Monette Council bans sale of fireworks in city limits

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Monette City Council members passed Ordinance 2017-2, banning the sale of fireworks in the city limits, at the Oct. 23 meeting.

The unanimous vote came after a lengthy discussion of the pros and cons of the ban. It came down to a safety issue for the citizens of Monette.

Councilman Kristian Nuckles said there are plenty places in the area outside of the city limits for the vendors to set up.

“I hate to limit it since we have never had a problem, but it is better to be on the safe side,” Councilman Bob Blankenship said.

In addition to the banning of the sale of fireworks, the shooting of fireworks will not be allowed in the city limits between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. The ordinance includes fines for selling fireworks in the city limits or violations of shooting fireworks between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Fine amounts are $50 first offense, $100 second offense and $250 for a third offense.

Mayor Jerry “Chub” Qualls said they are still working on the drug testing policy, and Ordinance 2017-1, a clean-up ordinance. He also informed the council David Moore, water superintendent, is back at work on light duty and hopes to be released by the doctor next month.

The proposed 2018 budget was discussed.

Councilman Blankenship said department heads had been asked for a list of needs to see if the items could be worked into the budget.

He said the city will need a larger mower for all of the ditches and roadways they will be responsible for once the highway work is completed.

Councilman Tom Carroll said the highway department uses contractors.

“Maybe we should look at using contractors before we make a purchase,” Carroll said.

Other issues discussed included updating the sprayer for mosquitoes, the state of the chipper truck, and part-time help in the office.

“We have two ladies in the office, if one gets sick, we do not have anyone,” Councilman Blankenship said. “My suggestion is to cross train Dana (water office) in Vickki's recorder/treasurer's office and hire someone to train in the water office.”

The council discussed repair needs of the police department building, which is owned by the county. Other possible locations were discussed.

It was decided to have the county judge meet with city officials to look at the building and discuss needed renovations.

The proposed budget was tabled for review at a working meeting set for 6 p.m. Nov. 6. The proposed budget will be voted on at the regular November meeting.

Improvements of the park, and other lists were reviewed to be considered in the proposed budget.

Councilman Nuckles said tools are needed now.

Councilman Mark Rolland said he did not have a problem purchasing the tools but workers need to take the responsibility for keeping up with them.

Mayor Qualls updated the council on the sewer plant project saying it is 85 percent done. He said it looks good and encouraged the council to view the work.

The council discussed taking bids to sell a police car but no action was taken.

The council voted on the 1.8 millage renewal. The millage has to be approved each year by the city council.

Council voted to give Christmas bonuses. After a discussion, the full time employees bonus was increased from $500 (for the last eight years) to $550. The two part-time workers will receive $275 and the part-time employee who has only worked a short time will receive $150.

Treasurer Carroll said the bonuses will be given out around Thanksgiving.

The council was asked about removing the north and south stop signs at the four-way stop coming out from the gymnasium. The street coming out from the gymnasium is not being used due to construction of the new high school.

Police Officer Kevin Bond said the speed limit is 15 MPH in the area.

The council decided for safety the stop signs need to be left in place.

Mayor Qualls informed the council he had received a statement from the Municipal League for services. He said the city paid $1,916.25 last year.

"We have now paid $3,000 and they want $4,127 more," he said.

He explained the Municipal League is representing the city in the Justice Network suit.

“It looks like we will have to pay it,” Mayor Qualls said.

“It is probably less than if we had to pay an outside attorney to represent us,” Councilman Carroll said.

Carroll said he had received complaints of motorists running the stop sign at Fisher and Williams.

Councilman Nuckles asked if the city has received the deed from John Deere for the parking lot on Edmonds Street.

Mayor said the city has not received the deed.

Councilman Brandon Decker was not able to be at the meeting but Councilman Nuckles said he had asked about gate fees at the ball park. He suggested season passes for family members. For instance if one child signed up to play ball, the family would receive one season pass; if two children sign up, parents would get two season passes.

Treasurer Carroll said a percentage of the gate money is set aside for park maintenance. She said she will get out the agreement for the council to review.

Councilman Carroll said he liked the benefit season passes will give to the local citizens.

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