The Monette city council met on Monday, July 15, and discussed road improvements, the recycling program and state highway maintenance contracts.
"I talked to BIC Superintendent Gaylon Taylor about the school using a portion of our old city dump for their animal project," Monette Mayor Chub Qualls said at the city council meeting held July 15. "He wants to make sure the property meets EPA clearance. We need to check and see if a 3' dirt overlay was placed over the dump after we quit using it. They will also need at least a 2" water line to the property and an access road south from the school. He will be talking to the school board soon about the potential use of the property."
The council also discussed paving Edna Mae Way, North and South Reeves Streets and the south road in the cemetery. Two bids were received from Atlas Asphalt, Inc. to pave Edna Mae Way. One bid for $23,000 included paving the entire street consisting of 735'x18'. The second bid of $16,200 would include the portion to the end of the chat, totaling 525'x18'. No decisions were made on paving roads of providing access road to the city dump.
The council discussed enforcement of the city Sanitation Ordinance requiring all city residents to pay a sanitation fee.
"The ordinance is in place now, and all we have to do is enforce it," Qualls said.
The council discussed the cost of the current blue bag program and the truck used for transporting collectables to the recycling center near Lake City.
"We are next in line to receive a truck this fall if we continue to participate in the program," Qualls said. "We can keep our old truck if we do or don't participate. Hopefully, we can get a new one.
A report was given on the progress of the Planning Commission.
"Commissioner Landon Barrett has agreed to attend classes in Paragould to become a certified building inspector," Mayor Qualls said. "David Moore is willing to write a building permit, but we need someone to help with the codes and make the inspections while the work is being done."
The council discussed the feasibility of having a part time building inspector, with the salary based on permit inspections.
"We will have to create a position before we can pay someone to do it," Councilman Tommy Carroll said.
"We will have to have an inspector and a policy in place before we start," Councilman Jason Stewart said.
"We do need an inspector, but right now we are about a year out on this project, which will give us time to give it some thought," Councilman Shawn Nance said.
The council asked Mayor Qualls to speak to Barrett about paying his own fees for the training; with hopes some reimbursement could be offered after the Planning Commission completes plans for the building code regulations.
Mayor Qualls distributed a list of 911 calls received by emergency services in Jonesboro from Monette residents. The service has received 818 calls in 2013, with 926 in 2012.
Several councilmen expressed concern about frequent delays in notifications to Monette fire and police units after city residents have called 911. Efforts are being made to improve communications.
Mayor Qualls read a letter from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department concerning the upcoming construction of the Highway 18 bypass scheduled to begin late in 2014. The department requested the City of Monette draft an ordinance to accept the maintenance of the portions of Highway 18 and Highway 139, inside the city and outside of the bypass.
"The cities of Bono and Brookland are not required to maintain their old highways inside the city, after their bypasses were built," Qualls said. "I don't see why we should do it if other cities have not had to. This would be very expensive and would include the upkeep of one bridge."
The council was in agreement with Qualls not to sign the agreement at this time.
"The Monette Youth Association is considering paying $5,000 against the park's loan this year," Stewart said. "They will be meeting again soon to finalize plans."
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, August 19, at city hall.