The Quitman City Council met Monday night with several items on the agenda including declaring a vacancy for the position held by Keri England and the prospect of declaring another one next month with the moving of Michelle Johnson out of her ward. They will declare Johnson’s vacancy at next month's’ meeting.

After approving the August and September meeting minutes and the financial reports, the council had a short discussion about the millage. It currently is at 3.9 mills and Mayor Cyndi Kerr said she saw no reason to reconsider the millage. A motion was made and seconded to keep the millage at 3.9 mills, it passed unanimously. A resolution covering this was also passed.

After a recent audit, the council was informed that they will have to have contracts for the Quitman Community Connection and Master Gardners for services they perform for the city.
Kerr said that in the past the Quitman Community Connection had a contract with the city that covered the Christmas Festival, now the auditor wants the city to have one with both them and Master Gardners. Kerr read the contract for the Master Gardners which includes a $500 limit per planning event. Kerr explained the contract with Quitman Community Connection about the Quitmanfest, which reads they will pay them $1244.50, which includes promotion, organization and recruiting vendors. It passed unanimously as well.

Donald Shull of Northstar spoke with the council regarding this. “I am heartbroken to have to come and tell you that it is not working out with us. The volume has not grown and we are losing very considerable amounts of money.” Since they sold memberships that are valid through May, they will be staying through then. He also said that he would donate the ambulance back to the city if they wanted him too.

Mayor Kerr said, “We have decisions to make but have a little time to do it. We have used volunteers in the past but had issues getting people during the day. I am thankful to have until May to decide. We have been lucky to have top notch service for two years. We will need to have a more in-depth discussion and then come back together to make educated decisions.”

Councilmember Porter Bray said, “I appreciate what you have done and we will miss your service.”

Next up was discussion regarding the Holiman lawsuit. Mayor Kerr said she had been in contact the lawyers. Mr. Holiman wanted to know if he could put gravel on the road and she sent an email back if this will set them up for a lawsuit later, if he puts gravel down and other people are wanting to use it. The other thing they have come back with is that there is a fence up on the border of his road. He is asking them to put a fence up so he can access his property. This would be in exchange of closing the streets. If a gate would close this 20 year lawsuit, it would be worth it. We can’t make a decision tonight until she speaks to the lawyer.”

Linda Moore-Rau asked if the fence would be put on his property and doesn’t he already have access to his property? Kerr said that is correct. “The fence was attached to the Calico building. I don’t know if the city did that or if Calico did that.”

Moore-Rau said, “He isn’t really giving us something we don’t already have, but closing a lawsuit that never should have been.”

Kerr said she will discuss with the lawyers.

Moving on Kerr said, “Last month we passed a resolution regarding taxes from the state. The state is not sure how they are going to use this tax money so she wants to make it clear, after doing research, what the state is saying. The city will still get their portion. She wanted to allow the council to rescind the resolution if needed.” The council, after discussion voted to keep the resolution in place.

Kerr then brought up Keri England’s vacancy on the council. A motion and second were made to declare a vacancy. England served in Ward 3 from “this side of College St. to the city limits on the Faulkner County side and up around Country Wood.” She will start taking applications, review them next month and do interviews.

Michelle Johnson then announced her resignation due to the fact she is living outside city limits.
Kerr said next month they will declare a vacancy for her position. This is also in Ward 3. They accepted her resignation.

The Citywide clean up will be held on October 23. Kerr wanted citizens to know they will not accept tires, batteries, building materials or yard trash. Set items by curb to be picked up.

The sidewalk project is coming along on Phase I. On Phase II they have done surveys and will let the city know if they need to do any easements. Kerr said, “A citizen is very upset about the sidewalk, even though it will not be on her property. I called her son and discussed it with him and he responded that there isn’t anything they can do and it isn’t on her property so she will have to accept it.” Kerr went on to say it broke her heart that the citizen was so upset but the reason they chose that side of the road is that there is a water line on the other side.

The sewer group has come in and done a really good job from what she has been told and it looks as if they may be ahead of schedule. The sewer plant is in the preliminary stages and also going well.

The audit came back good, no major findings. Kerr passed it out saying that they could take it home and read it and it needed to be in the minutes that they had discussed it.

Bray asked about a street light that was out and potholes that are at the entrance of streets.  Kerr said she would get it fixed whether it was city or state. If on city property the city does it, but she will get it addressed either way.

Lastly a question about the new water truck was asked. Kerr explained that it was ordered. By the time that they got the order in they didn’t have any more 2017’s but he told her they would give them a 2018 at the 2017 price. Kerr said, “Hopefully not too much longer.”

Kerr said next month they will discuss the budget. With no more business, the meeting was adjourned.