Carlisle Mayor Ray Glover said during Monday night’s City Council meeting, fines will be handed out for residents who refuse to maintain their yard.
"They are just ruining my summer," Glover said. "I love summer but I’m starting to dread it because of all the complaints I get on people not mowing their yard."
Glover said part of the problem when people finally do mow, it is so tall it looks like they bailed hay; half of which ends up in the city street. He said the violators then turn around and let it regrow to the same height.
According to Glover, people are also refusing to mow the ditches on the property. He said some residents believe that because the city has water and sewer easements [for repairs] in residential ditches, ditches are not the property owners responsibility to maintain. Glover said the city does not own the property, the owner does and it is their responsibility to maintain the ditches.
Carlisle City Attorney Mike Stuart said according to city ordinance, once the violator has received notice, the code enforcement officer has the ability to set a time of how many days a resident has to cut their grass. He said if code enforcement officer Robin Rountree chooses 24 hours of thirty days, she has the authority do it. Stuart said their are no legal requirements as to number of days given before a ticket for violation is issued.
"Five is enough," Glover said.
With no objections from the council, Glover said the new procedure will begin with written notification to the resident or property owner in violation, who will be given five "sun shiny days" to comply with the request to mow. Following the time frame, if the property remains out of compliance with city code, a $25 fine will be issued and $25 every day thereafter, until the property is up to code.
In other business, the city council to the community for insight on how to best utilize grant money the city has received. During the meeting, Carlisle Parks and Recreations director Ronnie Ashmore introduced two options for utilizing funding of a $10,000 grant. According Glover, months ago, the city received the $10,000 grant, which was allocated by state Sen. Jonathan Dismang, to be put toward a video of the city’s industrial select site. Glover said the opportunity to have the video made has since "fallen through", so it is time to determine how to spend the funds.
The first option Ashmore presented was for resurfacing the tennis court at the city park for $9,550. Roots from a tree beside the court is causing surface to crack in many areas, according to Ashmore. He said while the court maybe be used some, it is not used often. Ashmore without removing the initial problem [the tree], the city is only temporarily fixing the issues until roots cause more cracks on the surface
The second option presented was for outdoor fitness equipment. Ashmore said his vision is to have about eight fitness stations with equipment such as leg presses, sit-up benches, push up and pull up bars, place throughout Rock Island Park.
"Turn Rock Island Park, into a fitness park," Ashmore said.
Ashmore said the equipment for eight stations would cost about $8,000 plus shipping. He said he believes these items will be unitized more than the tennis court alone.
Stuart and Alderman Jon Plafcan both showed interested in the fitness stations idea. Plafcan said he believes it is something more people would use than the tennis court.
"More people can use it," Plafcan said. "More ages can use it."
Alderwoman Ann Anderson proposed the idea of purchasing the equipment, and utilizing the remainder of the funds to remove the tree.
Alderman W.H. Kittler said he would like to see the court resurfaced since it is used by residents. He said the city shouldn’t be purchasing more items when the already established court, isn’t being maintained as it should.
We aren’t maintaining what we have," Kittler said.
Alderman Eddie Moore suggested the items be tabled for additional review of overall expenses. He asked Ashmore to find out when the deadline for filing paperwork for the funds is and to check into additional options for both resurfacing the court and equipment, as well as removal of the tree.
There is a time limit, unknown as of Wednesday morning, for when the grant must be used by, according to Ashmore. He said the paperwork he received only indicated "while funds are available".
The city alderman would like to hear what the public has to say about the choices. Please contact the alderman in your ward to cast a vote.
Construction on the new city park Splash Pad is on hold while details of the contractors, contract is sorted out. City Attorney Mike Stuart said the original [generic] contract was written for work in a different state, so it didn’t pertain to a city in Arkansas. He said he also had some issues on how much money was drawn up front for the projects.
Stuart said he has spoken with the contractor about the issues, particular in reference to the amount of money up front. He said it is the city’s interest to require the contractor to get a bond or to hold a larger retainer.
Stuart said the contractor was receptive and verbally agreed to the changes. He recommended the council authorize the mayor to sign the contract once the changes have been made. By unanimous vote, the council authorized the mayor to sign the contract for the Splash pad, with changes to the contract, after approved by the city attorney.
In other discussion:
- The next aerial spraying for mosquito’s is scheduled for Sept. 4.
- Trash canisters for residents have been ordered and will be delivered to residents by WCA, once they arrive.
- Jail Standards rescheduled their previous appointment and will be in town on Aug. 26 for their inspection of the new city jail. The fire Marshall and Health department have both signed off on the facility.
- Materials for the new airport T-hanger construction will be delivered by Aug. 28.
Alderman Mike Walker was absent from the meeting. The next regular scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Sept. 16 in the Civic Center.