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City Council Votes to Build New Fire Station at W.C. Whaley Property —– “Top Headline of 2011”

December 30th, 2011 by

In a shocking turn of events, the City Council voted yes to building a new fire station on the W.C. Whaley lot. During Thursday night’s meeting Mayor Allen Maxwell asked MEDC Executive Director Nita McDaniel to present the slide show to the Council that was shown to the public during the ISO Rating Meeting (posted below).

Each slide highlighted which sections of town would be covered, depending upon which location was shown for the new central fire station. With W.C. Whaley providing the highest percentage of coverage to the City, and it having access to multi-directional roads, and the lot being large enough to build storage for the ladder truck, the property came out on top, according to the City Planner, for top ISO ratings.

Mrs. McDaniel told the Council that they had exhausted every option when searching for the right location saying, “We tried to find every piece of property in the central part of town..” that would work both financially and logistically.

Later, Mrs. McDaniel said to the Council, “I would challenge anyone, if you find a better location, tell us,” stating that they had “scowered the city for available properties.”

“What ISO wants to see is you’re covering the greatest number of streets in that optimal response time as possible.” – McDaniel

Mayor Maxwell added, “The ladder truck is a big part of expanding the ISO rating.” It was explained that the Fire Department currently gets no credit from ISO on having a ladder truck because it must be stored outside. To get credit, the new station must provide an inside storage option for the truck.

The Mayor told the Council, “We’re trying to improve from a five to a four. [ISO rating] Warren has a four, Crossett has a four… here we sit with a five.” “We’ve turned over every stone we can turn.” “I don’t know what other stone to turn over if this city’s going to build a fire station.”

Al Peer made a motion to build the new fire station at the W.C. Whaley location. Sherrie Gillespie seconded the motion. Voting resulted in Josh McKiever, Carolyn Brown, and Claudia Hartness voting no. Sherrie Gillespie, Raymond Hubbard, Al Peer, Beverly Hudson, and Tim Chase voted yes.

The motion passed to build the fire station at Whaley, followed by applause from the nearly-filled room of on-lookers, and Mayor Maxwell said, “We will get to work on that as fast as we can.”

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City Council Members Interviewed on Fire Station Location
DSec. 5, 2011

MonticelloLive’s Mandy Moss attempted to interview all 8 Monticello city council members on their opinions for the location of the potential new fire station at the Whaley property.

Today, we conclude with the interviews with responses from Carolyn Brown and Claudia Hartness.

Carolyn Brown

Claudia Hartness

 

Alderperson Carolyn Brown answered:
QUESTIONS FOR CITY COUNCIL – FIRE STATION AT WHALEY
1. Did you vote yes or no?
(1) No

2. What factors contributed to your decision?
(2) The city council will meet in December to hear budget request. Theoretically, the council is held responsible for a true and sound balanced budget.

Mayor Maxwell made the council aware that water mains on North and South Main Street were serviced through the original pipe placement that is speculated to be over seventy years old. The council was advised that this would be a very serious commitment.

In addition, the Sadie Johnson Community Center was destroyed by fire and will be rebuilt in 2012. Unfortunately the insurance coverage for the Sadie Johnson Community Center will not meet the expenses for reconstruction at today’s prices. Bids will not be let until 2012.

Also to be considered is street overlay and street repair for wards 1, 2, 3, and 4. This is a yearly expense.

Another concern is composting or simply disposing of yard debris. Many of our residents do not have the ability to dispose of limbs that fall through the year as well as shrub pruning, grass clippings, and garden debris. In effect, unsightly yard trash devalues property. Additionally, this is the year to redistrict the four wards. The trend shows that the north and west area has gained population.

I contacted six of our local insurance agencies to learn about our ISO rating. I learned according to the Arkansas regulations there are many variables that are considered for policy holders. The result measured very small minimum reduction in premiums. I understand in 2010 only twenty nine cities in Arkansas have a rating of three (3). Presently, our city holds a five (5) rating. Hopefully, we will soon achieve a
4 rating due to the accomplishments already made.

3. What steps did you take to speak to the people-in your ward on what they wanted for the Whaley/Fire Station issue?
4. Did the “experts” opinions come into play when you made your decision?
5. If not Whaley, where do you think the best site for the fire station is, and why?
(3,4,& 5)Please refer to my comments expressed in item (2) made on the questionnaire. For response to question 3, 4, & 5.

6. Have you spoken to the Fire Chief or firemen of the city to determine what their opinions are on this issue? What did you gather from them, without using any names.
(6) Our fire chief Mr. Faulkner indicated that he favored the Whaley property for the fire station site.

I support updating the fire station. I regret the deteriorating condition that has resulted in bringing this issue to public appeal.

My concern today is how far our tax dollar can spread to address the needs for all citizens of Monticello.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~

This note was sent in to council member Claudia Hartness:
“Thank you for sending the survey. I will not comment at this time. There are many pending factors.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

City Council Members Interviewed on Fire Station Location – Part 3
November 30, 2011

We began the series Monday, on the left side of the council room with Josh McKiever and Sherrie Gillespie. Tuesday, Raymond Hubbard and Al Peer’s interviews were posted. Today, we continue with the interviews with Beverly Hudson and Tim Chase.

Beverly Hudson

 

Tim Chase

 

 

“Questions for City Council – Fire Station at Whaley”, as answered by Beverly Hudson

1. Did you vote yes or no?
I voted yes to locate the new fire station at WC Whaley.

2. What factors contributed to your decision?
Probably the most important issue that contributed to that yes vote was the previous study that was done by a council committee and the fire chief. That study determined that the best coverage for the entire city could be provided from that site. The recent study that was conducted by the MEDC and the ISO representative confirmed that decision. This info has been provided to the public. Also I felt that the other site that was being considered and that being directly across the street from the existing fire station, was not desirable for the long term. It is extremely congested at all times.

3. What steps did you take to speak to the people in your ward on what they wanted for the Whaley/Fire Station issue?
I very carefully listened to members in my ward and also residents in all other wards. Most were for and some against. Those that were against were concerned about the building itself. They do not want an unattractive metal building located near the beautiful historic building.

4. Did the “experts” opinions come into play when you made your decision?
Absolutely. I was chairperson of the location committee that had early conversations with ISO representatives, and also seriously considered the State Fire Marshall’s opinion that Whaley was the best location.

5. If not Whaley, where do you think the best site for the fire station is, and why?
The location near the Chamber of Commerce, the old Ryburn Motor Co. property would provide an ok location. However the Whaley property still would give the best coverage, and the city owns the property.

6. Have you spoken to the Fire Chief or firemen of the city to determine what their opinions are on this issue? What did you gather from them, without using any names.
The Fire Chief provided most of the information that the Council Committee obtained in the first study.

Alderman Tim Chases’ responses were:
1. Did you vote yes or no?
No

2. What factors contributed to your decision?
My main concern is that the Whaley property is not adjacent to a major street in town. It’s only a few blocks away from one, but that slows down response time. Therefore, I feel locations adjacent to major through streets should be considered

3. What steps did you take to speak to the people in your ward on what they wanted for the Whaley/Fire Station issue?
Many people spoke with me about this issue. Some folks from my ward, some from other wards. I listened to them all and then told them what I thought as well, I thanked them for sharing their thoughts and opinions. The vast majority of people who spoke with me were not in favor of the Whaley site for the new station.

4. Did the “experts” opinions come into play when you made your decision?
I don’t think all possible sites were considered several years ago when the State Fire Marshall was consulted. I know nothing was considered at a downtown location. So the “experts” opinions were considered as I made my decision.

5. If not Whaley, where do you think the best site for the fire station is, and why?
I hope we will be able to discuss several sites in detail before we have to take any more votes on a location. We should actually look at the advantages and disadvantages of each site and then make a logical choice based on those factors. The City of Monticello has to live with this decision for a long time so we have to make sure we choose the best possible location.

6. Have you spoken to the Fire Chief or firemen of the city to determine what their opinions are on this issue? What did you gather from them, without using any names.
I have spoken with the Fire Chief and several firemen. I think their biggest concern is getting a new facility that meets their needs. That is exactly what we will do at which ever site we determine will best serve the citizens also.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

City Council Members Interviewed on Fire Station Location – Part 2
Nov. 29, 2011

MonticelloLive’s Mandy Moss attempted to interview all 8 Monticello city council members on their opinions for the location of the potential new fire station at the Whaley property.

We began the series Monday, on the left side of the council room, and now continue around the room.

Al Peer

Raymond Hubbard

Alderman Raymond Hubbard, of Ward 3 responded:
1. Did you vote yes or no?
Yes

2. What factors contributed to your decision?
Because the property was purchased for that reason. The residents in that area deserve a good clean environment there. We could put more municipal buildings there, and keep expanding if we needed to. We have to look 50 years down the road, not just until tomorrow when we make a decision as to where to build.

3. What steps did you take to speak to the people in your ward on what they wanted for the Whaley/Fire Station issue?
One or two called me to say they were opposed, and I can understand some of their reasons; but many more calls came in supporting it.

4. Did the “experts” opinions come into play when you made your decision?
Yes – all of them said that’s where the fire station should be built.

5. If not Whaley, where do you think the best site for the fire station is, and why?
I think it should be at Whaley – that’s where it belongs. If this city is going to grow, we need to expand parking on the square and see if we can alleviate some of that problem.

6. Have you spoken to the Fire Chief or firemen of the city to determine what their opinions are on this issue?  What did you gather from them, without using any names.
Most of them have indicated they would really like to see it go at Whaley.

Ward 1 Council member Al Peer answered this way:
1. Did you vote yes or no?
Yes

2. What factors contributed to your decision?
The City of Monticello purchases the property for the consideration to build a new fire station.

3. What steps did you take to speak to the people in your ward on what they wanted for the Whaley/Fire Station issue?
Many people called me and e-mailed me about the Whaley/Fire Station issue.

4. Did the “experts” opinions come into play when you made your decision?
Yes

5. If not Whaley, where do you think the best site for the fire station is, and why?
At the time, several different sites were visited for the Fire Station, and the experts recommended Whaley as the best site for Fire Station.

