Monette has two new aldermen
Larry Bibb and Aaron Uthoff were both sworn in as new aldermen at the Monday, May 19, regular Monette City Council meeting.
Bibb was appointed by the council last month to fill the unexpired term of Alderman Philip Duffel, who moved outside of Monette. At the beginning of the meeting Mayor Chub Qualls swore in Bibb as alderman of Ward 1 Position 2.
The council with Bibb then went into executive session to discuss the replacement of Ward 3 Position 2 Alderman Shawn Nance, who moved outside his ward. After a very brief executive session the council came back into open session where it voted unanimously to appoint Aaron Uthoff to fill the vacancy. Uthoff was then sworn in as an alderman.
The full council proceeded to discuss the possibly of replacing the roof on the old city hall or building a new building. Mayor Qualls said the building is being rented by Toby Anderson at a yearly fee to house Emerson Ambulance Service. He said he spoke to Anderson about replacing the building but Anderson felt it was not needed. Qualls went on to explain that Anderson believes the building serves its purpose and a new roof would be sufficient.
"Its a roof for a building that we are going to recoup our money on," Tom Carroll, alderman, said. "I don't see the sense in waiting. We have a bid from Mitchell Specialties for a new roof at $4,500 and a 10-year guarantee."
Carroll made the motion to accept Mitchell Specialties bid contingent if the bid is still good to replace the roof on the old city hall. the motion passed unanimously.
The Council then accepted the resignation of a cemetery board member and agreed to wait until the cemetery board makes a recommendation before filling the position.
Mayor Qualls and Alderman Dick Pace said cemetery clean-up held the first weekend in May was a success as was the city clean-up. Pace and Alderman Jason Stewart said there was some confusion about what the city was going to pick up during clean sweep and that may need to be made clear next year.
The Council then voted unanimously to allow Mayor Qualls to represent the city in the Legacy Landfill recycling truck auction coming up in June. The Mayor is authorized to purchase the city's 2008 Ford truck during the auction and apply for the grant, which will reimburse the city for the cost. Monette has agreed to continue participating in the blue bag program and did receive a grant to operate the recycling program this year. Mayor Qualls said the grant was used to purchase a 2014 truck.
In other business Mayor Qualls informed the council that the Jonesboro mayor had sent over a letter addressed to Rick Crawford from the Highway Department that stated all work on the Monette bypass has been halted due to fact the city will not agree to take on the maintenance and upkeep of Highway 18 and 139 through town.
Alderman Bob Hurst explained to the new council members that the city of Monette is not holding up the bypass. As several Arkansas Highway Department representatives have already pointed out the money has been allocated, the land has been purchased and the contract on the project has already been bid out. Hurst went on to explain the city does not have the funds or equipment to maintain a bridge or that much road. The council asked Mayor Qualls to find out why Monette had not received that letter and what Crawford's response was.
Mayor Qualls said the city has received a grant that will come in sometime in June to resurface several streets in Monette but he has received a bid that would cost considerably less do those streets. He explained he would be asking if more streets can be done at the lower cost.
Alderman Stewart said the youth association is trying to recoup some money and is holding a special Relay for Life tournament this week where all the proceeds are donated to Relay for Life. Stewart has challenged other cities to do the same. He also wanted to thank Matt Rolland for his work with the youth association and the city for its support.