the former business plant. The city has the key to the building and will be showing the facility upon request. An environmental study has not yet been done at the site.

Mayor Qualls reviewed the recent city audit.

"Our tax penalties were paid on time, and auditor Tim Short is seeking a refund for us on this," Qualls said.

Alderman Phillip Duffel is reviewing current sanitation rates and recycling needs. He agreed to give a report at the April meeting.

"We currently have 28 different sanitation rate codes," Duffel said. "We need to look these over and decide what we should do to make improvements."

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