6. Have you spoken to the Fire Chief or firemen of the city to determine what their opinions are on this issue? What did you gather from them, without using any names.
Yes, and the best site was the Whaley property.

~~~~~~~~~~~
City Council Members Interviewed on Fire Station Location – Part 1
Nov. 28 2011

Josh McKiever

Sherrie Gillespie

Alderman Josh McKiever did not respond.  All members were contacted at least twice, and have had more than 2 weeks to respond to 6 identical questions.

Council member Sherrie Gillespie’s answered the questions with these responses:
1. Did you vote yes or no?
I voted “yes.”

2. What factors contributed to your decision?
(1) The city purchased the property at W.C. Whaley for the purpose of building a fire station.
(2) The Fire Station Committee, made up of City Council members, found that W.C. Whaley was the best possible location because it did not have an adverse affect on the rest of the city’s ISO rating.
3. What steps did you take to speak to the people in your ward on what they wanted for the Whaley/Fire Station issue?
I have attended and participated in town hall meetings and entertained telephone calls from all other wards, as well as my own. I have also had personal and public contact with several persons in the community.

4. Did the “experts” opinions come into play when you made your decision?
Yes.. the “experts,” in conjunction with the findings from the Fire Station Committee.

5. If not Whaley, where do you think the best site for the fire station is, and why?
W.C. Whaley is the best site.

6. Have you spoken to the Fire Chief or firemen of the city to determine what their opinions are on this issue? What did you gather from them, without using any names.
I have spoken to several firemen, and they are in support of placing the fire station at W.C. Whaley.
I truly hope their jobs are not in jeopardy for voicing their opinions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fire Dept. Analysis Report: Please Don’t Call ISO Consultant
Nov. 17, 2011

Due to professional standards, the ISO consultant who presented the evaluation of Monticello’s fire plan is not allowed to release comments about his appraisal to members of the public.

Citizens are being asked not to call him, but if theywant copies of the report that he provided, please come by the MEDC office and pick up a copy, or call their Alderman or City official.

The videos of the report are posted below.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ISO Consultant Recomends Whaley Site for Central Fire Station, & Opening 3rd Station at Training Center
Nov. 15, 2011

MEDC Director, Nita McDaniel, along with City Inspector, Brian Rodgers (a former firefighter) presented ISO rating information to the public during a meeting held Monday night. She stated that all information presented would be statistical facts collected by the city’s consultant, Charles Albert. None of the information would be based on opinion.

 

The purpose of the information gathered was to help the city make a long-term plan for better fire protection, and also to increase its ISO (Insurance Services Organization) rating. Increasing the ISO Rating would result in an improved Class Rating for Monticello and possibly lower the cost of insurance rates for both commercial and residential properties within city limits. ISO evaluations are conducted every 10 years. The last evaluation done on Monticello was in 2003.

There are three major sections used by the ISO to determine ratings.
1. Receiving and Handling Fire Alarms
2. Location of the Fire Department
3. Water Supply

Due to the fact that our city dispatches for multiple agencies, the number of dispatchers needs to be increased from 1 to 2. This has already been addressed by the City, with the renovation of the old dispatch room. It has been expanded and completely revamped to allow for CAD (computer-aided dispatch) and its increased size easily accommodates two dispatchers.

The City is also in the process of addressing the water supply issue by ordering new water meters and making plans to replace old water lines. The more accurate water meters will increase revenue, which will in turn fund the new pipes.

It is recommended that any 2-way hydrants should be replaced with at least 3-way hydrants that have both a pumper connection and hose connections.

Other issues that are more easily resolved are training hours needed by the Fire Department and more utilization of its engines and training facility.

The issue not yet resolved by the City is the location of the fire station.

According to Mr. Albert, to receive the best ISO ratings, the fire station needs to be located at or near a multi-directional intersection. It also needs to provide coverage to the greatest number of buildings within the city limits. An ideal station also has the ability to house a ladder company. The acceptable response time is only measured within 1.5 miles of the fire station (street distance) with an engine company. With a ladder company, the acceptable response time is measured within 2.5 miles. This gives the City credit for much greater coverage.

McDaniel stated that one simple step the City could take to improve its ISO rating is to get a central station that can house a ladder truck. This would expand coverage into areas of the city that are not currently covered – improving the rating.

According to Fire Chief Steve Faulkner, the ladder truck owned by the City is 42 feet long. McDaniel stated that the ladder truck will not fit in the current block in which the fire station is located.

Several different locations for building a new station were shown on the map and discussed during the meeting.

1. Walgreen’s Property – This property allows for easy access to the major highways, HWY 425 and HWY 278. However, building at this location would mean losing coverage for most of the eastern side of Monticello, including Hood Packaging, War Eagle, Pepsi Cola, (former) Drew Foam, and the Airport.

Percentage of addresses covered not yet calculated for the Walgreen’s property.

2. Old Ford Motor Company – This location offers multi-directional street access, but loses optimal response time to Tanglewood 1 and 2.The Old Ford Motor Company location would cover 90.5% of addresses in city limits.

3. Gabbert Street – This location also loses Tanglewood 1 and 2, along with Spring Branch.

The Gabbert Street location would cover 89.98% of addresses in city limits.

4. W.C. Whaley – This location provides multi-directional street access and not only keeps the same existing coverage already held by the current fire station, but expands the coverage further.

The W.C. Whaley property would cover 93.28% of addresses in city limits.

“All we can do is present it as it’s been put together. The statistics are what they are.” – Nita McDaniel

On the final page of the information put together by Consultant Charles Albert, he states, “Central Station will need 1 engine company, 1 ladder company, and 1 service company. Station 2 will need 1 engine company, and Station 3 will need 1 engine company. The location of the reserve engine is not specifically prescribed, but it will need to be housed inside a building.”

Mr. Albert also states: “In review of station distribution maps provided by the City and according to available data as per ISO guidelines, the most effective location for maximum coverage for both engine and ladder companies would be the suggested Whaley site. This site does provide for the largest coverage by the engine company and by the ladder company that equates to greater point potential in the rating.”

In closing, Nita McDaniel said, “We have got to plan well for our future.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
City Announces Fire Dept. ISO Info Meeting
Nov. 2, 2011

Public Meeting to Present ISO Evaluation

The Monticello Economic Development Commission and the Monticello Fire Department will hold a Public Meeting on Monday November 14 at 6:00 pm in the court room of the Old Post Office Building located at 211 West Gaines Street.

The purpose of the meeting is to present the recent evaluation of the Monticello Fire Department conducted by Charles Albert, ISO Consultant.

The evaluation includes current facilities, equipment, personnel, training, record keeping, processes and procedures. Service areas of ladder companies and engine companies will be presented in GPS mapping format by staff of EFS GeoTechnologies.

The format of the presentation is based on geographic statistics, current fire department services and ISO Consultant recommendations to improve Monticello’s ISO rating.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
City Council Votes Against Building Fire Station at Whaley – Video
October 21, 2011

The Monticello City Council split their votes 4-4 over building the proposed fire station at the W. C. Whaley property.  Mayor Allen Maxwell then abstained from voting, causing the motion to build there to fail.

Council members voting in favor of the Whaley location were; Sherrie Gillespie, Raymond Hubbard, Al Peer, and Beverly Hudson.

Council member opposed to the Whaley site were: Josh McKiever, Carolyn Brown, Tim Chase, and Claudia Hartness.

Al Peer said in response to the outcome, “It’s sad that we have come this far, and we’ve not done anything.”

“We need to take the emotion out of this and do what’s best for the city.” “I want to build a fire station. I want you to tell me to go build a fire station.” “I want the city to unite… and quit fighting about this. This has gotten way out of hand.” – Mayor Maxwell

Audience response was then allowed, and Joe Meeks addressed the Mayor by saying, “If you really wanted this done, you should have voted.” The Mayor responded by saying he wanted the council to decide this issue.

After much discussion between the public and council, the Mayor closed the meeting by saying, “We will have some public meetings to discuss this.”

After the meeting, Chief Faulkner with the Monticello Fire Department gave this statement to MLive, “I just wish they would make a decision.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
New Fire Station at Whaley?? Tonight’s the Night for City Council Vote

Oct. 20. 2011

After approximately 12 years of “back and forth” decisions, the Monticello City Council is set tonight to make a decision on building the city’s new fire station at the W. C. Whaley property.

The council voted as a committee, last week, 4-3 to make the decision at tonight’s monthly council meeting.  Several residents have said they plan to attend the meeting, to see if their council members vote the way their constituents feel is best.

At last week’s meeting, council member Tim Chase suggested buiding the new fire station across Church St. (in front of the current station).  Mayor Allen Maxwell told MonticelloLive that there are some water and/or sewer lines under Church Street, but that they could be moved.

Exchanging the city’s “old bus barn” for James Gathings’ building on South Main St. (and the empty lot behind it) has also been considered.

The meeting is open to the public and starts at 6 pm at City Hall.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Voter Says, “Call Your City Coucil Representatives, Tell Them Your Opinion on Fire Station Location”
Oct. 18, 2011

With one of the most important decisions coming up, Thursday night, that they will likely face, on an issue that the Monticello City Council has taken 12 years to deal with, a local resident has sent a “letter to the editor” to MonticelloLive.com expressing his opinion, and issuing a challenge for everyone else to call their Alderperson.

MLive encourages you to do so, as well, regardless of which side of the issue you feel is best, let your council member know which fire station site you feel is best.

The city’s website (click here) lists the coucil member’s phone numbers. NOTE: Please don’t call Judge Bond.  That positon is now held by Josh McKiever, 723-0685.

Comment – “The square is too congested to build a bigger building. Keep the historical aspects of the square (which needs work) and build on Whaley! Build on an empty lot, don’t close another street, don’t tear down another building, don’t loose more parking!

WE HAVE TO CALL THE COUNCIL AND TELL THEM HOW WE FEEL!!!! Go to the council meeting next Thursday and hold a sign showing you are for Whaley.

Everyone knows how I feel. I put a sign in my yard and called my council members. Do they know how YOU feel?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~
More Yard Signs In Favor of Fire Station of Whaley
Oct. 15, 2011

Even more yard signs are appearing in favor of  building the proposed fire station at the city’s W. C. Whaley property.

Appearantly when a couple of residents on North Main Street and North Hyatt Street put up signs, Wednesday, showing their support for the Whaley location, other Whaley supporters were inspired to follow their lead with more signs, especially in the North Main and North Hyatt Street areas.

At Tuesday night’s special called meeting of the Monticello City Council as a committee, the council voted 4-3 to hold a vote at next Thursday’s council meeting about building the new fire station on the W. C. Whaley property.

 

North Main / North Hyatt Signs Show Support for New Fire Station at  Whaley Property
October 12, 2011

Following Tuesday night’s special called meeting of the Monticello City Council as a committee, where they voted 4-3 to hold a vote at next Thursday’s council meeting about building the new fire station on the W. C. Whaley property, residents on North Main Street and North Hyatt Street have put up signs showing their support the the Whaley location.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
City Council Agrees to Vote on New Fire Station Being Built on Whaley Property at Next Council Meeting, October 20
October 11, 2011

During Tuesday night’s special meeting, the City Council was presented with new proposals by Mr. Gathings in regards to the “land swap” that has been discussed in previous meetings, and after a long, heated discussion, agreed to vote on locating the new fire station at the W. C. Whaley property at their next meeting.

Instead of the previous offer of $25,000 plus his two lots/properties, Gathings is now offering the properties plus $35,000. The Council has discussed using the property as the site of a new fire station.

During discussion on the proposal, Al Peer asked, “Why are we selling the bus shed at all?” “We’ve got property at W.C. Whaley… if we want to build a fire station, let’s build it on the property we already have.”

“This council has twice turned down building on W.C. Whaley.” “After all of these years and all this time I want to get a fire station built.” – Mayor Maxwell

Al Peer then asked Mayor Maxwell if he could address Fire Chief Steve Faulkner from the audience. “Where do you think is the best place to put a fire station?”

Before Chief Faulkner could answer, Tim Chase asked, “Can we do this without ever having to consider the Gathings property? I’ve come to the decision (based upon his own measurements) that we can build it right here and never have to touch the Gathings property.” “We’re going to lose parking if we do this, so the logical thing to do would be buy the Gathings property and turn it into a parking lot.”

Dr. Chase’s plan would include building a new station around the existing one, closing the current one way road and turning it into a cul-de-sac in front of The Computer Guy’s business, and having a direct exit from the bays to the square.

When discussions surrounding the current congestion and parking issues then began, Raymond Hubbard stated, “We should be planning for the next 50 years, not the last 50 years.” “We the city obtained the property… to me a new, nice fire station in that area [W.C. Whaley] would be an asset to that neighborhood.” “It would be terrible to build a new, nice fire station where nobody would see it.”

“If you build it the way I propose, you would see it.” – Tim Chase

“I agree with Mr. Hubbard that we should build on W.C. Whaley.” “We have the money, and we won’t do it.” – Sherrie Gillespie

Mrs. Gillespie then said, “The bus shed is insured for $400,000. I think that means it’s worth $400,000… I don’t think we should ever sell it!” It was verified that this estimate was accurate, and is insured for this price alone, not including any trucks.

“Let’s take a vote and take it back to the council to build the fire station on W.C. Whaley.” – Al peer

A motion to take the possibility of building the new fire station on W.C. Whaley was made and passed 4 to 3. Tim Chase, Carolyn Brown, and Claudia Hartness voted no, while Josh Mckiever, Sherrie Gillespie, Al Peer, and Raymond Hubbard voted yes. Beverly Hudson was not in attendance.

The next regular council meeting will be held on Thursday, October 20, at 6:00pm.

In closing Mayor Maxwell told the council, “You need to be through with your discussion here so you can make a decision.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
City Council Meeting to Discuss Fire Station Location, Gathings Land Swap, & Electronic Water System Proposal. Tuesday
October 5, 2011

Tuesday starting at 6 pm, the Monticello City Council will meet as a series of committees to discuss a series of issues facing the city; incuding an electronic water system, composting, and a variety of suggestions pertaining to land issues, sales, swaps, and the possible locaiton of the proposed new Monticello Central Fire Station.

They will first meet as the water committee to see a presentation from Faulkner Pipe about the proposed digitizing of the Monticello Water Dept.

If this presentation leads to full implementation of the project, water leaks could be easily detected, and water meters could be read electronically.

After the water meeting, the City Council is then scheduled to meet as the composting committee at 7:30 for a composting presentation.

Following that session, the ongoing topic of the location of the proposed new fire station, the proposed land swap with James Gathings for the S. Main Street building, the offer from DCDDC to purchase the old bus shed, and any other property related issues that may come from City Council members, will be discussed.

The agenda also provides a time for the council to meet in Executive Session, following the series of meetings, that night.

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DCDDC Proposes to Buy City’s Bus Shed; Special Meeting Asked for by Council to Discuss “Fire Dept.; Land & Location Issues” Only – Date to be Announced.
Sept. 16, 2011

The city’s bus shed, currently being considered for a “swap” with Mr. James Gathing’s building on Main St. for the proposed new fire station, is now being sought after by another group.

Sandy Patrick, Executive Director of Drew County Developmental Disabilities Council, stated that they are a non-profit organization that has 300 employees, a $7 million a year budget, and services in 15 southeast Arkansas counties. Drew County Disabilities has a new, $3.5 million building that will be completed in 8 months, according to Ms. Patrick.

Ms. Patrick stated that the bus shed connects to their property and, “We do have busses that have to sit out in the open and they have been taken on “joy rides” by students in the past and vandalized. We would like the council to consider letting us buy the property for the appraised value.”

Mayor Allen Maxwell asked Ms. Patrick to “present the city a proposal, a formal proposal, of what you want to do and we present it to the council and let the council make their decision.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Tim Chase responded, “I have an idea I would like for us to think about. I would like to have a committee meeting, not a special called city council meeting.. where we sit down and listen to their proposal… discuss it amongst ourselves, about this proposal, about the proposal we heard the other day from Mr. Gathings, about the possibility of a fire station and where we’re going to put it. We need to talk.” “… get this stuff squared away so we can quit hashing it over and over again.”

A committee meeting, to be open to the public, was voted by the council to be held as soon as possible for the purpose of discussing all potential fire department land issues. No voting or resolutions will occur at the meeting.

Robin Johnson of Robin Davis-Johnson Appraisals sent an appraisal to the Mayor, per his request, of the lot to the West of Mr. Gathing’s building on Main St. It states that the property is 1,968 S.F. and the estimated market value of the property as of September 12, 2011 is $1,000.

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Fire Chief has Concerns About New Fire Dept. Location; Gathings & Appraiser Address Council
Sept. 8, 2011

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

Mr. James Gathings attended the meeting to answer questions from the council pertaining to his property.  Robin Johnson presented appraisals to the City Council during a special meeting Tuesday night on both properties being considered for the “swap” for the new fire department. According to Mrs. Johnson, the city’s property has a total property value of $60,900, while Mr. Gathings’ property appraised at $20,500.

Mr. Gathings stated to the council that if the swap does occur, he will use the property for storing his personal automobiles, the ones he currently owns and any acquired in the future, along with storing his fleet of pick-up trucks. He said he would not use it for anything commercial.

“So, no plans for an auto dealership…?” – Tim Chase

“No, I’m content where I am at and I’ll be on [HWY] 425 as long as I have a car dealership in Monticello.” – James Gathings

Fire Chief Steve Faulkner was asked for his input on the possible location of the new fire station, which would be directly across from the current station.

“I’m skeptical if this is going to be a better situation or not… we’re going to outgrow it and be in the same situation we are now.” “Certain days we’re not going to be able to get these fire trucks out of here.” – Chief Faulkner

Chief Faulkner went on to explain that on court days, they are unable to get the larger fire trucks out of the station and must use smaller trucks due to the way cars are parked.

Mayor Maxwell stated that the engineer had planned to put in a fire lane, creating “no parking zones” around the new fire station and the path to exit to the main road. There would also be no parking on parts of Main Street, due to state laws stating that no vehicle can park within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of the entrance when properly signposted. (A.C.A. 27-51-1302)

Chief Faulkner was also concerned that the design of the new station would sometimes have the trucks driving backwards on the one-way street, meaning if the fire truck were to strike a vehicle, the fire department would be liable.

