Caraway park commission re-established

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Seated on the front row and addressing the Caraway Council are three of the five new park commissioners

Mayor Barry Riley and council members passed an ordinance to re-activate the Park Commission and then approved a resolution to select five members at the regular April meeting held Thursday.

The five member commission was approved and then a drawing was held for the staggered (one to five year) terms.

Mayor Riley explained the commissioners can be reappointed at the end of the staggered terms. All terms will then go to five years.

The new commissioners, Jeremy Garland, chair; Lee Austin, Clint Wallace, Travis Emery and Caleb Waugh, were approved by the council.

A drawing was held for the length of the individuals' first term with Garland, one year; Emery, two years; Wallace, three years; Austin four years; and Waugh five years.

Chairman Garland asked the council if he or other commissioners, for some reason, were not able to fulfill their duties as a park commissioner could they be replaced before their term is up.

Mayor Riley said the council could make that decision.

Garland said they have some games scheduled at the park.

“We are trying to set a budget at $5,000,” Garland said. “We do not want to deplete all of the funds.”

He asked the council about returning two sets of bleachers to the park; dirt needed for the backfield; and moving the dumpster or putting a fence around it.

Garland also asked about blocking off the back field so people could not drive through. He said they are looking at placing a batting cage there.

Garland said they are also looking at applying for a $10,000, 50/50, grant for a scoreboard and other needs. The city could use part of their matching funds in in-kind labor. A score board cost was estimated at $6,300.

Garland asked if the city officials had any problems with inmates helping with work such as painting the fence around the park. There was no objection.

Mayor Riley said the commissioners have accomplished a lot at the park in one month.

“Thank you guys for stepping up to help get the park back up,” Councilman Roger Williams said.

The council discussed selling the property at 410 West State Street which has been deeded to the city. Councilman Bo James suggested the city have the property surveyed so anyone purchasing he property would know exactly what they are getting and where the right-of-way is located.

The council opened two uniform rental bids from Cintas and Air Mark.

Mayor Riley said the five year contract will be up in May. He also said Cintas purchased G&K and that is who the city has been under contract with.

Cintas bid was $35 a week for the four uniforms and Air Mark is $36.54 a week.

Following a discussion about some of the recent problems (losing uniforms) the council agreed to have Mayor Riley talk to representatives of Cintas and see if the city can get a shorter contract to ensure the service will continue to get better.

Employees said the problems were getting better.

Mayor Riley informed the council he had a gentleman interested in purchasing a lot of city property at the northwest corner of the pond area.

Following a discussion, the council voted to sell the lot for the same price as the other lots were sold.

“Anyone wanting to build a house, I am for helping them,” Councilman Marvin Browning said.

Caraway Chief of Police Shannon Kelems discussed with the council the purchase of equipment to allow the department to upgrade to e-tickets.

Chief Kelems said all of the neighboring departments are going with the new system. Using the three computers they have, the cost for software and equipment will be $3,074. The court system will provide the department half of the cost, $1,574.

The estimated cost will pay for a printer, computer stands and wifi box needed.

Councilman Mitchell Tipton asked if the equipment will work with the system if new computers are purchased later. Tipton asked if there is anything else they needed to go with the new system.

“Yes, we can switch it over to new computers when they are purchased,” Chief Kelems said. “We are going with what area departments are using.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the purchase.

Mayor Riley said Chief Kelems had purchased new vests for all members of the police department at a cost of $1,477. The city will be reimbursed from the Chief's Association for $1,000.

The council discussed renewing the contract for the factory building owned by the city. Mayor Riley said the contract will need to be changed from Billy Harrell's name to Ricky Harrell.

“If it is not cleaned up, I am not for continuing the contract,” Councilman James said.

The council talked about putting new windows in the building and fixing leaks, along with getting water out of the loading dock area.

Mayor Riley said he will talk to Mr. Harrell.

In other business:

*A car show and downtown events will be held Saturday, April 21, with all proceeds going to the Christmas fund.

*The youth fishing rodeo will be held from 8-11 a.m. Saturday, May 5.

*The sidewalks are ready to pour near the First Baptist Church and will be done as the weather permits.

*The leak in the roof on the fire department has been repaired and the cascade system installed.

*Scott Browning asked about a Kids at Play sign on Kelly Street as kids are riding their bicycles there often and motorists drive fast. A discussion was held on lowering the speed limit but no action was taken.

*Mayor Riley said several citations have been issued on cleanup.

*Councilman James asked if the city had any guidelines on private property fencing. Mayor Riley said no.

*Mayor Riley recognized Representative Dan Sullivan. Rep. Sullivan said there will be Craighead County Meet the Candidates at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Lake City First Baptist Church.

The Caraway City Council meets at 6 p.m. the second Thursday of each month.

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