Monette Council discusses street improvements

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Street improvements, an agreement with Buffalo Island School District and new police equipment topped the agenda at this month's Monette City Council Meeting held Monday, Aug. 19.

The Monette City Council reviews a map of the city landfill property during its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 19. (Town Crier photo/Christie Zolman)

The Council approved the minutes from its prior meeting and the financial statements before discussing the new half cent sales tax revenue for street improvements Monette has started receiving.

"This is the Municipal Four Lane Highway Construction monies that were supposed to start coming in this September but we have already received $1,061.98 from it," Monette Mayor Chub Qualls said. "We will receive theses funds every month based on our population. This is money we didn't plan on having but will hopefully continue coming in for a long time so we can make some improvements."

Council member Dick Pace asked why the fund was called the Municipal Four Lane Highway Construction and if the money would cease coming in when the new four lane was completed. Mayor Qualls said he did not think the money would cease once the project was completed and said he would find out why it is named the way it is. He went on to say that the state had $13 million dollars available for local communities to use for street improvements but by the time he was notified of these funds they were depleted.

"The $13 million was to be used by local communities for street repaving and resurfacing," Mayor Qualls said. "Although we missed the funds this year, we did get an estimate for Highway 18 past the grave yard and other streets. We got everything filled out and in for January of next year. Hopefully we will get some of those funds to do much needed street improvements."

The Council also discussed in length a letter from city attorney Johnny Dunigan to Buffalo Island School District concerning the use of 10 acres more or less of the city's 13.5 acre city landfill property. Mayor Qualls explained the school would like to put a road in on the north side of the property as well as a barn and livestock. The land would be used for pasture land, test crops and other educational purpose. City recorder Vickki Carroll read the letter to the council.

"This is a letter not a resolution or an ordinance so there is nothing for us to vote on tonight," Council member Tom Carroll said. "This is a letter from our lawyer to the school. We need more than that but we can hash out the wording to make sure everything is the way we want it before we have a resolution or ordinance written."

Council member Dick Pace asked that several words be clarified in the letter and that private, personal and non-educational use be prohibited. Once the clarifications were made, the council agreed to hold a special meeting prior to next month's regular BIC school board meeting to approve a resolution for school use of the property. The resolution would then go before the school board for its approval.

In other business Monette Police officer Kevin Bond asked the council to approve the purchase of a real time data system called RMD from Relativity, Inc. Bond gave several examples of important information coming in too late from 911 dispatchers. With the new RMD system in all three Monette patrol vehicles, officers will get real time data as it is happening. Bond explained this would allow police officers and even the fire department to respond quicker to emergencies. The council agreed to purchase the system if the current equipment fund for the police department would allow it but if the funds were not available the council agreed to build the purchase into next year's police budget.

Mayor Qualls reported improvements have been made to the museum and old barber shop building both at little to no cost to the city. He and council member Bob Hurst said work with the Urban Planning Commission is going well. Hurst said the Monette Planning commission would look at zoning for single family, multi family and commercial properties next month.

Mayor Qualls also said there has been some interest in city forming an advisory committee for landlords of rental property. The council will discuss the need of an advisory committee for landlords at next month's meeting.

Councilman Carroll brought before the council a complaint from a citizen that there are too many skunks in town. Carroll asked what could be done about eradicating the skunks. Mayor Qualls said the city will buy a new trap and begin getting rid of the skunks. He also reminded council member that A Night Out at The Park will be held from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Monette City Park. All citizens are welcome to attend.

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