Further discussion of the possible property swap and new fire department plans will occur at the next scheduled city council meeting.

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New Fire Station & South Main Land Swap Expected to Draw More Criticism from Council Members, at Meeting Tonight
Sept. 6, 2011

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

At the last city council meeting multiple council members were concerned, one to the point of saying they would vote against the proposed land-swap with James Gathings, for the city’s “old bus shop” maintenance area, in exchange for the property and building between South Main St and the current fire station, where the proposed new fire station could be built.

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Preliminary Drawings Submitted for New Fire Station, Between South Main & City Hall
July 11, 2011

ETC Engineering has submitted preliminary drawings of the new Monticello Central Fire Station to the city of Monticello.

The current proposed location will place the fire station facing City Hall, being built between the back of Beth’s Bistro and LA Graphics and the railroad track.  The drawings show the new structure to be where employee parking is currently located, and also where the Computer Guys are located.

The fire trucks will enter the station from Main Street, and will exit by traveling north on Church St. to Gaines St., or by going behind the police station to Chester St.

According to Mayor Allen Maxwell, parking on S. Main St. will not be affected, actually additional parking spaces are expected be added by the construction.

Plans call for offices and meeting rooms to be built on the bottom floor of the new facility, where the Computer Guy’s currently stands.  The second floor, directly above the office will provide the living quarters for on-duty firemen.

The new fire station will include three 15×60 ft. bays, to house fire trucks and rescue vehicles.

The “Gathing’s Building”, a longtime storefront on Main Street, will be removed, and used as an entrance to the facility.

Mayor Maxwell expects environmental studies to begin soon, which will detect any issues that may be involved in the project.  Also, a fuel storage tank at the “old but shed” will be removed by the city.

The Mayor’s report is presented to the City Council at the end of their regular council meetings.  The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 21.

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New Proposed Site for Fire Station, Between South Main & City Hall, on Gathings Property
June 22, 2011

A new proposed location for the long awaited Monticello Central Fire Station is big considered.

Last week’s city council agenda included a public forum for James Gathings to present to the council a possible “land swap” between the city and  Gathings.

Gathings would give the city ownership of his South Main St. property, along with the parking area behind it, which borders City Hall’s Church Street location.  The deal also would be based on Gathings’ ability to  obtain ownership of the “Computer Guy’s” building, formerly a bail bonding office, which would be included in the deal.

In exchange, the city would give Gathings ownership of their current sanitation dept. garage, on South Hyatt Street, know to many as “the old bus shed.”

Earlier this week, Mayor Allen Maxwell described both parties as being, “still interested” in the proposed venture.  Mayor Maxwell added that a special called city council meeting is possible, since the city has “wrestled with the fire station issue long enough.”

One of the potential reasons the location behind the police station and MEDC is no longer being considered is due to a water main located under the street, which would then be under the new building.

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Mayor’s Report – New Fire Station Possible Cost $750,000, Would Close Street Behind City Hall
April 26, 2100

The Mayor’s report to the council addressed the new fire station location.

Maxwell’s proposal for the new fire station’s location would build it behind the current district court and MEDC office.

“The street will be city use only, and the building will block the street.”

Maxwell told the council that the engineer’s  proposed “high estimate” for the  new fire station is could be as much as $750,000.

Mayor Allen Maxwell told city council members, “I want you to be comfortable with this new proposal for the fire station, and if you’re not, I want to know about it.”

Full size drawings of the proposed building are availabe for viewing at City Hall.

“I’d like to start on the fire station this year. We’ve dealt with this fire station for so long, it needs to be done.”

Maxwell plans to get started on the new station this year, if funds become available.

He also plans to re-build the Sadie Johnson Center this year, and repair the roof to the City Hall complex.

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The Mayor’s report also updated the sewer pond situation,  “We’re making good progress at the sewer ponds, and we are now working on the backside of the levees.  We just need a few days of dry weather, and will be going north and south.”

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Mayor’s Report – Fire Station – Sewer Ponds – Councilman Chase Comments on Stop Signs vs. Stop Lights
Posted March 22, 2011

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

The meeting closed with the Mayor’s report.

The repairs to the sewage pond levees is progressing very well. The mayor reported that free concrete and dirt is being used, and City employees are doing the work. The Mayor said he is impressed with the work they are doing. The project will have to be finished by the end of the dry season. He reported that there is a problem with releasing sewage from the west pond because of the low water level of Ten Mile Creek. They will meet with ADEQ next week to discuss options for doing a release.

The Mayor discussed the proposal submitted by ETC Engineering for the construction of the new Fire Department building. By closing off the street, the building can be constructed without buying any new property. ETC Engineering proposed that the old fire station’s foundation and exterior and lower level are in excellent condition and can be renovated into meeting rooms and connected to the new building. No costs for the project has been submitted. Optimal locations for the Fire Department were discussed.

Before the meeting adjourned, Ald. Tim Chase brought up the resolution of the City Council from several months ago, requesting the state highway department reconsider installing stoplights on the Monticello City Square.

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Probable Re-location of the Fire Station Discussed at Meeting – Council Member Criticizes City Council for Lack of Action
Posted March 10, 2011

During a recent meeting with Mayor Allen Maxwell and a group of approximately 30  people wanting to know the time frame of replacing the Sadie Johnson center that was destroyed by fire last year, Mayor Maxwell detailed several priority problems that are currently facing the city, including the probable re-location of the current Central Fire Station.

Mayor Maxwell told them, “Most likely, will have to tear the fire department (building) down.”  He added, “We could possibly move it to the MEDC building, which is a historic building,”  which brings in limitations as to what can be done there.

Alderman Sherrie Gillespie commented, “The fire station problem could be solved, if the City Council would make the decision.  We’ve got money appropriated for a new fire station.  We have property at the old WC Whaley to build it, and the city owns the land.  But we’ve just got to decide to put it there. We’ve had people come in and do studies, (referring to a soon after the property was purchased, and the state fire marshall’s visit in late 2009).  The money is there.”

Maxwell then commented about the former elementary school site, “I don’t like the access in or out (of the property)” and added “moving to WC Whaley won’t improve our ISO rating.”   He then commented, “In my opinion the best site in town would be behind the Walgreens store, with access to both 278 and 425.”  Gillespie responded, “When we looked at (WC Whaley), it was the best location, and we wouldn’t lose anything.”  Maxwell then replied, “We wouldn’t lose, but we wouldn’t gain anything.”   Gillespie then asked why the city should spend money on land at another location, when the city Council has already voted to purchase Whaley for that purpose.

When the issue of the fire station again came up later in the meeting, Mrs. Gillespie commented, “The money to do this is already there.  Because a few people on Main Street don’t want the fire station there, the City Council doesn’t have enough guts to do it.  We bought the land to put the fire station down there, and the money is already there, but the City Council just will not do it.  We could solve that problem.”

With the decision on the location of the new Central fire Station being forced on the city because of the condition of the current station, the ongoing battle of opinions, which is continued for 10 years, may finally come to an end.

In reference to the condition of the police department, Maxwell said that a good location would be the old Walmart building on Highway 425 South, which could house the police department, District Court, and MEDC.  This would allow the fire department to move into the current MEDC building.  But one department must be moved before we can even start working , either the fire department or the police department .

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City Council Tours Fire & Police Departments – VIDEO
Posted Nov 12, 2010.

As a part of the Monticello City Council meeting, the City Council was given a tour of the current Fire Dept. and Police Dept.

Here’s the video of the event.

Council members who toured the entire building included Beverly Hudson, Sherrie Gillespie, Tim Chase, Al Peer, and Raymond Hubbard.  Clifton Bond left prior to the tour for family reasons.  Council members Carolyn Brown and Claudia Hartness began the tour, but got separated from the main group.

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

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Posted October 22, 2010

Mayor Asks Council to Advertise for Bids on Fire Station, Council Says “No”

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

City Council Votes “No” to Consider Bids for New Fire Department
by Mandy Moss

Mayor Joe Rogers asked the council for permission to begin advertising for bids for the purpose of building a new fire department on the W.C. Whaley property during Thursday night’s meeting.

Sherrie Gillespie made a motion to start advertising bids, but before a second could be made, Tim Chase said, “I know our present facility is substandard…but, to be quite honest, at this point, what we’re being asked to consider, it’s not a wise decision.”

Dr. Chase went on to say that the W.C. Whaley site would not increase the fire department’s coverage over the city, or decrease anyone’s insurance rates and that, “the citizens of Monticello will get nothing for it except a nice, new station.”

He went on to suggest that renovations of the current department seriously be considered, and open fire station #3. In the future, he would like a new station to be built west of town due to growth of the city in that direction. Chase said, “We’ve got to do something about our current station..” but he did not feel that building a new station on the W.C. Whaley lot was the correct option.

Claudia Hartness – “I agree. I’m totally opposed to this.”

Clifton Bond then pointed out, “All the Mayor is doing is asking for bids..” saying that taking in bids does not mean the fire station will ever be built. It is just to see if it is even possible to accomplish with the current budget.

Mrs. Hartness went on to say, “I think we should put it off until January, for new administration.”

Mayor Rogers addressed the council, “At this point and time, Whaley is the best location. Why did you buy the property?” “It’s time we do something to use that property.”

A second to the motion to advertise for bids was given, and voting was as follows:

Clifton Bond – Yes
Sherrie Gillespie – Yes
Raymond Hubbard – No
Al Peer – Yes
Beverly Hudson – No
Carolyn Brown – No
Tim Chase – No
Claudia Hartness – No

Due to the voting of the council, no bids will be accepted for the proposed new fire station at W.C. Whaley.

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Town Hall Meeting for Proposed Fire Station & Possible Location – Report & Video

Posted September 15, 2010.

MonticelloLive on Vimeo

Last night’s meeting gave the chance for two opposing sides to state their opinions, once again, over the decision as to where the proposed new fire station should be built, and over 16 residents spoke up to share their opinion.

Larry Doggett moderated the meeting, allowing each person that wished to speak a 5 minute time limit. He started the conversations by saying, “Say what you mean, mean what you say, don’t say it mean.”

Fire Chief Steve Faulkner was the first to speak, expressing his concerns over the current fire station and urging the city to act quickly to improve the working conditions for all of their men and women.

Chief Faulkner stated that the current fire trucks barely fit into the stalls, and that fire trucks are getting larger and larger. The city has already budgeted for the station to receive a new fire truck in March or April of 2011, and the Fire Department doesn’t know where they will store it when not in use.

The living quarters of the current fire station were said to only measure approximately 10.5 x 9.5 feet, and the office measures only 9.5 x 12 feet. Chief Faulkner said that the living quarters are simply too small for anyone to spend a full 48 hours there, and his office space barely holds his current equipment.

“It would take a lot of money to remodel it… it’s too far gone in my opinion.” – Faulkner

Chief Faulkner is in favor of the W.C. Whaley property as a building site, stating that “It is the only city owned property.” [In comparison with other suggested sites.]

Next to speak was Gloria Wright with the North Main Street Residents Association.

“We know and we understand that we need a new fire station. We’re asking that the new fire station be built somewhere besides the historic district.”

Mrs. Wright stated a major concern she had with the proposed W.C. Whaley site is that there seem to be more questions surrounding this location than answers.

“Has there been a study by an architect to see if the current station could be remodeled?”

Gloria Wright also mentioned the 60 newly built apartments on the west side of town asking, “Does this provide provisions for them?”

Mrs. Wright pointed to a poll in the local newspaper that showed that the majority of readers voted to “wait” for the decision and construction of the new fire station and let the new Mayor and council decide.

Later in the meeting, a firemanresponded to the comment about the newspaper poll by saying, “The poll is not accurate. I voted 5 times, how many times did you vote?”

Next up was insurance agent Connie Mullis.

“Being in insurance for a long time, it seems to me that moving to W.C. Whaley will mean increased insurance rates.”

Mrs. Mullis went on to express her concern about the Fire Department’s current working and living conditions, then praised them saying, “We are blessed with our Fire Department.”

Volunteer fire fighter Joe Meeks stood to speak next. In response to keeping Main Street historic, he pointed to the fact that When First Baptist Church built their new parking lot, they had to tear down two homes. He also mentioned the new library tax, and how building the new library would also cause a lot of traffic, and since he lives on N. Main, he would be able to see it from his home.

Meeks stated that N. Main is a state highway, and big trucks travel it often. He is in favor of the W.C. Whaley site for many reasons, and said that the land was purchased 8 years ago for this purpose, and all needed studies have been done that also point to W.C Whaley as the most appropriate site.

In response to the idea of waiting for the new mayor to take office Meeks said, “Wait for a new mayor? We’ve been waiting for 8 years.” “I drive by that lot everyday and I see Center Point Energy… I’d hate to have that view.”

Ex-Fire Chief Raymond Chisom spoke and said,  “I still believe it’s [W.C. Whaley] the best location.”

Mr. Chisom mentioned several eye-sores in the nearby area, including 3 different homes that were dilapidated, and one that has a tree that’s fallen through it.

“How could this be anything but an improvement to that neighborhood?” – Chisom

Fire Fighter Michael Barnett then spoke saying, “The decision has already been made.” He then praised Chief Faulkner.

“The Chief has busted his butt and done everything that’s been asked.” (In reference to studies and surveys.)

“It’s not about Main Street, or the Fire Department, it’s about what’s best for the city of Monticello.”

Next a Main Street business owner, Leslie McKiever stood to speak. She stated that her main concern with the W.C. Whaley site is the increase of traffic problems, when the current traffic, at certain times of the day, is so congested.

An audience member stood up and asked, “Aren’t you the one that owns the building that’s falling down on the square?”

McKiever responded saying she knew that when she spoke she’d be criticized for the problems with the building, and she did say that she has been continuously working on trying to remedy the problem. She spoke of increased taxes to pay for a new building and said, “Maybe I could afford to do something about my building if I didn’t have to pay so many taxes!”

In response to concerns about increased taxes to build the new fire station, Mayor Joe Rogers said, “We’re not asking for a tax increase. The money has already been budgeted by this city council.”

Susan Sharp Smith then came to address the audience,  “When there is historical preservation it resounds a feeling of town pride and respect.”  “I agree that we need a new fire station, and I agree that we need a new police station, but I strongly urge you to seek out other options.”

Next was Fire Fighter Charlie Hammock who asked the question, “If we don’t build on it [W.C. Whaley] and try to sell it, who is going to pay $45,000 an acre for it? The city owns it, go ahead and use it.”

Fire Fighter Bobby Sawyer followed asking the audience, in response to the “narrow streets” argument to, “compare that street to our current street. We have to find people at court to move their vehicles so we can get out.”

Sawyer went on to say, “We’re not on Main Street, it’s on Chester. It sounds to me that you [addressing the City Council] don’t appreciate us.”

Fireman Sawyer then spoke of what could possibly happen to the W.C. Whaley lot if it were sold to an individual. “Someone else buys that and they could put up chicken houses or a trailer park, or whatever they wanted. There are no zoning laws.”

He addressed the noise concerns by saying, “When we go through town at night with no traffic, we don’t use our sirens. We’re supposed to but we don’t, because we have enough respect for Monticello. We do all we can for the city.”

Monticello Police Department Dispatcher Tolley Harrod then spoke saying,

“I’m the one that takes your calls in the middle of the night. “My house is on fire! My son is drowning!” “

Mrs. Harrod spoke of the conditions of their current work environment stating that there was a terrible roach infestation, that cannot be corrected due to the condition of the building, mold, and even asbestos.

“Please, help them. [Fire Department] You wouldn’t want to work there. No one should have to work like that.”

“Our mayor is only trying to give the Fire Fighters what they need. Just give us what you told us you were going to give us.” – Harrod

Ex Fire Chief Chisom then addressed the audience again saying,  “When I was Fire Chief I put into the budget every year for remodeling. It was always used for something else. We’ve always been the step-child of the city.”

Gloria Wright then said, “This city has never turned down the Police Department or the Fire Department if they had the money. We were just too poor back then.”

Joe Meeks responded, “We do have the sales tax money now, we do have the land now, so maybe now’s the time to do it.”

Durning the meeting, it was asked if incoming Mayor Alan Maxwell was present, or if he had sent a statement.  Gloria Wright responded from the crowd that he had spoken to her about the issue, leading those present to infer that he had prepared a statement to be presented on his behalf, since he was in Washington D.C..

When asked at the end of the meeting if there was such a statement, Wright replied that it was a personal conversatin with him, and that she didn’t want to voice it publicly, without his permission.

Moderator Larry Doggett agreed that wouldn’t be appropriate, and moved on to ask if anyone else wished to be included on the program.

In closing Mayor Rogers expressed his favor of the W.C. Whaley site, thanked everyone that attended, and said, “I’m not going to stop. I’m going to keep going.”

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Posted Sept. 10, 2010

A TOWN HALL MEETING HAS BEEN SET FOR SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2010, AT 7:00 p.m. AT THE SADIE JOHNSON COMMUNITY BUILDING, 182 NORTH LARKIN STREET, CONCERNING CONSTRUCTION AND PLACEMENT OF A NEW FIRE STATION.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend, and express their opinions about the need for a new fire station in Monticello, as well as their preferred possible location for it to be located.

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Posted August 23, 2010

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

A date was set for a special meeting at the Sadie Johnson Building for the purpose of discussing construction of a new fire station. It will be held on Tuesday, September 14 at 7:00pm.

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City Council Declines to Discuss Date for Town Hall Meeting for Proposed Fire Station

Posted August 4, 2010

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

Mayor Joe Rogers placed a discussion on the agenda for the city council to select a date for a “town hall meeting” for the public to have the opportunity to speak about the proposed new fire station.

