Monette Mayor appoints commissioners
Monette Mayor Jerry “Chub” Qualls appointed commissioners at the Monday, Sept. 25, council meeting. Appointments are: Alderman Bob Blankenship, liaison between the commissioners and the mayor; Alderman Tom Carroll, water and sewer; Alderman Brandon Decker, city park and sports park; Alderman Kristian Nuckles, police and fire; Alderman Mark Rolland, street and cemetery; and Alderman Uthoff, sanitation.
Mayor Qualls said he will provide the employees the names of the commissioners.
Mayor Qualls informed the council a representative from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department had planned to attend the meeting to discuss re-routing traffic in the near future. The representative was unable to attend and Mayor Qualls said he may need to call a special meeting if it has to be done before the next meeting. Mayor Qualls said he had asked the representative if there were any more aprons to be done and he was told no.
Alderman Nuckles said he was sure the council had been told they would do 42 aprons and he did not think that many had been done.
Mayor Qualls updated the council on the financials for the cemetery. There is currently $15,000 in the checking account. There are two certificates of deposit at Centennial Bank totaling $23,000 and one at Evolve Bank for $250,000. He said Evolve Bank has 1.25 percent interest and will mature in February 2018. Centennial Bank is offering 1.40 percent if it is moved there.
Alderman Nuckles said the city should move the certificate of deposit in February when it matures. Alderman Carroll said he is in favor of keeping it local.
The council discussed splitting the salary for the cemetery worker between various departments. Alderman Nuckles said the council needs to work on it for the 2018 budget. Alderman Rolland suggested when the mowing seasons starts next year the city could hire a teenager to help the employee. Alderman Carroll said he thought it would be a good idea to hire teenagers in other areas in town to help during the busy mowing season.
Alderman Decker asked about the city mowing the sports park. He said Matt Rolland is going to retire from that soon. The Monette Youth Association still holds two work days a year. Volunteers spray and work on the fields.
Mayor Qualls reported the cemetery had collected $9,265 in donations last year. The council agreed the city should continue to send out donation request letters. The cemetery board will continue as an advisory board.
“They have been on the board long enough to see things the council may not see,” Mayor Qualls said.
Mayor Qualls had visited with David Moore, water superintendent. Moore plans to come back to work once it is approved by his doctor.
Alderman Nuckles said the new cemetery worker, Michael Berry, holds water and sewer licenses from another state and it might be good to train him in Monette's operation.
It was suggested to look into what it would take for him to get Arkansas licenses.
Recorder Carroll read drug testing information. She had checked with Occupational Health Partners located in Jonesboro. They can do a five panel or a 10 panel test. Every time a test is run, it will cost $45 per person. City employees must be notified 30 days in advance the city is implementing a drug screen program.
Following a discussion, Alderman Nuckles suggested City Attorney Johnny Dunigan write a drug screen policy for the city handbook and then give one to every city employee. Employees can sign they received the handbook and sign a form about drug testing.
The council went on to discuss Hepatitis B vaccine. It was decided the Hepatitis B vaccine will be offered to all city employees and paid for by the city.
Recorder Carroll read Ordinance 2017-1, regarding the disposition of demolished structures. The council asked her to talk to the city attorney about adding the owner of the structure will be responsible to pay to have it removed and if a violation occurs it will constitute immediate removal at the owner's cost.
Carroll then read Ordinance 2017-2, regarding the sale and discharge of fireworks and providing penalties for violations.
The council discussed allowing or not allowing the sale of fireworks in the city limits and limiting the time fireworks can be shot. Mayor Qualls said he was in favor of not allowing fireworks from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.
The board approved the first reading of the ordinance. Alderman Rolland said if the ordinance passes, the city should notify fireworks vendors who have sold fireworks in the past so they can make other arrangements.
Alderman Nuckles said the Monette Night at the Park was a success.
Alderman Decker expressed his appreciation to all of the city employees for their hard work on the Night at the Park.
“Patricia Wright and her granddaughter Callie drug a trash can all over the park picking up trash,” Alderman Nuckles said. “I want to commend them for their work."
In other business:
*Aldermen Nuckles, Decker and Uthoff asked for a copy of the building codes and the planning and zoning rules and regulations.
*Alderman Rolland asked for a copy of the rules and regulations for the cemetery. He said he would like to have a large sign made and placed at the cemetery.
*Alderman Nuckles said work needs to be done on the alley behind Larry Rolland and Jerry Way's houses.
*Alderman Decker inquired about the purchase of a welder and tools the council had approved. Mayor Qualls said Bobby Shirley had quit and the city has not made the purchase.
*Alderman Decker asked about a city credit card. Recorder Carroll said she is working with Centennial Bank to get one.
*Alderman Carroll said Garry Rowton would like to have a Monette address because he is having trouble getting packages delivered. He was annexed during the last annexation. He still has a Lake City address. He went on to say there are other areas in town that need to be looked at.
*Alderman Decker said he would like to have an update from the Monette Youth Association at the next council meeting.
*Mayor Qualls reported the Benham's water bill was paid in full. He said the Riverside School District worked with the Caraway water office to get this done.
*Fall clean sweep will be held Oct. 2-6.
*Mayor Qualls reported Robert Vandiver worked on the chipper and has it working.
*The council discussed several properties in need of mowing and clean-up.
*Alderman Decker suggested extending the culvert on Edna Mae Way due to the new school construction leaving only one way in and out to the sports park. Mayor Qualls said he knew someone who might do it for the city and he would check on it.
*Mayor Qualls said the council needs to be thinking about the 2018 budget. Commissioners can talk to employees and see what their needs are. A working meeting was scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9. Mayor Qualls said if the highway department needs to meet with the council a special meeting can be held before the working meeting.