Monette Council discusses 2014 budget
Monette Mayor Chub Qualls presented the Monette City Council with the city's proposed 2014 budget at its regular meeting Monday, Nov. 18.
Qualls said that Alderman Dick Pace and Monette Recorder/Treasurer Vickki Carroll had worked on the budget, which includes a 50 cent per hour raise for all city employees except Dana McKuin. Alderman Pace proposed giving McKuin a $1.00 per hour raise. Pace went on to say the 2014 budget includes a five percent increase in salary for the Mayor and the city recorder/treasurer. Councilmember Jason Stewart said the employees deserve the proposed raises. Mayor Qualls asked the council to review the proposed 2014 budget and come back in December with suggestions and passage.
Alderman Stewart also asked Mayor Qualls about the water loop around town that has been discussed in the past and asked if the city was going to try and complete that project before the Highway 18 bypass project finishes construction. City Recorder Carroll said it was included in the original plans when the new water tower was built. The Council will discuss the project further at its next council meeting.
Mayor Qualls informed aldermen that the $30,000 in General Improvement Funds from the state has been issued and the items ordered are starting to be delivered. He explained that the money does not directly go to the city but is taken care of through the Rural Development officer. Statements for the items ordered go directly to Rural Development and they pay the invoices from the grant funds. Mayor Qualls said the new backhoe was delivered Friday, Nov. 15, and the city's new weedeater was delivered Nov. 18. He said that once the fence at the park is finished the grant will be completed.
In other business Mayor Qualls said that Landon Barrett has purchased seven one-acre lots on Edna Mae Way and is planning on building affordable housing in $80,000 to $100,000 range. He went on to explain that the one acre lots will be divided to be half acre lots per house. Mayor Qualls asked the council to start thinking about adding water and sewer to that area. The Council read and passed Resolution 2013-2 reaffirming the city's 1.8 millage.
The Council also agreed to give full time city employees a $500 Christmas bonus. Mayor Qualls said that Barbra Suber, chairman of the Beautification Committee, and her volunteers have done a great job decorating the town for Christmas. He said all the city's Christmas lights will be on by Thanksgiving.
This year's Monette Christmas Parade will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Mayor Qualls said that Kaye Staggs has organized the parade every year for several years but this year will be her last. In honor of her service to the community, Mayor Qualls named Staggs the Grand Marshall of this year's Christmas Parade. Council members will have to think about finding someone else to organize next year's parade.
The annual City Christmas Party was set for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at the Community Center. The Council will hold its December meeting prior to the party at 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at City Hall.