Rogers told the council, “We’ve drug our feet since 2001,  It’s time we at least try to get something started.”.  Council member Beverly Hudson discussed the need for a plan.  Carolyn Brown suggested having “a plan among ourselves,” then possibly hold a public meeting.

Council member Tim Chase recommeded having this discussion placed on the next regular meeting’s agenda, and “decide whether we’re going to have a town hall meeting.”

That regular meeting is scheduled for August 19, at 6 pm, at City Hall.

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Posted August 3, 2010

City Council to Discuss Date for Town Hall Meeting about Proposed Fire Station

During a special called meeting of the City Council to decide on possible funding of a local industy expansion, the Monticello City Countil will also discuss a possible a date for a town hall meeting concerning the fire station.

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

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Posted July 28, 2010

Let Your Council Member Know What You Think About the Fire Station & Other Issues

Monticello’s Fire Station location committee held a meeting last month and recommended the old W.C. Whaley property as the location for the new central fire station; then met the next day and changed their decision, based largely on phone calls from concerned citizens. (See videos below.)

Everyone understands that a public website like MonticelloLive may not always be the best place to post your name and comments on what may be considered political issues; but you still should let you City Council members know how you feel.

Since phone calls apparently will be considered a deciding factor in the fire station issue, MonticelloLive encourages you to contact your elected representative to tell them how you feel they should view the issue.

The City of Monticello has a webpage the has all of the city council member names, wards, and phone numbers listed, so that residents can contact them to express your concerns, especially when important issuees are to be decided.

Please call them, or go see them, and express your opinion, whatever your opinion is.

Remember, they work for you, and are deciding your city’s future.

Here’s the city’s elected officials web-site, http://www.monticellocityof.org/elected.html

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Mayor’s Letter to City Council & Citizens About Fire Station

Posted Juloy 19, 2010

To: The Monticello City Council and the Citizens of Monticello
From: Mayor Joe Rogers
Reference: Fire Station

In the last few days, there has been a great deal of media coverage concerning a new fire station for the City of Monticello. I would like to take this opportunity to point out some of the events leading up to this point in time and to explain why I feel that it is time to build a new station and why we should build at the former Whaley location.

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, on Thursday, September 20, 2001, the Monticello City Council by a vote of 7 to 1 authorized Mayor Harold West “to bid, with no ceiling on the bid, to purchase the W.C. Whaley Elementary School property and building.” Voting yes were Councilors Bond, Gillespie, Peer, Hudson, Wright, Ouellette and Hartness. Thornhill voted No. The purchase price of the Whaley street property was $140,000.00.

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, approved November 15, 2001, “The next order of business was a resolution to ratify the Mayor’s action to purchase W.C. Whaley school building and grounds from the Monticello School District. Councilor Wright introduced the following proposed resolution and the City Attorney read in full, distinctly and aloud in the hearing of the council as follows: A RESOLUTION RATIFYING THE MAYOR’S OFFER TO PURCHASE THE W. C. WHALEY SCHOOL BUILDING AND GROUNDS FROM THE MONTICELLO SCHOOL DISTRICT. Councilor Bond, seconded by Councilor Gillespie, moved to adopt said resolution. The bid was $140,000.00.” The resolution was accepted and became Resolution # 01-35.

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, on Thursday, November 15, 2001, “The next order of business was permission to advertise for bids to construct a building for the Fire Department on the W.C. Whaley property. Councilor Ouellette, seconded by Councilor Wright, moved to allow Mayor to advertise for bids for construction of building for Fire Department.”

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, on Thursday, January 17, 2002 “Councilor Wright introduced the following proposed resolution and the City Attorney read the resolution in full, A RESOLUTION REJECTING BIDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BUILDING TO HOUSE FIRETRUCKS AT THE WHALEY SCHOOL FACILITY.” By unanimous vote of the councilors in attendance, the measure was adopted. Resolution #02-04 states in part, ”Whereas, it is found that the bids of the different vendors were bid in such a manner to make it impossible to compare bids to determine the lowest and best bid submitted and that said bids should, therefore, be rejected and the project re-advertised for bidding.”

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, on Thursday, February 21, 2002, “Police Chief Pryor and Fire Chief Chisom discussed the necessary work to be completed to enable the Police Department, Fire Department, Municipal Court and 911 to move into the W.C. Whaley building purchased recently by the city.” Additionally the minutes state, ”Councilor Wright, seconded by Councilor Ouellette, moved to receive a report regarding the loan to purchase the College St. school and property and W.C. Whaley school and property.” A loan for $350,000.00 was secured at Union Bank to purchase these properties.

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, on Thursday, April 25, 2002, “Councilor Wright introduced the following proposed resolution and the City Attorney read the resolution in full, distinctly and aloud in the hearing of the council as follows:

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR TO EXECUTE A CERTAIN CONTRACT WITH WITTENBURG, DELONEY AND DAVIDSON FOR ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES FOR THE W.C. WHALEY COMPLEX.”

Resolution 02-15 was adopted by a unanimous vote of all councilors.

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, on Thursday, June 27, 2002, “Finance Director Kimberly Fletcher reviewed the funds available for renovations to W.C. Whaley; total funds available are $323,022.90 with one bill pending, $5000.00 for the architect.” “The total project will be around $1,144,630.00.” $412, 800.00 was the projected cost of the fire station. “Councilor Thornhill, seconded by Councilor Wright, moved to proceed with renovations to W.C. Whaley Building in phases….after discussion, the chair put the question all the councilors voted YES.”

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, on Thursday, July 18, 2002, “Councilor Thornhill stated that the W.C. Whaley committee met with Architect Tom Adams to discuss how to proceed in phases on remodeling the W.C. Whaley building.” Additionally, the minutes state that, ”Councilor Hudson, seconded by Councilor Wright, moved on behalf of the committee that the city move forward with the remodeling of the W.C. Whaley building and hire the architectural firm of Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson Architects and pay their fee of $35,000.00 to develop a pricing package that would describe the work to be accomplished in general.”

According to the minutes of the City Council Meeting, on Thursday, September 19, 2002 “Councilor Thornhill gave a report regarding the proposed renovations on the W.C. Whaley building and stated that we are waiting to receive the asbestos abatement study.”

On December 30, 2002, by check #102, Mayor West paid Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson Architects $29,750.00 for invoice #5136 dated November 4, 2002, for Schematic Design and Design Development. The invoice also included $98.46 in reimbursable expenses for a total of $29,848.46. A total of $35,517.53 was paid to Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson Architects.

In 2001, the Monticello City Council recognized the need for a new fire station and spent $140,000.00 of tax payers’ money to purchase a site that would fill that need.

In 2001, the Monticello City Council selected the Whaley site as the most desirable site for the main fire station.

Since then, Morris Associates was paid $600.00 to complete an asbestos survey.

Arkansas Contractors and Environmental Services was paid $73,558.00 to remove the asbestos and remove the remaining structure. City crews had already removed a large portion of the building. The total cost of the man hours, equipment hours and fuel expended by the city is not available.

The City of Monticello has over $249,675.53 invested in the Whaley property. That is an average of over $44,634.89 per acre.

In 2009, the Monticello City Council recognized the need for a new fire station and set aside $450,000.00 in the city budget to build that facility. That money continues to be available for this purpose. The new fire station can be built for this amount without any increase in fees or sales tax.

The Whaley site has been endorsed by the Arkansas State Fire Marshal. Monticello Fire Chief Steve Faulkner asked the state fire marshal to review possible locations and the Whaley property was chosen as the best site.

Retired Monticello Fire Chief Raymond Chisom reiterated his position on the matter. He remains firm in his selection of the Whaley property as the best site available.

For informational purposes, the ISO rating of a city or a rural fire department coverage area is a primary consideration in calculating the rate a property owner will pay for fire insurance coverage. A lower rating will decrease a policy holder’s premium. A higher rating will increase the policy holder’s premium. To select a new fire station location, it is necessary to consider the response area that station will serve and the relative location of any other fire stations that serve the area. An individual associated with ISO rating confirmed Whaley as the most desirable location available for the relocation of Station #1. Location selection becomes important to every home owner and business owner that could face a substantial increase in their insurance premium should response times be increased.

The argument that Wood Avenue is too narrow is without merit. Wood Avenue between Main and Hyatt is much wider and by far less congested with traffic than Church Street which is currently being used in the immediate area of Station #1. North Main, State Highway 83, is currently a truck route and accommodates heavy trucks. Traffic lanes on North Hyatt are exceptionally wide and will allow traffic to be able to pull to the side to allow emergency traffic. The Whaley location is in the immediate area of some of the older, more likely structures to experience electrical wiring failures and heating system problems, two of the most common causes of residential fires.

Siren noise has been mentioned as a problem. According to Fire Chief Faulkner, currently the Monticello Fire Department only uses sirens when they are necessary. Given the lack of traffic in this area, it is unlikely that sirens would be necessary for most responses.

Given all of this information it is reasonable to say that:

There continues to be a dire need to replace the current 1938 Fire Station #1.

The Whaley property was the location of choice in 2001.

The Whaley location remains the most desirable location.

The City of Monticello has an extraordinary amount of money, $249, 675.53, invested in the Whaley Street piece of property.

The Monticello City Council recognized the need to replace Station #1 in 2009 and set aside $450,000.00 to build a new station.

A significant amount of time, money and effort has been spent in studies and research that have selected the site as the best choice for the safety and well-being of all the citizens in Monticello.

Conclusion: Now is the time to build a new fire station on the Whaley Street property.

Yours truly,
Joe Rogers
Mayor of Monticello

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted July 18, 2010

Fire Station Location Addressed at City Council Meeting

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

Gloria Wright brought concerns to the council about the W.C. Whaley property and the consideration of putting a new fire station there.

“The council has always provided for the police and fire department when the money was there.” “Problems with City Hall and the Police Department will still not be solved. [if fire station is built.]” – Wright

Mrs. Wright expressed concerns over the new apartments being built in HWY 425 and said, “I’m not sure that those 60 units have been considered in the location of the fire station.”

Fire Chief Steven Faulkner said, in regards to the location of a new fire station, “my main concern is giving the same fire coverage that we give now.” He stated that moving the fire department too far in any one location, means less coverage for someone that is now farther away.

Story by Mandy Moss.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted July 16, 2010

In a peculiar twist of timing and location, the Monticello Fire Dept. responded to a Cadillac Escalade on fire at the intersectin of N. Main and Oakland Streets, Friday around 1 pm.

Their last fire call was to a kitchen fire at Turtle Creek Apartments, Wednesday night, around 11 p.m.

They irony is that both of these locations

240 Responses to “City Council Votes to Build New Fire Station at W.C. Whaley Property —– “Top Headline of 2011””

  1. jim stevens says:

    sounds to me like carolyn brown is the only one trying to hold up progress

  2. Cornflake S. Pecially says:

    Is the center of town really the best place for a fire station? Monticello will only grow in the future, which will put its city limits further and further away from this station.

    With a staffed station on the southside at UAM and a non-staffed station on the east side, wouldn’t it make sense for the fire department headquarters to be in a location more northwest of the city center?

  3. Matt Lewis says:

    Why are we rushing into this building of the new firestation. It seems to me we ought to let the new administration coming into office have some input with a fininancial obligation this large.

  4. DUB says:

    Seems to me like it makes more sense to have the main Fire Station as close to the very center of any town as possible. That way they have the same response time anywhere in town.

  5. Someguy says:

    In my opinion, I think they should use the 2 they have now, and if they build another one, build it somewhere north of town,like maybe where The Nook or the Old Leggett buildings are. I agree with Cornflake. I do not think the center of town is the best place. Also,watch the $450,000 not be enough. I can’t see that much money being the cost for a new fire station

  6. Some other guy says:

    Historic is a brand new addition to a church, with a Huge concrete parking lot huh!

  7. CuriousReader says:

    DUB, you are correct if the city in question only has one fire station.

    The Monticello Fire Department is unique in that it not only covers the city, but many unincorporated areas up to five miles beyond the city limits — and practically the whole county for wrecks with people trapped.

    A town the size of Pine Bluff, for instance, has seven fire stations to cover approx. 45 square miles. Monticello firefighters cover at least that much area with only two. Perhaps three de-centralized fire stations would be best to cover the city and areas immediately surrounding it.

  8. Some other guy says:

    In which they tore down TWO Historic homes to build

  9. drew co. citizen says:

    the center is the center no matter how much larger the town grows un less it grows more on one side the it does another. then what once was the center would no longer be the center. so what would you do then move the firestation to that center. i know this is a city matter but i think we should let the pros handle this and they make the best choice for monticello and we live with it. im sure everyone would like a firestation and police station located in their neighborhood. and as far as letting the new administation handle this, its something that needs to be done asap not 6 months down the road although it will still take them that long to deside. sometimes i wonder about our small town. seems like everyone trys to go against the other cause of some grudge or something, when we forget we should work together to acomplish things. I think our leaders need to step up and be leaders not demanders. And weather you like it or not its like the song says “THIS IS MY TOWN”.

  10. Someguy says:

    @matt-I totally agree with you. What is less than 1 more year gonna hurt? This has been in the making since 2001.

  11. concerned says:

    Nothing probably is going to happened. Until we vote some of these council members that are still stuck in the 1960’s nothing will be done. Mark my words.

  12. w. wood resident says:

    As a resident of w. wood avenue I can assure you I do not want a fire station this close to where my home is due to the noise of the sirens and the wear and tear on the roads.

  13. Fireman on Main St. says:

    Several Points to be made:
    1. I don’t think anyone is rushing into anything. The Whaley property was purchased in 2001 for the specific purpose of relocating the police, fire, and city hall. That is almost 10 years of waiting, not rushing. With that in mind, the new mayor/council should be involved as well.
    2. If the fire station is moved North or West, the city would have to hire more people to man the fire station on Commerce Street just to keep the current ISO rating for our residents on the East side of town.
    3. The state fire marshal and insurance commission have suggested the Whaley property is the best location to keep current ISO ratings and response times.
    4. If the Whaley property is not used for the fire dept., a council member stated the city should sell the property which will open the land up to ANY use the new owner sees fit. There are no zoning laws to restrict the use. I would rather see a fire station/police dept than another apartment complex or CenterPoint Energy expansion.
    5. As for it fitting in with the neighborhood, I think any new building built tastefully will be fine. The multipurpose building at First Baptist fits in fine and I’m sure the proposed library on the end of North Main St. will be built tastefully as well. As a side notes, there are several “Historic Houses” that are in major states of disrepair.
    6. If you feel the fire dept should continue to use the current central station, then drop by and see where they sleep during there sleep. Prisoners have better cells.

  14. To crazy says:

    The Whaley site would be great. Think of all the Business (that are left) Courthouse and homes in that area. It is not like we have a ton of calls in the middle of the night. My goodness did you look at the pictures that play is gross go by and see for yourselves. It has been way to long. And you can have a Building built to look older. It is better than driving up to the Sq and seeing what appears to be Duck Tape trying to hold a store front up only to get to the other coner and see one that has blown up. Why would anyone consider US for anything the way things look.

  15. Knows the Story says:

    I’m proud one of our Council members has the guts to stay with her vote and tell it like it is..Great job Mrs Sherrie

  16. Knows the Story says:

    Someguy should go to the Central Fire Station and take a tour of it. And his idea of building a station where the Nook or Leggetts was is dumb, right arcoss the street from a church and Stepshenson/Dearman Funeral Home.

  17. lightyourpassion says:

    Oh joy, more sirens at all times of the night right by our house. Maybe they should talk to some of people that live in this RESIDENTAL area. I’m sure my 3 children will get a wonderful nights sleep now!

  18. what ever says:

    OK liveing and working in our current one is bad for these guys theres no room in side for any of the fire fighters if they meet at our central station after a fire to load or unload trucks to straightin out fire hose on side walk and little parking for fire fighters thay have to stand out side to meet after a fire and in rain not good. there is no parking for fireman at all on court days makes it hard to load a truck and fill with water and as far as location of fire station city ownes wc whaily land and the roads are fine school bus drove down that road for years and school bells rang everyday and that did not stop them from haveing a school there for many years and our city fire trucks are not going to be any bigger or louder and if theres any ?’s on moveing the station the one reason thay do not want to move it is we have ios rateings and we have 1mile rate that would move meaning some of our bigger propertys would loose that and opening a station3 the coast of manning it is to much and yes we can make 450,000 do our city a good fire station and build it to look good in that part of town. And no ones rushing in to bulding anything if we have been waiting for years and years and this mayor or new one fact is we need a new station and the land is payed for so just get it done youre not going to be able to please everyone no matter what you do.just sayin.

  19. Corn chip says:

    All this comes down to is a few people and their personal conserns not the population of the city.Has anyone bothered to stop and ask the hole population, because this effects a five mile radious from the fire department.The i.s.o. rateing is what keeps your insurance rateings from going up. The better the rating the lower your insurance rating can go just ask the insurance companys.As for the traffic, for how many decades did you have morning and afternoon school traffic complete with a couple dozen school buses and maby a hundred or so parents in their vehicles, and lets not forget about the special functions coupled with normal traffic and school bells that would go into the night. You also have apartment buildings on north main, a half block off of north main that you can see from main that i don’t hear anyone complaining about one of which the police have to go to sometimes a couple times a week.The gas place that can be seen from main that is an eye sore along with their traffic.Oh and what about the business offices on north main and their traffic.Besides that are those “Historic Homes” made of 100 year old wood that would go up like a bomb and would benifit from the fire department.The bottom line is that this is for the greater good of the comunity not just for a few.

