Caraway Council discusses Fourth of July celebration

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Caraway Council member Mitchell Tipton, Mayor Barry Riley, and council members Roger Williams and Mark Bell.

Caraway will continue in the tradition of fireworks as the grand finale at this year's Fourth of July Celebration. The decision was made at the April 9 city council meeting.

Councilman Roger Williams said a group of volunteers are working on activities for the Fourth of July. He said they are looking at at hosting a "Mr. Mess Caraway pageant," singing, drawings, games and other activities. The day will kick off with a parade.

"We have contacted several carnivals and they have not returned our calls," Williams said. "It looks like we will not have a carnival again this year. All of the profit will go to Christmas baskets. If we let the Fourth of July celebration die, it will never come back."

Several other activities were discussed for the Independence Day celebration.

Williams said they are open to all ideas to make it a family, fun day.

Guest Roger Bell suggested they look into a four-wheeler rodeo which seems to be popular.

Mayor Barry Riley said he would look into the liability issues. Riley said $3,500 was spent on fireworks last year.

"I think it was a good show for the money last year," Williams said.

"If we can afford it I would like to see us continue with it," Councilman Mark Bell said.

"It is a Caraway tradition and I hate to lose it," Councilman Marvin Browning said.

Councilman Mitchell Tipton asked where the money to pay for the fireworks will come from.

Mayor Riley said last year it came from the one cent sales tax.

The council voted 4-2, with Tipton and Bo James voting no, to purchase $3,500 for fireworks using funds from the one cent sales tax. Voting yes were John Boatman, Browning, Bell and Williams.

Roger Bell, manager of the rodeo arena, asked why the utilities at the arena were so high when they have not been used.

Mayor Riley said he would check into it.

East Arkansas Planning Committee has completed their inspection of the work done at the town hall through a grant. The roof was repaired, the floor was refinished, new ceiling tiles, insulation was put in and new heating and air conditioning units were installed.

Mayor Riley announced the Clean Sweep will be held Monday, April 20. Residents need to have the items to be picked up at curbside.

The annual youth fishing rodeo has been set for 8 a.m. May 2.

A bull riding event will be held at the Caraway Rodeo arena on Friday, May 15, at 7 p.m.

Resident Jerry Murphy asked about debris and limbs that needed to be picked up around town.

Mayor Riley said the city employees have been busy mowing, getting the ball parks ready and working around the veteran's monument. He also said the city workers cannot go on private property but he will check on areas mentioned.

The council discussed serving property owners notices to clean up their property and if they do not comply start the process to have the city workers clean it up and put a lien on the property.

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