Monette City Council welcomes new alderman
Bob Hurst was welcomed by the Monette City Council Monday, June 17. Newly appointed alderman Hurst was administered the oath of office before the meeting began. Hurst will replace alderman Joyce Read, who has moved to Memphis.
Mayor Chub Qualls reported the City Planning Commission met last week and agreed to hire the Urban Planning Associates to complete the earlier discussed comprehensive study of Monette. The approximate cost will be $14,000 to be paid in 12 monthly installments.
City Attorney Dunigan was asked by the council to work on an agreement between the city and Buffalo Island School District for leasing the north 10 acres, more or less, of the 17-acre city landfill property. BIC would like to construct an animal building for use in housing school animals. Discussion followed about providing a road to the property. The remaining portion of the property is currently being used to stack wood and mulch.
Guest Darrell Taylor addressed the council concerning a recent wreck his girlfriend had on Texie Avenue and Highway 139 North, in which she received a failure to yield citation. The stop sign at that intersection is on the left side of the road instead of the right. Mayor Qualls explained it is the duty of the Arkansas Highway Department to put up stop signs on state highways and not the duty of the City of Monette.
Taylor explained his girlfriend could not see the stop sign and thought she had the right of way. He sent emails to the highway department concerning the situation and a new stop sign has been placed on the right side of the road.
City attorney Johnny Dunigan agreed to file a claim to the Arkansas Claims Commission about the wreck, which may allow the driver to recoup some of the money spent for damages since she only had liability coverage on her vehicle.
Mayor Qualls reported street work had been done on Carol Street and Finch Street alley. The road had deteriorated in that area and water would not drain properly. He said the cost of repair was $800.
No more flooding has been reported at the ambulance service since the surrounding ditches have been cleaned out.
Alderman Tom Carroll requested that a paving company be contacted to review the streets needing paving and to give the city a quote for the work. The receipt of sales tax revenue is expected in September. Mayor Qualls agreed to contact paving companies and get quotes.
No report has been received as to the responsibility of maintaining state highways through the city.
The Arkansas Municipal League Conference will be held in Hot Springs from June 19-21.
Mayor Qualls reported the city continues to have problems collecting sanitation fees from some of the newer annexed areas, as required by city ordinance. Alderman Phillip Duffel explained there is no incentive for them to pay and some do not even want the service. Attorney Dunigan was asked to review the current ordinance and see what enforcement measures can be used to collect the fees and possible fines for non-compliance.
Alderman Duffel inquired about the cost for the city to run a recycling program and if the city could be subsidized to provide it. Mayor Qualls agreed to get information and cost estimates for the July meeting.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, July 15, at city hall.