  20. in the know says:

    Ok, so a few have stated that they don’t want the fire station in their neighborhood because of the noise of the sirens…you wouldn’t mind the sirens if it was YOUR house on fire, or YOUR loved one trapped in a vehicle, now would you?! Police, fire, and EMS run lights and sirens for a reason…someone is in trouble and needs help, NOW! Think about it…if we locate the fire station north or west of town, just how long do you think it will take them to get to YOUR house on Main St.? I personally wouldn’t mind it being in my backyard for that reason alone.

    Stop bickering over it and DO something…these guys have to put up with a lot of stuff as it is…they desperately need a new “home away from home” and for those who don’t believe it’s urgent…I encourage you to go work a full shift with them and then make your decision.

  21. FIREMAN says:

    ITS PRETTY OBVIOUS THAT THE RESIDENTS THAT LIVE NEAR THE W.C. WHALEY PROPERTY HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. YOU KEEP MAKING THE SAME COMMENTS OVER AND OVER, “WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR THE SIRENS AT NIGHT, AND THE STREETS ARE TO NARROW”. YOU APPARENTLY DON’T REALIZE THAT WE TRAVEL THOSE STREETS NOW AND WILL TRAVEL THOSE STREETS NO MATTER WHERE THE STATION IS LOCATED. WE ALSO DON’T MAKE A HABIT OF RUNNING SIRENS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WHEN WE ARE RESPONDING TO CALLS BECAUSE THERE IS USUALLY NO TRAFFIC FOR US TO GET AROUND. BUT I CAN PROMISE YOU THAT THE PERSON WHO CALLED US IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WOULD LOVE TO HEAR OUR SIRENS BECAUSE THEY WOULD KNOW THAT WE ARE COMING TO HELP THEM IN THEIR TIME OF NEED. ITS SAD THAT THE FIRE DEPARTMENT SEEMS TO BE SO HATED UNTIL THEY ARE NEEDED. AT LEAST MRS. GILLESPE STILL WANTS TO SEE PROGRESS MADE, AND NOT JUST IN HER WARD.

  22. 65 says:

    Lightyourpassion, you dont have a clue do you , i guess if your house is the one that catches on fire you want the fire dept to sneak up to your house queitly so they dont wake your kids. Go by the station on any given day and see for yourself how much noise they make, [none], i know there is one council member that needs to go ahead and retire, she dont even know what day of the week it is much less what she is voting on.To be honest with you i hope it dont go on North Main and they put it as far away from there as possible, then let something happen to their house, then they will be crying that it took to long for the fire dept to get there.I wish they would put a junk yard there, bet they would be happy then

  23. D George says:

    Once again Monticello elects to stay in the dark ages. No wonder Monticello can’t recruit any industry. If you are waiting on Maxwell you will have to wait another 4 years as he has said no to spending. Money that is already there and designated for the project. Guess he will cut that one cent increase that was passed for this and other projects. As they say in Blue Collar Comedy – Here’s your card – STUPID.

  24. D George says:

    The fire department needs to conduct safety inspections of these so called historic neighborhood homes, esp those used for business and make sure they are up to code, and if not close them down. There is no way these structures could pass todays standards. You have a bunch of old biddies telling Monticello how it shoud be run. It’s time to get rid of these “historiacal” council members and bring Monticello into the future. They are the best reason for term limits and they should be self imposed, two terms and out.

  25. GiveMeABreak says:

    I for one, applaud Mrs. Gillespe for her courage in speaking for the citizens that she represents in her ward. At least she knows that the people want and need a new fire station, centrally located and built on the property that was purchased in 2002 for that purpose. If the people that live on North Main are that concerned about the noise of having a fire station there, then I invite you to do the “research” and park over at the jail, get out of your car and sit there for a few hours one night, without going sleep, because it is so quiet. Almost as quiet as Oakland Cemetary. I think. like others have said, the problem is a couple of people are worried about what it will look like and will it interfere with my sleep. If I am not mistaken, the mayor already has plans or blueprints that would show what the building will look like, and as for the noise, well I just gave you the answer to that question. I am sure that a beautiful, tasteful, firestation can be built that will fit right in with that area of town. We don’t need it to look like the Hilton or another of our “historical (falling down) buildings” on the square. Now, with that said, Mayor Rogers, I also commend you on having the courage to “TRY” and get things done before you leave office. All this crap about you trying to bankrupt the city is ridiculous. This land and the money was set aside almost 10 years ago for this very purpose and all we have heard for those 10 years is “table it and do more research”. How much more thinking and studying do we need? NO MORE, that’s how much. We have already heard from engineers to inspectors and they all have recommended the W.C. Whaley site as the best location. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the $30,000 that we also spent on more “research”. Ms. Brown and Ms. Hudson need to be quiet and let the people be heard. WE WANT AND NEED A NEW FIRE STATION, NOW………. Not 10 years from now…………..

  26. fireman's wife says:

    I think that this issue should have been studied to the extent the committee is asking for now over the past 8 years. It is time for action now…it’s actually long overdue. As someone who didn’t grow up here, I don’t get wrapped up in the “politics” of who certain people are and why their opinions should weigh more than the State Police Chief. Seems to me that a professional opinion should be enough. I do agree that there are lots of empty buildings around town, but if the professional says that Whaley is the best place for the new fire/police department…I think we need to get it done. North Main does have lots of historic homes, but there are lots of non-historic homes too. The square is right in the middle of the historic district. Look at the mess people see when they drive our square. I am ashamed of that mess! I think in this town some people’s personal opinions weigh too much. There are about 9,000 people in this town according to the sign coming into town. Unfortunately, all of their opinions are not as valued.

  27. GiveMeABreak says:

    One more suggestion, why don’t we call a town meeting, open to all who want a voice in this matter. Proposed location, the old W.C. Whaley school lot. Make sure the Mayor, all city council members and incoming Mayor Allen Maxwell are all in attendance, that way they can actually hear what the people want. Just let me know, I’ll be there.

  28. possumfabulouse says:

    you know i think the city council are being very disrespectful to the people that could save their smokin hides, if a house on main street goes up like a dry box of kindeling, it seems the biggest issue is cosmetic, well a firestation will look much better than a burned out rubble of a historic home they would burn faster than a mobile home, and a firestation should be an assett or at least thats how homeowner insurance sees it, I also think that one council member in particular could take a lesson on manners from our fire team, they never spoke over or interupted anyone, but every time they made a point before they could finish what they said, they were cut off with i see what your sayin but, by a council member. close your eyes open your ears and listen to what the firemen are sayin, they know there job, how many lives have you saved? And another thing, one of the council members clearly should have left the meating with a public intoxication ticket.

  29. jim stevens says:

    everyone needs to watch the video and see just how “lost” carolyn brown is. she couldn’ remeber what they were even voting for, or that she seconded the motion to begin with (22:30 on video). just more proof that we need new aldermen in this town!!

  30. CONCERNED says:

    Is about time we need to vote these city council members out that are stuck in the 1960’s. We need younger people with a vision and dedication that can lead this town. Remember this when election time comes.

  31. heretoprotectyourbutnotkissit says:

    i am amazed at how ungreatful some citizens of monticello are. all yall clueless selfish members of city council, the drunk one included, and the residents that dont like noise, or the fact that we have to do more than the speed you prefer, when or if God forbid your house, or business catches fire, or you or your loved one is upsidedown trapped in a mangeled hunk-o-burnin medal, when you call 911 please feel free to tell us to drive slow and use no emergency lights or sirens, so you can loose everything you own and possibly die an agonizing death. Everytime that pager goes off we lay our lives on the line, we are trained and educated men and women, the waley location is the best location, to give us a fast responce time, and room to grow with the comunity, what type of town cares so little about the historical area, not to want protection as close as possible. and how dare those of you on the council, the drunk one included, atempt to talk down to the firefighters like we are stupid children wanting a new toy. not a one of you have any idea the danger we put our lifes in for you. All we want is the best spot to serve you ungreatfull people. in short were here to save your but not kiss it. So work with us not against us.

  32. 21st Century says:

    It is most definitely time for Monticello to move into the 21st Century! We are the only city of the first class in the entire state without zoning laws. Our firefighters do not conduct safety inspections inside of all businesses because this town values the power of an individual over the safety of the masses.

    This city needs three fire stations right now. The ISO office gives credit for 1.5 road miles for each fire engine. Go to the fire stations now and start driving. You will run out of radius before you run out of town. Almost all of the time, there is only one firefighter on duty at the UAM station and one firefighter on duty at night at the central fire station. We have well-trained & dedicated group of volunteers, but how does a city the size of Monticello only have two firefighters on duty at night?

    It’s time for our city to move forward! Let’s get progressive!

  33. JUST WONDERING says:

    Just wondering says: Just wondering what will happen to the old Fire department, Surely the city won’t let it fall in. Why has it not been maintained with a new roof and top floor maintained. Also if we have a building that records are kept in and it flooded, why wasn’t an engineer called in to remedy the problem. I know for a fact that the old sewer plans were ruined by something. Who knows what basic information we have for a new firestation built any where in the main old part of town about the age of the sewer system, the clay pipes that have collapsed in the down town area and are no longer functional. The sewer system is in a grave situation. If we can’t afford to maintain what we have,how can we take care of the new when it is going to be built over an old sewer system that already causes problems now. Also the only things that I see we have got going since we don’t have any industry is the older homes and used to be a nice well kept square that didn’t have bitter weeds 2 feet high along Main St.
    We have the college and a lake that needs more recreational publicity. Oh yes, wonderful ball fields that are going to produce
    outstanding athletes that are going to settle down in Monticello and cause lots of people to come and meet them. Let’s build on and maintain what we do have . The people on Main Street have really put a lot of money into restoration of their homes and we should be thankful that we can enjoy them. I had someone visiting and I took them down Main Street, out to the college and to the lake. AGAIN WHEN DID THE FIRE STATION START FALLING IN !!!!! WHO WAS THE FIRE CHIEF. YOU CAN BET IT WASN’T JACK CARSON.

  34. justwanttosay says:

    I just want to say that Monticello firefighters rock! They do a great job considering the junk they have to work with and the hard time people give them.

  35. Someguy says:

    @-KNOWSTHESTORY—it was a thought. How could it be a stupid one when firetrucks and ambulances from towns south of here pass by the church/funeral home with there sirens blasting now,and if it is stupid,I guess your stupid if you want it at the old W.C.Whaley lot,which last time I was buy there is RIGHTBESIDE 1 church and within probably200yrds of another church!
    @CONCERNED—SO SO TRUE!!!!

  36. afirefighterwifeandchristan says:

    being the wife of one of monticellos awsom fire dept men and a christian, when im sleeping sound at night and my husbands pager goes off, and as he leaves with his lights and sirens on, or when were in church or anywhere else, never once has it occur to me to be angry, for being woke up or interupted, all i do is stop what im doin and pray to God, that they get there in time to save all involved and that what ever the circumstance they are going into doesnt prevent them from comeing home. And what better place to be than church if you hear the sirens of fire and rescue go off, because its a signal someones in trouble and needs prayer. After all arnt you in church for prayer and fellowship of our family through Christ? Im proud to have a fighter in my home and by my side, how dare those of you to not want him in your neighborhood. A fast responce often equals a life and all that comes with it saved. These guys have steady hands, nerves of steel and hearts of gold. and some of you have the nerve to complain if they have to make a little noise and flash a light now and then? If your not sleepin at night it aint the sirens is probably your concience.

  37. CuriousReader says:

    The deterioration of the fire station is like the deterioration of anything — it doesn’t happen overnight. “JUST WONDERING” is probably right that it didn’t completely occur under the watch of Jack Carson, but he hasn’t been fire chief in nearly 25 years! If you notice, the building is held together with screws. They are visible at the top corner. Those have been in place for decades.

    Right or wrong, people view firefighters differently since 9-11. For years before that, many people viewed the fire department in Monticello and many other towns as just another city department. In Monticello, it was neglected for some time. The MFD went 13 years (1983-1996) without a new pumper while ones they had got older and harder to maintain.

    Some city leaders have been hesitant to remodel the current headquarters station because of the possible need to build an elevator to the second floor to meet ADA requirements. Even if the second floor was remodeled, the driving force of this project should be the simple lack of square footage.

    When the current station was built in the 1930s, fire engines were tiny compared to today’s versions. (They keep an antique at Station 2. Stop by and compare for yourself.) The modern pumpers barely fit inside Station 1 with room to walk around them. With more trucks and bigger trucks, it only makes sense that the fire department needs a new headquarters after 70+ years in this one.

    However, since it will likely be another 70 years before the facilities are upgraded again, the city leaders need to make sure they’re doing what’s best for the city and it’s future growth — not just what’s easiest and cheapest for the current situation.

  38. Progressive says:

    Vacillation seems to be the name of the Monticello City Council

    Four of the council members who were there in 2001 when the council approved the plan to relocate the city hall complex to W.C. Whaley School are still on the city council today. They approved the project and the expenditure of over a million dollars but now are hesitating to proceed.

    What has changed? The need as originally outlined was a lack of parking, a lack of space for the needs of city hall and police department employees and a fire station that was substandard.

    Slow down, some say. Well, it has been almost a decade and
    the action to move forward on this project is certainly not moving at too fast a pace.

    Gloria Wright, a Main Street resident, was on the city council at the time this decision was made. She seconded the motion to move forward with this project. If she has changed her mind, she has no complaint. She cast her vote back in 2001.

    This project will be done in phases and the fire station is a logical place to start because the building is about to fall in on itself as it was in 2001.

    If noise is a concern, there is nothing preventing the city council, the lawmaking body of Monticello, from enacting a law for firetrucks to run between the hours of 10 p.m. and
    6 a.m. with lights only, no sirens.

    If historical concerns were truly an issue, there would be no
    modern apartment or office buildings on historical Main Street.
    That historical boat left the dock. Indecision by the members of the city council to enact planning to protect homeowners and historical buildings in the city put us where we are today. It was the action of the city council that allowed two historical homes to be razed for church expansion and parking. Where was the historical concern then?

    Inaction again will be costlier in the long run because it will raise the price of a new city hall complex higher for taxpayers each year it is delayed. Wise city legislators should plan now for the completion of the project, not on the basis of who is mayor, but on fact that the sales tax revenues generated by
    Wal-Mart Super Center will allow the funds for completion of the project.

    Hanging on to the past will not change the future of Monticello but coupled with indecision, it might mean this opportunity to move ahead will be lost.

  39. Wondering says:

    Why, if historic is historic, is it not possible to build the
    fire station with a facade that fits in with the historical concerns that have been expressed. Some effort was made to make the Baptist Church addition look in keeping with the neighborhood
    and the proposed library is supposed to built with architectural
    appointments that make it blend in with the historical neighborhood. But the city council has not demanded that any buildings on Main Street be built to blend in with the neighborhood.

  40. concerned says:

    City Council meeting on July 15th 6 PM. Come and see your city council member represent you or not. Don’t let issues be swept under the rug. Since 2001 when W.C. Whaley was purchase the city council can’t make up their mind when, where and if a fire station is going to be built. Is time you see your city council meember in action. Lets vote the ones that have no leadership or represent the community in the next election.

  41. flowerchild says:

    i think the new fire station should be built behind wendys – so they won’t need to drive the fire trucks so far to get a hamburger

  42. CuriousReader says:

    @Progressive- The city council cannot pass a “lights only” ordinance for emergency vehicles. By state law, for a fire engine (or police car, ambulance, etc.) to be considered an “emergency vehicle,” it must operate with lights AND a continuously audible siren, bell or whistle.

    I would bet several dollars that many police officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel already respond without a siren to middle-of-the-night calls out of courteousness and because it’s not always needed. However, they do this at a legal risk to themselves should the be involved in an accident.

    The people who complain about noise from the fire station have not researched this matter at all. Monticello’s fire stations are much quieter than one would initially suspect. They are not like big city fire stations that run thousands of calls a year.

  43. CuriousReader says:

    One more thing regarding the noise… I would imagine that the Monticello Ambulance Service actually makes more runs than the fire department. Their station is in a partially residential part of town and has been for many years without incident or significant complaint.

  44. GET REAL! says:

    Hey flowerchild, why don’t you work a 24hour shift in a building without a kitchen then listen to people that don’t have a clue complain when you go out to eat. Do you expect firemen to put your house out or cut you out of a wrecked car on an empty stomach? They could have the wives bring them food to the fire station and have a nice pick-nick on the twin bed/dining room table. (That’s sarcasm in case you didn’t get it!) GET REAL!

  45. Curious says:

    Why does renovating the 2nd story require an elevator? Seems to me that if you can’t climb a flight of stairs you shouldn’t be a firefighter. I’m curious why basic maintenance was not done to the building before the circumstances were so dire? If minor expansion needs to be done, why not the Harvey Thompson vacant lot across the street? Build a shed for the big truck. Seems to me the roof could be fixed, the second story could be re-done for living facilities and the down stairs is an adequate office. Spend money manning a substation so the citizens of Monticello could have lower insurance rates. Oh, I forgot, Joe and Jane Public are not “professionals”; they are just the patsies that get to foot the bill. I smell another one-cent sales tax in the making.

  46. drew co. citizen says:

    historic is history, history is the past. the future is what we have to prepare for. ever heard the saying “out with the old in with the new”. well that time has come and gone. our firefighters should be moving into a new firestation not still talking about building one. Ms. Hudson and Ms. Brown. welcome to the future. wake up and smell the coffee. its time to get real or get out!!!!!

  47. Ryan says:

    Ok my whole thing on the noise is that if the fire station is moved to the proposed spot it will not be that far from it’s original location. So if the noise isn’t a problem now, which it’s not, why do people think it will be when the new fire station is less than a mile from it’s previous location. I also agree that Monticello is not progressing into the 21st century. It is slowly dieing. I was born and raised here, and for the 25 years of my life, I’ve noticed more people my age that want nothing more than to get out of Monticello. If the citizens of this community want to see this town grow and prosper, they need to realize what was the norm 30 years ago, is not the same today.

