Caraway Council sets public meeting Nov. 26
Caraway Council set a public meeting to discuss water options, approved end of year bonuses, approved purchase of turnout gear for firefighters, and approved the sell back of unused vacation days for police officers at the regular Nov. 8 meeting.
Mayor Barry Riley and the council discussed the city's options for water issues.
Councilman Mitchell Tipton suggested a public meeting to let people know the water options, either borrowing money and having the rates raised or passing a sales tax to fund the project.
The city of Caraway is presently purchasing water from Buffalo Island Rural Water. The cost of the water will increase from $2 to $3.50 per 1,000 gallons.
Caraway needs a new well.
Mayor Riley suggested talking to citizens about going with a two cent sales tax, one going for the water and one set aside.
Tipton said he had talked to the clerk's office and the deadline for a February vote is too close, but the city could have an election in March.
It was decided to hold a public meeting on Nov. 26. If there is no conflict, the meeting will be held at Riverside East Elementary. Once the details are finalized, information will be given to the public.
The council voted to give full time employees a $300 end of the year bonus and part-time employees $150. The council voted to include Scotty Browning in the part-time employees.
Mayor Riley asked about giving city clerk/treasurer Rick Stevens a bonus as he spends many hours working for the city.
Council had no objection to the bonus for Mr. Stevens if it is legal to give an elected official a bonus.
Mayor Riley asked the council to allow police officers to sell back vacation days not taken by the end of the year. He said Chief Kelems has 15 days but will be taking at least five of them; Officer David Choate has 10 days; and Wyatt Wheaton has three days. He said the officers have been working more since Wheaten is at the police academy.
The council voted unanimously (6-0) to allow the officers to sell back unused vacation days.
Council voted to allow the fire department to purchase 10 sets of turnout gear using ACT 833 funds. The cost will be $18,750.
In other business:
*Councilman Bo James, newly elected mayor of Caraway, submitted his resignation as part-time police officer.
*The council approved Resolution 2018-6 for 1.8 mills county taxes. It is the same, but the council is required to vote on it yearly.
*Councilman Tipton said landowners on Payne Street are not happy with the possibility of rent houses being built. Mayor Riley said the builder had not come back with any plans.
*A resident informed the council his daughter was not allowed to vote because she was told she did not live in the city limits. He said the Cemetery Road is in the city limits and he would like for someone to call the county office and make sure they know the area was annexed into the city years ago.
*Councilman Roger Williams announced the Christmas parade will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. Line up at city hall will begin at 5:30 p.m. This year's parade will be dedicated to the memory of Melton Emery. Toys and food will be collected to distribute during the holidays.
*Councilman Bo James said there will be a ground breaking for the new apartments and the grocery store will open on Monday.
*Mayor Riley distributed a proposed budget. He said it needed some changes but he wanted the newly elected mayor to have an input on the budget. It has to be approved by January 31.