Monette Council talks 911 update
Monette councilmen discussed potential changes in street addresses for 911 purposes during the council meeting Monday, Oct. 22.
“I was contacted by Jan Biggers, with 911 services in Jonesboro, about the need to bring physical addresses up to date after we added the loop around the city,” city secretary Dana McKuin said. “Some concerns are with the old Highway 18 that went through town, merging with Drew Avenue, and county roads running into city streets.”
McKuin displayed a large map of the city provided by 911 services showing several problem areas.
“In order for emergency services dispatchers to locate people when they call in for help, they need to be able to find them quickly,” Monette Mayor Chub Qualls said. “Right now, some streets are not consistently named or numbered.”
The old Highway 18 ran through the city from east to west and many residents have Highway 18 physical addresses, however the downtown addresses are listed as East or West Drew Avenue. At the same time physical addresses around the new northern loop have a different set of Highway 18 physical addresses.
The council discussed renaming the entire stretch of pavement inside the loop to Drew Avenue with consistent numbering. Other inconsistencies are for county roads west and north of town, which include 510, 533, 541, 514 and Highway 139. County roads south of town include 508, 506, 543, and 549. Other roads will be involved east of town.
County Road 541 enters the city from the north, then runs into Reeves Street and back into County Road 543 on the south side of the city. Several other streets do the same thing, which is causing problems for 911 dispatchers.
Some residents on the west of Monette currently have Lake City mailing addresses and residents east of the city have Leachville mailing addresses. The inconsistencies with town locations and street locations are causing problems when dispatchers trying to locate persons calling for help.
“It is something we need to take seriously,” Qualls said. “It might be troublesome at first for many needing to change house numbers and street names, but something has to be worked out. My concerns are about making sure people get help when they need it. We need to do it right the first time, instead of having to change it again and again.”
The council tabled their decision for changes until they could obtain more information, and call a special meeting if necessary.
In other business, the council approved Resolution 2018-2, setting the tax millage rate at 1.8 on all real estate property and personal property.
The council approved Sue Steed to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Lester Mullen on the Monette Housing Authority board of directors. This will be a five-year appointment for Steed.
Alderman Bob Blankenship announced the City Beautification Committee is hosting a Christmas Tour of Homes from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 1 and are completing plans to hold a Christmas Festival starting at 1 p.m. Dec. 8. Downtown games, crafts, blow-ups, band music, and food vendors will be downtown all afternoon, finishing the event with a Christmas Parade at 6 p.m. on Drew Avenue.
Blankenship also said city employee Allen Read has left the city and is now employed by the Monette Housing Authority.
Alderman Blankenship reviewed a written report from Sewer Department Supervisor Jerry Lamar concerning the new sewer plant.
“Jerry is satisfied with the sewer operation now,” Blankenship said. “It is beginning to do what it was designed to do, which is pleasing to all of us.”
The council approved a $550 Christmas bonus for full-time employees and $275 for part-time workers.
Alderman Brandon Decker expressed his concerns about the appearance of Cars and More Auto Sales on E. Drew Avenue, saying the sales looked more like a junk yard or a salvage yard and needs to be cleaned up. Ordinances will be checked to see if the business is out of compliance.
Decker has marked three sites at the city park for placement of new aluminum park benches, with one more site undetermined. Plans are to anchor benches on a concrete pad, with assistance from Alderman Mark Rolland.
Police Chief Brian Carmichael reported the new Police Department building is complete and operational, and ready for move-in. Carmichael expressed his appreciation to the city for making this building possible.
Alderman Blankenship reported the overall cost for the new police building was $91,000.