  48. CuriousReader says:

    Curious, are you suggesting that the fire engines be across a railroad track (Harvey Thommason property) from where the offices & living quarters are? Because that would create an awkward situation when a fire or wreck occurs while the one rare train comes into town and parks on that stretch of track. Also, that would put both station’s engines south of the railroad. Ideally, fire engines would be staffed and located north and south.

    As for the elevator, I don’t know that it would be required. I just know that several “coffee shop lawyers” have suggested that it would be. Lord knows that’s enough to scare some elected officials off. The people we vote into office aren’t big fans of researching anything themselves. Regardless, there simply isn’t sufficient square footage in the current building — renovation or not.

  49. 870 says:

    If noise is the issue, just wait until they get the tornado sirens cranked up. Every time there’s a dark cloud they will have people running for shelter like the London Blitzkrieg. The sirens are just as part of the deal.

  50. joemailman says:

    Sounds to me like someone with more pull got their way. Ms. Wright, shouldn’t have a say where the building goes. She cast her vote in the past.

    I think if we have a location that is centrally located and best for the city, the residents should just deal with it. If they wanted to put a fire station across the street from my house, I say go right ahead.

    Just build the stinking station and be done with it. I would be willing to bet that these older council members are friends with Ms. Wright and are doing a “favor.” Why is it such a huge deal about where to put the station? Why does this Ms. Wright have so much pull? She is certainly getting her way with the council.

    If they have a different location that is better suited for a fire station, then build it there. Lets get a station built for the city!

  51. Curious says:

    They have more than one firetruck. I assume if the train is parked on the railroad now during a fire or wreck they can’t go south – The one big truck can be parked across the road and add some parking. Personally, I don’t think Monticello will suffer if they renovate their current facility. I understand that with Monticello becoming a Main Street town there will be more money available for renovation rather than new bulding. I think the Chamber of Commerce is older than the fire station, but the building has been maintained. I just don’t understand why the whole City Hall has not been maintained. The MEDC is now a small palace. The City should utilize part of that space. Also, the only way to have a real impact on fire coverage is to man substations. I personally think the police could use a substation in the eastern part of town. A new building mania in the worst recession since the great depression is not fiscally sound. Especially if the City does not maintain anything it builds anyway. I think this needs to be shelved under the current lame duck administration. The voters spoke very loudly.

  52. concerned says:

    I agree with curious and progressive on most issues. Lets find a solution that benifits the community and firefighters. Don’t let the city council members table this and refuse to vote on this issue. It has been a long time and the city council can’t come up with an agreeable solution. If city council members can’t lead or make decision get out of the way and let somebody else make it. Is apparent that prolonging this issue is not helping anybody. The fire station continues to get in worse shape since the city council can’t make a decision.

  53. needs to know says:

    iv watched that video a few times now, evrytime i see it the more i side with the fire department, and get more and more irritated with the city council 0f cort jestures, but the the elefant in the room that people are over looking is carolyn brown…. is she sleepin part of the time… or on allergy medication because she seems so drowsey and unaware of everything including the the issue she seconed..whats up with that? Id also like to say im proud mrs. gilespy stood her ground.

  54. Justdosomethingalready says:

    Geez, just do something already! Don’t want it in an Historic area. Move to east end of Monticello square and pick a spot! Clean up something and put it there.

    Put it where the old Burlington Rug Plant stands/falls … it too is historic …..

    Move on already!

  55. frustrated says:

    I have read a lot of comments from people that have no idea about what is going on. Comments have been made about cost, there was a comment made by Carolyn Brown about the economy now, none of that matters. The land has already been bought, and the money for the station is there. Also the land was bought for this purpose according to the council meeting minutes. Research before you post or be quiet.

  56. Hopeful Citizen says:

    I cannot help but note that the writers saw all the blemishes in the Historical District except the modern law office. They pointed out that two wonderfully historic homes were leveled in order for the church to expand. It was also noted that the new building left Sarah Sawyer with nothing but a view of ugly concrete that practically reaches the top of the back of the church building. In addition, it was mentioned that there were apartment buildings on N. Main. Obviously, people notice when anything not historical pops into the hisorical district. Just because it has been done in the past does not mean it has to continue.

    I am not against the building’s being put at the W. C. Whaley site, but I do hope that some extra money and effort can be put into its being historically structured so that it does not ruin what is left of out otherwise wonderful district. Not every town can boast an area like our Main Street area. It’s something that invites new citizens to our town. With the possibility of the Main St. organization having some influence on the downtown merchants and building owners, perhaps the old buildings there can be restored, too. Keeping our city looking good is a drawing card for the future. Let’s begin with the new fire department’s structure being in keeping with the historical area.

    We go to other town’s that have done these types of historically accurate buildings and think how wonderful they are. We can do it, too. Someone just has to start the renovation first. Put the fire department at Whaley but build it aesthetically correct. Please do not just plop down a metal building or one that is not attractive in the middle of the historic district. Let’s start now to make Monticello’s down town one that invites people to come here.

  57. Fireman on Main says:

    Im glad every one has an opinion on this subject. Its up to YOU to express your opinion (no matter what it is) at the city council meeting this Thursday at 6pm (pretty sure on the time but someone correct me if im wrong) COME SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!!!!!!!

  58. FIREMAN FFF says:

    Yes, the MFD needs the new station. As far as history the city council needs get out of the history mode. In with the new and out with the OLD!! The W.C. land is most central place in town. For the ones say there is no need of a new station. Look, you go to central station and see what the conditions are. We have buildings on town square that has duck tape! What about the building fell? These are death traps! When the pager goes off we put ourlives on the line to save a life.

  59. FIREMAN WONDERS says:

    Yes, the MFD needs a new station. These guys who work in those conditions should have the best. As for the ones who said NO, should try to live in those conditions. “History” ?? As the saying goes out with OLD and in with the new!! That is what needs happens to the Council! Lets talk about history, what about the building om Town Square that has duct tape on it and the building that fell!! These buildings are DEATH TRAPS!! When the pager goes off each fireman puts his/her life on the line. So, God forbid anything to happen if your house catches on fire or you have a car wreck you would want help as soon as possible. Take time and THANK these people when they help you because they risk their own life o save yours. The W.C. land is the most central place in this town to have the New Fire Station. These Guys need the best. A ” NEW HOME AWAY FROM HOME.” Why is it the Fireman are always the ones looked down one, if the Fire Dept. helped you then you are o.k. with them until a Fireman is responding to a call running lights and sirens, then the bad talk is on about the Fire Dept.

  60. Curious says:

    Are we sure the money is there? After huge cost over-runs on the Sports Complex, a Splash Pad, and new pavillions complete with brand new bathrooms, again – is the money really there? If it is we are probably paying too much sales tax. If Monticello is afloat in wealth-why have our water rates been increased twice in a little over a year’s time? Do you realize these water increases are fixed costs that add to the overall burden on Monticello’s citizens during a time of high unemployment and falling wages. The people who are hurt most by these increases are families with small children, families caring for invalids, the elderly on fixed incomes and small businesses. Everyone is quick to point out that 35% of the local sales tax comes from outside Drew County. That means 65% does come from Monticello and Drew County citizens. Drew County is preparing to propose a .05 cent sales tax and the State of Arkansas is on the verge of asking for .05 cent sales tax for roads. Another 1 cent in the blink of an eye, and these taxes never go away. They are only added to. Start doing the Math, folks. We need some sound fiscal stewardship and to start managing without taxing ourselves into oblivion. I do not stand in the way of progress, but there are methods of evaluating public projects as to the time value of money, and the impact of the project to the overall public good. I would hazard to guess that many of these last projects undertaken by the City of Monticello lately would not meet any rational economic criteria during a recession.

    And, I would really question after watching both videos what “professional” constitutes these days?

  61. Live Within Our Means says:

    The unpopular topic of building a new fire station has nothing to do with either being for or against the fireman themselves.

    This is about holding the city adminstration accountable for past and present decisions which directly affect the ability of Monticello to succeed.

    I DO have a problem with the idea that, historically, city facilities have not been properly maintained. I know that if I allowed my roof to leak and for water to flood the foundation, that I would not have a home.

    Therefore, when I see a leak, I fix it. If I see foundation problems, I fix them.

    I can’t afford to build a new home everytime my neglect causes damage.

    I want my community leaders to show the same concern for the investment of MY tax dollars!

    Many, many, taxpayers in Monticello live in homes older than the current city complex. There is no excuse for our leaders having allowed our facilities to deteriorate to this state. Forgive me if I have no faith in them to maintain any new facilities which they want to build.

    If they can’t take care of what they are already responsible for, they surely do not have the ability to add new responsiblities to the list.

    It DOES upset me to know that the central firestation is a hazard to those who must work there. But, with two other stations already in existance, why can’t the department temporarily work from the UAM facility, or the east side station, while renovations to fix the previous neglect are done.

    The city, like all individual taxpayers, must live within its means! “

  62. Google says:

    First, I would like to thank the MFD for putting there lives at risk in the moment when needed. Also, they not only put out fires, they get ppl out of trapped autos after a wreck & several other things. I do think all the money spend on a “fence,splash pad.etc” should have been spent after these Firefighters had them a “better” place. Anyplace would be better than where they are now I think. Also, the building on the square. If landlords get a letter in the mail saying they need to clean there property up,etc., then why is this still a eye sore. Are the owner/owners of this property being fined like(if I’m right)the city code says they could? And after a certain amt of time the city should condemn this building and tear it down. Here’s the problem I think,the city doesn’t want the building because if it wasn’t torn down pretty quick,& GOD forbid someone or a group of ppl are walking by if/when it falls,then the city will be responsible I would think. City counsel? What a joke! The mayor can veto there decisions, but if he makes them mad then he can’t get to spend his money how he wants to. That’s what the problem is I think. I might be wrong, but bet ya that’s a big part of it. Let’s build these great Firefighters a great “complex” mayor and city council. Also, we might need to keep the present firestation being used now because there will probably be a building fall down hurting,if not killing someone,in just a matter of time and the MFD won’t have far to go. Again, thank you MFD & all firefighters & rescue responders for putting your lifes at risk on every call.

  63. possumfabulouse says:

    as far as the citizens in the area of whaley not wanting the noise and wanting it somewhere else, what makes you think your so special. If it aint your glorious ears that here it, it will be someone else, I know quite a few of you think your better than thou… but your not. your whiny, selfish, big wig wanna be’s… but you and your sensitive ears are no better than anyone else in any location. by the way, i found the coolest stuff at walmart, soft ear plugs and satin sleep masks… no lights no noise less than 5 dollars.

  64. frustrated says:

    This has nothing to do with the splash pad, sports complex, or a .05 cent state tax. This is a matter of some of our spineless council members caving in under just a little pressure and not holding up to what they have already approved. It sounds like some just want to stir the pot so they can find something to whine about. It’s easy to see the opinions that matter most. Fire and insurance professionals say Whaley is where the station needs to be, but a few people that live in old houses say no and that’s it. Does the council really care about the people of this town or is care defined by your last name and where you live. The city council has no problem reducing fire protection to whole east side of town because of the complaints of a few N Main residents. Something is wrong with that.

  65. Live Within Our Means says:

    I beg to differ with “frustrated”. The splash pad, sports complex etc. are examples of how the current leadership has not exhibited good stewardship with taxpayer money.

    Reflect for a moment:

    Pavaillion/restroom project cost was underestimated.

    Purchase of Whaley property orignally was meant to be renovated to use some of the original school buildings. Then they said it couldn’t be done due to cost, asbestos etc. Then, tearing down the structures cost extra $.

    Council will not fund additional fireman salaries to man stations they already have.

    I just can’t seem to make myself trust this same group of leaders to start a new project. The majority of voters sent a similar message in May. I would like to give the newly elected folks an opportunity to have input on this. There is still one challenged council seat for the November general election. Wait until January!

  66. Curious says:

    Explain how the east side of town loses fire protection? Doesn’t the report say that the citizens of the east side of town can have lower insurance rates if the substation is opened on the east side of town? I haven’t heard one reason to believe that the whole east side of town is at stake. The fireman who said we would have to depend on Comito and McGehee for coverage is engaged in hyperbole. I have not heard of one decision that risks the east side of town. Fear mongering at best. This is really a last ditch effort (by generating hysteria) to make an expensive decision before the lame duck mayor is history. If the Whaley property is the best decision, it will eventually prevail. I think this topic should be close to the top of Mayor Maxwell’s agenda.

  67. WOW says:

    What’s wrong with Ms. Brown??? Beverly got her 3 min. of what??? Be real, if their house is on fire who do they call??? I say start building. Needs to be more than hear say to not build!!!! I hear the cops going down the highway right now the siren let’s me know they are getting to someone as fast as they can.I would like to have the cops and fire buildings in my front yard .At least you would be safe in this bad world.South Main people have better houses than North anyway and their yards are pretty!!!

  68. WOW says:

    Seems as though by all the posted comments following “Proud of MFD” that some toes are feeling crunched!!!!!!
    As for the comment of WOW, out of all that information that was your comment???? Maybe had you comprehended what you read you would have posted a response regarding the issues/concerns of that post……. As far as the taxpayers paying “Proud of MFD” salary, well let me inform you THEY DO NOT!!!!! As far as the voters saying NO, regarding the spending policies of the current administration….We the VOTERS elect the mayor and the city council, which by the way since this property was bought by the VOTERS choice of administration this town has had THREE MAYORS and NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS…… It is obvious that you are VERY different from the general population of this town because if I PAY YOUR SALARY I am going to KNOW what I am paying for… and by your IGNORANT comment you are completely unaware of what your tax dollars pay for….All of or should I say most of these IGNORANT post blame the fire dept including the fire chief for the condition of the station and YES I do know that the firemen have spent their OWN money to repair things at the station BOTH occupied stations….. So basically what you all are saying is WE DONT CARE about the condition in which we EXPECT these men to work in these guys are not asking for much people just a safe productive station to operate in and PROTECT YOU and YOUR FAMILY!!!!! And no that is NOT WHINING that is fact…… I am proud these firefighters have respect it is a real shame that those they work for VOTERS/COUNCIL DO NOT……Way to go “Proud of MFD” you are proven that the truth really does hurt!

  69. Proud of MFD says:

    ” I have been reading several of these comments, and all I can do is laugh. It’s easier to laugh at ignorance than become apart of it!!! Several of you commented on how the current station was allowed to be in it’s current state of disarray. Are you people really so stupid that you think this all happened within the last few years, or in the SHORT time that Mr. Faulkner has been Chief???? The building is FALLING APART PEOPLE how else can it be explained so you understand? The building is older than all of you that posted your foolish statements of astonishment that it is in it’s current condition. As for the comment on not changing the insurance rates for home owners….Do you even know what an ISO rating is, do you even have the first clue about who or how to get this information….. Have any of you taken the time to make a trip to the city office and read the council minutes regarding the purchase of the Whaley property and the reason for the purchase? Do any of you know that money have been appropriated for this project by the council already??? Do any of you know anything about what you are commenting on….by your post I would have to think you do not… I think also you all need to make arrangements to work a shift with one of these men. Just understand that when you do work this shift, you will be gone from your family for 24 hours, you will be “watched” by your ignorant buddies that seem to have nothing better to do during a day than to watch where the fire trucks are and how long they are there, listen to SEVERAL complaints about how horrible a job you do UNTIL that pager goes off and the IGNORANT one complaining needs you NOW!!!!!!! Then you get back after the call have to find a place to park to fill up the trucks and prepare them for the next need of the IGNORANT…….Then you may get to eat something but during your meal there again the pager sounds and IGNORANCE needs you AGAIN…..So you rush to do the job that you are paid VERY little for and receive NO RESPECT from those you protect…. Finally you may be able to prepare for bed but first you WILL have to kill a few hundred ROACHES that also live at the MFD. Yes you heard what I said…… ROACHES…. then maybe you can go to bed, but please do not think it will be a restful slumber, because you are in a room smaller than a prison cell with mold, roaches, and all sort of health hazards wondering about….. These are just a few of the things that occur during a day at MFD. I didn’t mention the watering of grass, concrete, washing of parking lots, building inspections weed eating fire plugs all over town, mowing City Hall, Training Center, and both stations. Do daily truck inspections, plus educate local boy scouts or local preschool groups of children on fire safety. SO with that information let me ask you LUCAS, LOOK OUT, TOMMY GUN, THINGS FALL APART, etc. would you stay there…. would you ask yourself each and every day why you continue employment as a firefighter in this town of ungrateful ignorance that each of you have so clearly demonstrated… I’m very certain that you would NOT but I am very thankful that each of our firefighters are REAL MEN and take pride in themselves and continue to protect and sure without the respect of those they risk themselves for each and everyday!!!! I am sure on your post you will say yes however ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS…….So hope I can see you at the MFD REAL SOON……. “

  70. Mose White says:

    I like how small towns kill themselves because of “historic” this and “historic” that. Build the Firemen a new place wherever in Monticello. They do good work and deserve it. Buildings are falling down all around us and people want to preserve a neighborhood for being historic ? Maybe when a few more burn or fall in and hurt someone because of how historic they are the Council will figure things out.

  71. Lucas says:

    WOW! WOW! HAHAHA!

    I find it interesting that you respond to a comment made by “Proud of MFD” four minutes before the comment is even posted. Stupid is as Stupid does!

    I’m not against a new fire department. I just believe that the Whaley site is not an appropriate site.

  72. GiveMeABreak says:

    First of all, Proud of MFD, you go boy!!!! You hit the nail exactly on the head. I agree 100%…The last few comments are also very true. The city council needs to be held accountable for their lack of planning, misappropiation of funds, and total lack of decisive leadership. For those of you that would like to see this for your self, I urge you to attend the city council meeting Thursday night at 6 p.m. It is time for a change, I agree, and for all of you that have commented here, please make your voice heard by voting these old timers out at the next election.

  73. john says:

    Proud of MFD says “I have been reading several of these comments, and all I can do is laugh. It’s easier to laugh at ignorance than become apart of it!!!” only to become part of it anyway. It doesn’t help you or your cause calling people names. It just shows how ignorant you are.

  74. CuriousReader says:

    @ Live Within Our Means – The current headquarters lacks space. It can not be renovated to add more space — especially on the ground floor where the apparatus are stored. Yes, there are families who live in houses older than the fire station. But many of those houses actually have more space than the fire station.

    @ Curious – If you put the Central Fire Station’s fire trucks south of the railroad, you now have put all of the staffed apparatus on one side of the railroad. An incident north of the tracks would have no front-line fire engines respond. The crew at central would have to drive out east and pick up the old and practically antique fire engine from the unstaffed 3rd station to respond.

    People want the fire department to show up in seconds. They do a fine job to respond within minutes. I don’t understand how some folks suggest that response delays are not that big of a deal.

  75. concerned says:

    Like I said before the city council will avoid this issue like they did on July 15, 2010. It is time to vote out these city council members that can’t make a decision or lead. The people need to take back the leadership of this town.

  76. Dub says:

    Imagine that, if the Fire station was already built would not of even had to use a siren on Main, but bet they did trying to get to both of those fires. Karma huh?

  77. puddin says:

    what is the big deal about it being built at that old school site? it’s a piece of land for god’s sake!! get over the sentimental bullcrap. talk about mayberry mentality! don’t cut down that tree.it’s been here 100 years. get a life.

  78. JUST WONDERING says:

    This is in response to the two fire calls located less than a block from the proposed site that was overturned. It also made the fire
    calls only a second or two from the fire department location, therefore I really don’t know if that showed any difference.
    However, I saw the response and thank God the Bible school of First Baptist was over, because all of last week was chaos with everyone getting their children, parked on both sides of the street. It could have turned out much different.

  79. LOOK--->> says:

    I think some of youa re getting a lil bit childish with this debate. LOL. Cant we all just get along and come up with a good decision. Put it where its needed most. If a train can come through town and everyone can hear it why worry about a fire truck or some other sort of emergency vehicle makes a noise saving a life. thats all I got to say about that…lol.

  80. lightyourpassion says:

    Have to agree with JUST WONDERING. The location of the FD is not going to change when or where a fire occurs. Comments have been made about “well the FD is who your going to call when you have a fire”…..well, yes of course, that is their job! Not being in agreement with the proposed location of a building has nothing to do with lack of respect for firemen or their job as some would make it seem. It seems as if they are more concerned with wanting better accomidations than an improvement in the FD for the sake and safety of the people of Monticello. Jobs in this line have never been known for the benefit of a great nights sleep, a comfortable bed or a five-course-meal so why is it a big concern with wanting those things now? Safety is one thing while wanting comfort and convience is another matter.

  81. Josh says:

    Spouting off before hearing all the facts is both shameful and foolish.

  82. Curious says:

    For two weeks in a row, I thought there must be a huge house fire or Leisure Lodge was on fire – but no – only two vehicle fires. Are we filming a comedy, I don’t know about and need footage of a convoy of emergency vehicles traveling at high speeds down Main street? Is there no measured response to anything? The volunteer fireman’s driving is a worse hazard than the fire itself. Do the “volunteer” fireman get paid regardless of whether or not they are needed? Doesn’t a dispatch direct the seriousness of the fire. Life and limb and vehicles of every citizen should not be risked at the expense of the fire department’s over reaction to every minor fire or accident.

  83. DUB says:

    Lightyourpassion, nobody is wanting a 5 star hotel for the fire department, but they would like a facility that is free of leaks, mold and is not 60 years old and falling down no matter whos fault it is.

  84. lives near "historic" district says:

    I would be glad to have a firestation next door, especially if it were my house on fire. Anyway, this construction can’t be any worse than First Baptist demolitioning that historic house to build a parking lot. W. C. Waley is the perfect construction site, and might even create a few jobs for the community. I believe these firemen should have as many resources as possible, and be treated as well as any other professional that lives on main street, say a banker or whoever.

  85. D. George says:

    I predict that the city of Monticello will not build this very badly needed fire station because Mayor Chase and Mayor Elect Maxwell have some pockets to line and therefore must wait until January 1. How ironic it will be if the station is built at Whaley after January 1. Guess Mayors Chase and Maxwell then can pat themselves on the back about how important they are to the wonderful citizens of Monticello. If I were the current mayor I would not even build the #### thing just to see how Mayor Chase and Maxwell resolve this issue. If they decide on another location be sure to follow the money to see who of Mayor Chase and Mayor Maxwell’s friends benefits the most. Since Mayor Chase is so uninformed I would suggest that any of you wanting the fire department and go to him as a dentist think about changing. Would not want him in the middle of a procedure when that forgetfulness sets in.

  86. Desiree says:

    Sounds like Alderman Sonny Thornhill was the only smart one!! :)

  87. likes joes point says:

    well well well, did mayor joe rogers leave egg on the faces of the city council, if i was mrs. wright id be to ashamed to show my face in public. i think its time city council suck it up, grab a hard hat and a hammer and get on to building the new fire station on the waley site. and build it with a smile.

  88. JUST WONDERING says:

    I am just wondering why Joe Rogers wants to do a project such as this and let the new mayor inherit such a high out lay of taxpayer’s money and problems that he has had no input, and just gets the consequences of such a move. The citizens have already spoken with the recent election. They want new leadership.

  89. Error by omission says:

    I’m really curious. Why did the mayor not include all documentation including the discussions centered around the razing of the Whaley buildings?

    He has only proven that the property was purchased with the intent to utilize the existing structures to house the city complex.

    Further, he has proven that tax money has been wasted on studies and processes aimed at using the existing structures, which under his administration, were all torn down.

    Mayor, if you are going to disclose historical documentation, GIVE FULL DISCLOSURE.

  90. Bill says:

    It was approved almost 9 years ago. The land has been bought and cleared,build it already. Or refund the almost $250,000. Get it done.

  91. Mazie says:

    All this discussion is about the firemen…yes, they need more modern rooms…but just building a fire station won’t answer the problems of the police department, the other departments deserve consideration too. Joe Rogers just wants his name on a building. He has been a disaster as a financial manager…he IS the parks/rec czar…he has renovated the Babe Ruth field 2 times at city expense and labor. I will remind readers that North Main is not a truck route..turning a corner at Jefferson and then at Gabbert is a nightmare for truckers…Hwy 83 is the truck route. Maybe the city should purchase one of the FEMA trailers from Hope, AR and put the radio equip and men in there temporarely until the lame duck mayor can go out without creating more havock. Let the new admin handle this head ache.

  92. Jogger says:

    Didn’t the city spend $50,000 on a study for Land Use conducted by the University of Ark. at Fayetteville? Whose desk is that study laying on, or is it in the trash already…seems that spending money matters only when the mayor pet project gets some disapproval. What about the $50,000? That’s more than a lot of people around Monticello make in a year.

  93. D. George says:

    Dear error by omission, how much more discussion do you have to have? The other mayors decided to sit on their hands and do nothing. All this was started by other administrations, this is the first to actually do something. You can discuss until you are blue in the face, not until you actually get off your ass and do something does it get done. The other mayors sat on their ass and Mayors Chase and Maxwell will do the same. Crawl back under your rock and stay there, or how about you actually attending a meeting or two. From all the videos being released by the council I don’t see the mayor trying to hide something.

  94. Perplexed says:

    Does anyone yet understand why city council members voted the money for a city hall complex at W.C. Whaley in 2001 and
    today after the money is spent to clean up the complex have changed their minds?

    No wonder there is no planning in Monticello. Those who are elected to office don’t have the courage of their convictions. What has changed…the Mayor then was Harold West. Today it is Joe Rogers. Why should a decision be put off until the seating of a new mayor? The need existed in 2001 and quite frankly the money spent will be wasted unless the city moves ahead.

    If there is no fire station, does that mean there is no city hall complex at W.C. Whaley after spending all this taxpayer money? If so, who is planning to buy the lot and why did the taxpayers pay for the clean-up. Who is going to benefit from taxpayer money and what input will neighbors have if the property is in private hands?

    There will be a high-rise apartment complex for seniors in the old Ridgeway Hotel. Hopefully there will be a fire station nearby with a ladder that reaches the top floor.

    I understand indecision but this case of indecision baffles me.
    Leaders are supposed to lead, not be indecisive without demonstrating a case for changing horses in mid stream.

    You cannot justify need one day and ignore it the next if you are being honest with yourself and others. No wonder there is no planning in Monticello.

  95. Old Saying says:

    There is an old saying, “There is no end to what can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”

    It matters not whether Mayor Harold West who initiated a city hall complex at W.C. Whaley, or Mayor Joe Rogers who cleaned up the site or the next mayor or who starts the project.

    What matters is results. Unless there are results, local lawmakers are quite useless.

  96. Lucas says:

    Mrs. Wright was for the building of the fire station on the old Whaley school site before she was against it. Where was the concern for “historic preservation” in 2001? Whats changed? Could it be the new residents of the Allen House who were sitting right behind Mrs. Wright?

    Mazie! You left out the $450,000 spent on the Splash Pad project. Total waste of money.

  97. PayAsYouGo says:

    Ok folks. Whether or not you like the location or not, too much taxpayer money has been spent on the current proposed location and the facility is much needed. Our town and our firefighters deserve an adequate facility. Yes, perhaps a historical district is not the best place for a fire station, but are we really saying they can’t already hear the noise that a fire engine siren makes from just a few blocks away. The old Whaley school isn’t two miles away. This isn’t a huge city so we are not talking about sirens going off all night every night. Build an adequate firestation, not overpriced and not overbuilt. Our elected leaders have a responsibility to taxpayers to use the money wisely. I can’t say politics aren’t playing a role in this. The $450,000 dollar splash pad idea just came about in the last couple of years as I recall. The firestation issue has been ongoing for almost 10 years. Could it be that the splash pad was secured for votes? Maybe the city could use some of the water from the splash pad to help fight fires!

  98. Corn chip says:

    O.K. People pay attention for a minute, #1 the fire dept. has a ladder truck that can be used for the Ridge Way but it has to sit out in the weather at station two out at U.A.M. because there is not any place big enough to get it out of the weather you can go see it any time just drive by.#2 IF you have all of these concerns CALL THE CITY COUNCIL AT HOME AND TELL THEM HOW YOU SEE THINGS AND ASK THEM WHY THEY ARE FLIPFLOPING, PUT THEM ON THE SPOT AS I UNDERSTAND THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT. AND OH BY THE WAY JUST REMIND THEM JUST WHO THEY REALLY WORK FOR.#3 if there is over 44k an acre inthat land at this time who will give that type of money in little ole Monticello Ar for it and if they do what will be put there? #4 I would be willing to bet my next pay check that the people that are flipfloping are not reading these comments, just call and ask them!

  99. Curious says:

    Maybe the real reason nothing has been done on the Whaley property is that it’s not a very good idea, so it can never get past that final hurdle. If a building is built, I suspect the cheapest price tag is around 3.5 million dollars. Take a look at the $80,000 dollar bathroom “bunkers” and the 1/2 million dollar Splash Pad which we may certainly wish that the Council had drug their feet on for the next ten years. At least this project will be a symbol of stupid spending in the future and as a cautionary tale of frivolity when Monticello and Drew County had over 10% official unemployment (more like 18%). There’s probably a “Splashgate” waiting for an enterprising journalist. I have no faith in this Mayor and this Council to select worthy projects, supervise the project to prevent cost overuns, or the ability to maintain a property after its built. The Mayor might be on firmer ground if he hadn’t spent money on “play pretties” like a drunken sailor in Shanghai. The Council partied right along. I suggest we hide the check book for the next five months.

  100. Error by Omission says:

    My point is this: When the Whaley property was purchased, a lot of money was spent on the purchase and the studies toward using the buildings that were included in the purchase. Those buildings were supposed to house the entire city complex. Now, under Rogers, those buildings have been torn down.

    Each project that the city has undertaken under Rogers administration has cost more than his projections.

    I am sick and tired of mismanagement in our city government. The council and mayors, past and present, should be ashamed of their wasteful practices.

    I have NO faith, whatsoever, that building only a fire station on the now vacant Whaley property will cost within the $450,000 budgeted amount.

    And remember, a city can budget any amount they want to based on “projections”. But, is the money really there?

    Where is the additional $10,000 which Rogers requested during the last council meeting to put lights under the McCloy pavilion going to come from? Even the council members questioned this before they voted to approve the expenditure, and they never got an answer. This project is also one that came about because Rogers demolished existing structures!

    Another item the council questioned and did not get an answer for was where the insurance money from the accident that caused the traffic lights on the square to be taken out is now. There should be at least $25,000 in the coffers somewhere for those lights. $25,000 is the state minimum for automobile liability property damage!

    And, no one has even addressed the pavilion at Western Pines Park which Rogers demolished.

    Things just don’t add up.

    I am truly afraid that Rogers will leave our city in financial ruin before he gets out in December!

  101. Karen says:

    I have a question about the call to suddenly vote out the current council members……wasn’t there just an election and wasn’t the majority of the council members voted back in?

  102. it aint joe says:

    joe wont get the chance to leave us bankrupt, thats the city councels job….and they are good at their job.

  103. Glenda says:

    Build our new fire station on the old W.C. Whaley land where it was voted on. Move on to something else to complain about like the red light. I WANT the signs, no more running red lights. My son was hit by a car at the square by someone that ran the red light. How many of you complaining about this, RAN IT ALSO, SOMEONE COULD BE KILLED OR SERIOUSLY INJURIED. Check into how many accidents has been there with the lights and now without. Look at the lights at Wal Mart, how many accidents have we had, Bet you can’t count them on both hands.

  104. Response to karen says:

    Karen, There was a council member voted out. The other council members did not have anybody running against them. There will another chance to get rid of the rest.

  105. wondering? says:

    If there is another station on commerce drive,why dont we use that one?Wouldnt that give coverage to both East and West(UAM station)?If its not large enough,or well enough equipped,then wouldnt adding on would be less costly than not using it at all?And certainly less costly than building a new one from ground up?

  106. again says:

    Figures the city council don’t want to do anything. That has been there record for the past several years. We need better representation.

  107. GiveMeABreak says:

    To Ms. Hartness, I believe the Mayor has the right to place any item on the agenda that he so chooses. As far as the way they do things in Warren, if you like Warren so much, why don’t you move over there and take your ideas with you. Despite all that, it still amazes me that even after some people personally requested a town hall meeting to Mayor and council members, only one member would actually talk about having one, let alone, setting a date for it. Does it really matter whether or not this discussion takes place at regular meeting or a special meeting. All the people want is a town hall meeting, just set a date. Stop thinking of ways to put this off for another 8 years.

  108. CONCERNED says:

    WE NEED TO VOTE OUT CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT OUT OF TOUCH!!

  109. Lucas says:

    The poll referred to by Ms. Wright, who was for the building of the firestation on the old Whaley site before she was against it, is not scientific. One person can go in and vote several times. I know of someone who has voted 7 times, so far That is not a true representation of the community.

    It is a shame that this community does not have more respect for the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday to protect and serve the community.

  110. Corn chip says:

    I would be willing to bet that the meeting did not do one bit of good at least till the first of the year.

  111. Mary Ann says:

    After listening to the comments at the town hall meeting regarding the building of the fire station at the Whaley school site, I believe they should build the fire station there and get started on it as soon as possible. I also believe that we are paying our fire fighters and police/sheriff’s department personnel a pitiful salary and that it should be increased immediately. If we have money for building parks, we have money for paying a decent salary to the men/women who put their lives on the line each time they are called to duty.

  112. sue says:

    trade the whaley prop for the old hos prop and build firestation there

  113. Just Checking says:

    The W.C. Whaley land was bought years ago with the intention of building a new Fire Station. Why all the problems? After all these years, why not use the land for what it was intended? If one of the “Historic”/older structures were to be on fire, wouldn’t it be better to have the Fire Station closer than further away?
    Just Checking!

  114. Stacey says:

    I think building a new fire station at the whaley site should be seriously reconsider. Do we want to suck the last bit of life out of our historic downtown north main street, really? Why not a more central location in the business part of town? Everytime I pass the old Coke plant buildings that remain (between Wal-Greens and Crackerbox) I think of the new fire station being located there. I don’t know who owns the property but it is fenced, has buildings with large bays,is centrally located,has room to add new construction. I do agree that a new fire station is needed, less just think it through.

  115. I have read and listened to the debate for and against the new fire station for a while now. My understanding is that when the city bought the Whaley School property it was to build a new fire station and police station. I thought that the buildings already there wer to be renovated and used for this purpose. Sometime in the years after it was decided to clear this property and build new buildings. Mrs. Wright is a good friend of mine but, I have never been approached (asked to join) or talked to about and North Main Street Neighborhood Assocation. I do understand about the historic district in Monticello. I do agree that this area should be preserved. What I don’t understand is why can’t you build a new fire department that would look like this part of town. Buildings are built everyday that look like the area they are in. If you’ve ever been out to west Little Rock, you will see a Wal-Mart store that doesn’t look like ours. It has red brick on it and looks nice. My understanding that this was the only way they could put it out there (so it wouldn’t look so much like a wal-mart). As far as preserving the historic main street, it’s only cosmetic. My opinion is that we not only need a new fire department but, we also need a new police station and district court. The Whaley property is centrally located and has three streets that would carry you to North Main, Hyatt Street and also to the square. What could be better. Everyone knows that Hyatt Street has become a smaller version of Hwy. 425. There shouldn’t be any worse traffic congestion because of a fire station than there is now. The whole purpose of the fire department is to get to a fire or other emergency as fast as possible. I certainly didn’t think that I would ever agree with our present local government but, on this I do. Only because it was the reason for buying the property in the first place. I don’t know anything about whether it would or wouldn’t help on insurance but, what difference does it make. At least we know it wouldn’t be higher. The thing is that it would be centrally located and easier for the fire department to do an even better job than they do now. I have had the unfortunate experience to need our fire department on two occasions. Once when Raymond Chisom was chief and once when Wendall Ply was chief. I couldn’t have asked for the volunteers and firemen to have done a faster and better job. I see no reason why Chief Steven Faulkner wouldn’t do just as good of a job. Now if you’re going to build a fire station why not build a place for the men and women who protect you from crime a place to work and be proud of. I can’t answer the question if money is available but, I certainly hope it is. If it was set back for the construction then it should have collected interest. I don’t know about this. I believe that we can come up with a plan that everyone can agree on and be proud of if we try. As far as the District court, have you ever been by there on Tuesdays or whenever they have court. It’s pretty tough. Anyway this is only my opinion, there higher powers than me that make decisions in town that will come up with something. I am sure…

  116. I would like to correct an error posted in my statment at the Town Hall meeting. I did not say that a station at the W.C. Whaley location would increase the fire class rates. I said it would not change our ISO rate as of now, which is Class 5 for Monticello. thank you

  117. Mark Allen says:

    I live on West Wood ave in a home that was built in the mid to late 1800’s I personaly do not have a problem with the New Fire Station being built there on the WC Whaley property because I look at it this way if the City has to sell the property to someone and they wont to build some low income apartments there, there will be nothing we can do to stop it because the City of Monticello has no ordeniances that would prevent them from doing so, they could also put a trailer park there, then how would that make the older homes look. A Mew Fire Sattion could be built to model the Historic home there so it wouldn’t atke away from the historical affect of the homes. There area already several apartments in the area and just a few blocks in either direction some run down neibour hoods, So with that said how would you feel about your hictorical community in the event the latter was to happen Apartments or trailer park, me personaly I would rather see a Fire Station and Municiple Building there at least I wouldn’t have to worrie about my property values as much as if some low income housing was put there because where they are it also allows for possible drugs and vandalism to be intruduced into our neibour hood.

  118. Leslie says:

    Now are you going to say everyone who lives in low income property or traioer houses are criminals or low life people. People in this day live in what they can afford no matter where it is located, it looks to me like some people who can afford the historical district are not being fair to look down their noses at lesser fortunate

  119. Kevin says:

    Sounds like we need to get rid of the city council. They are not looking at what is best for everyone they are looking at what is in their best interest. People should never be against change as change is good.

  120. Leslie McKiever says:

    I would like everyone to know that the post from Leslie is not from Leslie McKiever. As many know, I have spent considerable time (and money) graduating from UAM with three degrees. The above post expresses neither my sentiments, nor my writing style.

  121. I don't understand says:

    I have yet to figure out why it is a bad idea to build on the Whaley property. As far as noise it is not like we live in a big city where the Fire Dept is coming and going a lot. The People living right there are better protected. The looks that can be fixed better than anything around. As far as Mr. Allen I don’t think he means the people will bring it down, that sooner than later it could turn into looking like some of the other trailer parks or apartments (both I have lived in) that have not been kept care of around here have. I would love for those City folks to take turns and spend a 24 hr shift living at the fire dept. and seeing if it is up to their standards of living. And I don’t even have anyone involved with them, but have seen it and may I say gross.

  122. I don't understand says:

    Does anyone know how much mone the CC has made the City spend to JUST TALK about a new station.

  123. D. George says:

    If ignorance is bliss, then this is the most blissful group to gather in one place. I’m talking about the no votes. Each one should be marked for defeat the next time an election comes up. Ten years and no one can make a decision that would obviously benefit Monticello. The next administration doesn’t want to spend any money, money that is just sitting there for the fire station. So that is another four years. Imagine the cost of the building in another four years. There should be a two term limit for each council member, a total of four years and out. Old, old, blood making decisions for the younger folks of Monticello. No wonder progress passes you by.

  124. hogfan says:

    is there a term limit for council members

  125. drew co. citizen says:

    you watch what im telling you come jan. all the ones that voted no will give the new mayor all the suport that he needs so he can take credit for all this. voters plz remember this when relections come around. and tim talking about remodling the current place is a joke. there will be trouble with inlaws being on the same councile

  126. doc says:

    You had your chance to vote the council out, now they think they are bullet proof. Maybe next election you will vote differently.

  127. allenms190 says:

    I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THIS MESS FOR A WHILE I THINK THE FIRE STATION SHOULD BE BUILT ON TH WC WHALEY SITE SINCE THAT IS WHAT WAS DECIDED LONG AGO IF THEY WERE AGAINT IT THEY SHOULD HAVE VOTED IT DOWN THEN NOT WAIT UNTIL THE MONEY WAS SPENT TO BUY THE PROPERTY, THEN DEMO THE BUILDING THE CITY HAS MORE MONEY TIED UP IN THE PROPERTY THAN WHAT ITS WORTH AND THE TAX PAYERS SHOULDEN’T BE ASKED TO SPEND ANY MORE MONEY ON ANOTHER LAND PURCHASE TO BUILD ON, THE MONEY HAS BEEN ALOTTED SO QUIT POSPOINING THIS AND BUILD THE FIRE STATION WHERE YOU VOTED TO BUILD IT AND MOVE ON TO SOMETHING ELSE.

  128. Monti-gal says:

    Renovating the current department is a great idea.. in theory. How on earth would they accomplish, though? It is too small, and has NO WHERE to expand. The inside is too small, the outside stalls for the new firetrucks are TOO SMALL TO HOLD THEM, there is no parking, and the surrounding lots are taken up by other businesses like the police department, the court, and the new Bistro and other places on the square. If renovating is going to be “considered” seriously, then I’d love to hear some SPECIFIC and realistic ideas. And, how would they possibly do the major renovations needed with the firemen needing to live there 24/7? It just makes no sense to me.

  129. Shocked says:

    I am totally shocked & embarrassed after watching the video of our city offices. I had no idea they were in this bad of shape. We wonder why no big industries want to locate to our city, if I was an out of town business owner and saw this clip of several most visited and needed buildings of Monticello I would think twice before locating to this city. If you don’t take care of your own why would you do any better with others that relocate here. This is a sad situation, I for one have had a change of outlook on the request of a new City complex this is really sad to think people are in these buildings 365 days a year. What message are we sending Monticello residents or possible new businesses to our city? I send my apologies to all the employee’s that have to work in these surroundings and want to thank each one of you for the job you do to take care of us on a daily basis. The video is awful and from the comment several times the odor must be just as bad if not worse.

    I noticed Mrs. Hartness, Mrs. Brown were not present for the tour my question is Why? Mrs. Hartness this is that “historical” you always bring up. Maybe they should use canned air to blow the dust off so you would be able to tour and see what it really looks like. Was it to nasty for these few city council members to walk through? If so why is it ok for others to have to go there for their city, fire or law enforcement needs? I have watched the entire clip twice just to get the full picture. Did you all hear everyone saying “stay to your left” over and over as they were going upstairs? How can the city have a public building so unsafe the employees cant even use it? Did you hear Tim Chase say “these floors would look pretty sanded down? He is right hardwood floors are beautiful but do they need to put signs up that say “Floors are beautiful to look at BUT stay to your left or you will fall through?” As far as the 5 that agreed to tour the buildings and see for yourself I am thankful so now everyone including myself got to view just what everyone has been trying to tell the city council for sometime now. Unreal is all I can say.

  130. carrie says:

    We should take care of the needs of the fire station. They are always there for our town. We cant afford not to improve and prioritize.

  131. Clarissa says:

    THIS IS ALL PITIFUL. VIEWING THE RECORDINGS AND LISTENING TO SOME OF THE COUNCIL, THIS IS A PERSONAL SITUATION THAT SEEMS AS THOUGH PEOPLE ARE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS MAKING DECISIONS BEFORE THE MEETINGS AND HAVING DISCUSSIONS WITH NO INTENTION TO CONSIDER ANY RECOMMENDATIONS.

    HOWEVER, ELECTIONS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. SO, FOR EVERYONE WHO IS OPPOSED TO THIS TYPE OF REPRESENTATION, NEEDS TO PREPARE THEMSELVES TO RUN FOR OFFICE OR COME OUT AND VOTE.

    IT’S JUST PITIFUL!

  132. Cheerleader says:

    The Council has NO term limits. The council is only a “board” that conducts the business of the city that the mayor brings to them. Why didn’t Mayor West “do” something after the tax went into effect? Why didn’t Mayor Anderson “do” something? Why did Mayor Rogers wait until this very late date to “do” something? This town has no planning and no zoning. We throw something up here and something else there. We do need a municipal court, and other city facilities. As far as industries, What has the MEDC done to bring in or even help local industries? Nothing. They get a large portion of the sales tax that could go to use for the city itself. Yes, we all appreciate the firemen, policemen and other emergency care takers….but don’t forget the men who keep the city working…the guys who repair water leaks and sewer pipes. and who also work at the recycling center.

  133. Cheerleader says:

    Oh, and let’s wait and see what the new administration does. As far as anything looking historical???what a joke, when has any city building such as the jail, turned out the way it started…never.

  134. insulted says:

    I don’t understand what all the fuss is about concerning the fire station. The W.C. Whaley property would be best for the construction of the station bc its centrally located. The handful of historical houses would benefit from it being there since most “old” houses have major electrical problems which cause them to catch fire. No one seems to mind the church located near there and it doesn’t look historical at all. As far as low-income housing, there needs to more. Just because people aren’t rich doesn’t mean they would vandalize or use drugs. That’s a horrible stereotype. All Monticellonians deserve a suitable place to live whether their pocket books are thick or not. Let’s see one of your historical houses burn down. Where would you live if everything you had was lost? I guess then low-income housing would be good enough.

  135. Josh says:

    Just build the fire station!!!!! The old one is going to fall in before too long and then you are going to need new trucks and equipment, in addition to the building. The Mayor and the Council want to build it, lets get it done.

  136. draygo says:

    It so sad that this city government doesn’t have what it takes to be a good,strong one.The WC property was bought for the reason of building a new fire station/police dept.But since the city is so afraid to make a few of the home-owners on main street angry,they have to make the rest of the county mad at the indecision they put themselves into by bowing down to the few.Grow a pair and do what the majorty of the voters voted you into office for!!!!LEAD this city into growing better and better!!!And STOP bending to the whim of a few people that has money and homes on Main.There are people one street over,East or West, that would welcome a new fire station in THEIR area.This isn’t a good show of leadership from our city “LEADERS?”.

  137. r u kidding me says:

    thats a $300,000 increase from the last offer.

  138. oy vay says:

    Here,there,I don’t care.Get it done.

    I agree,there is some behind closed doors decision making going on.

  139. ryan says:

    this just goes to show that this town is controlled by a select population. It doesn’t matter who the mayor is. As long as there are select people are on the council this town will never change and progress.I’m tired of this town not being able to grow into the great city it could be.it is because of certen people and industries in this town don’t want to change because they know that if there is change then the will lose money. This town has a great resource in the university but they do not use it to there full potential. UAM is a suitcase college. Students leave on the weekend because there is nothing to do in Monticello. Everybody leaves Monticello to go shopping or to a nice resturant. If the citzens of Monticello would realize that change isn’t always bad, they would see that monticello could grow. I guess what I’m trying to say is that an olive garden or a TGI Fridays would be nice in Monticello and the only way that will happen is if Monticello and specificly Marion township was changed from dry to wet. If alcohol was able to be sold in Monticello it would let big franchises be able to start buisnesses in monticello and inturn would create more jobs for people of the community. I don’t want this to sound like another plea for alcohol but more as a realization of what could be.

  140. Diane says:

    Wow, this is wonderful to hear that we are looking into renovating the old fire station. So, if this is the plan, why not use the W.C. Whaley property for the NEW LIBRARY! I think that where the old hospital was a scared place and should be kept as some type a memory garden area, plant some flowers and put some benches and add a gazebo. Make this a place for people to visit and have picnics at.
    I think using the W.C. Whaley property for the NEW LIBRARY would be such a nice place and great idea. I would think an architect would have a field day with the landscape that they could work with. Look at the UAM Library and how it is set up; the new library could be just as nice if not better. There would be room enough to add any city offices in the building if any are needed or even add buildings to the property to accommodate offices that are needed. This would be so neat to see that land used for this, yes I have seen comments saying that the land was purchased for the fire station, but if the fire station can be renovated then use the building instead of having it empty like a lot of the other buildings around Monticello. I am sure someone will say it won’t set empty, but look around at buildings that are empty and not being used.
    I am a transplant to Monticello, and in the 19 years that I have been here I have seen a lot of buildings that have either been tore down or let go to waste that could have been renovated to accommodate businesses or that could have shown the Monticello history. I wish that I could have seen the court house when it was on the square; I understand that it burned down, but what about the other buildings that could be fixed? The things they are doing to “improve” Monticello is costing more money than they think it is. Please take in consideration what the people say, because we are the ones that are paying out of our pockets to see this work done. Again renovating the old fire station, great idea; using the W.C. Whaley property for the library, EXCELLENT IDEA!

  141. Just Checking says:

    I don’t understand why it has taken years to decide on where the new fire station be built. The W. C. Whaley land was purchased for that reason. Why not use the land for what it was purchased? I’m sure the Main Street homeowners will be thankful to have it close by if, Heaven forbid, they should ever need it. Build the Fire Station on North Main and move on to other pressing matters/projects.

  142. Nancy says:

    I am really disappointed in my hometown, even though I no longer live in Monticello my family still lives there and the Fire Dept and our Police Officers are getting short changed on having reliable accomadations. They are out there everyday protecting our families and homes and people are going to gripe about where to put them a new building. Some people in Monticello will spend millions on new ball fields that they don’t need but they can’t build the men and women that protect us a new building where they can rest between call outs? Do you people realize how long they are on duty at times? Those historical home owners are going to need the police or fire dept one day and then let’s see how they respond when the fire dept can’t get to their houses because they are too far away !! The noise level will not be any different if the fire dept is put in the Whaley building than when the school was there with all the children screaming and bells going off!!! Vote in new city council members who are all about having Monticello’s best interest at heart and not who’s getting their pockets lined by friends.

  143. D George says:

    Of all the ideas suggested and previously agreed to the only one the council wants is the current mayor’s. Can you say idiot! Build a new station adjacent to old delapidated buildings, proudly known as the Monticello Square, buildings which sould be torn down. $750,000 won’t even come close. Once they get started on renewing old buildings there is no turning around. Tell the old biddies on the council to stick it and build it where there is room for future expansion, WC Whaley! I shouldn’t worry though, it’s taken ten years or longer to get to this point, it’ll be another 10 before anything is actually done. As for the light, get over it. Highway department has spoken and it will not happen. Doesn’t help that the mayor can’t stand the Commissioner for this area, and I am sure the feeling is mutual. Monticello can count on bad roads for some time.

  144. oy vay says:

    So why dont they just raze the bus shed and build the fire department there? Cut out the middle man,plenty of space,already city owned….

  145. Mr. Taylor says:

    I read the issues at hand. I also understand I cannot on my own change the Nation. I can stand and change my city. I want to fix these problems one at a time for the people. True, in many votes and council resolutions the whole community may not reach an agreement. The officers and representative have lost their compassion along the way have resorted to the power the office has appointed. There are issues of waste in all areas of the city, county, and state. The only way to fix this subject matter is to remove those making wavering decisions. I would say for a “Change” but I know what that has given the people of this nation. I will no longer sit on the side and be amazed in the show that is spending tax dollars for unprofitable business. We must reestablish the Constitution; to be for the people, of the people, and by the people. We must set our priorities when it comes to earnings, infrastructure, and promoting entrepreneurship. As a city, we should be keen on new ideas and must be open to new business. The 2010 census gave us a look into the future population numbers. There are many moving from areas east in Desha and Chicot counties. We must open this city to bring new people and business to the area for future gains in this city. I am willing to bout for the common man cause that is what I am a common man. If you would like to hear more and support my advance to public service, write attention to Mr. Taylor and I will provide information. Pay attention, wake up, be involved before it is lost. Thanks

  146. M A says:

    What I would like to know is how much of the tax payers money are you people going to spend on studies on where to place the fire department, you studied and bought the WC Whaley land and because a few people don’t want it there your spending more money to please a few, Your are proving the old adages that those you have money or status get what they wont. Just build where you planned and quit spending to benefit someone else, we studied it we bought it now we need to get off the pot and use it for what you said you were going to use it for in the first place. If not maybe the citizens need to consider replacing you for lack of being able to follow through with a plan and make a sound decisions that would benefit the many and not the few.

  147. Michael Burns says:

    Just curious, how much money will the city save after the MEDC decides to “clean up” the Gathings site anyway…. after all I think that is the next logical reason to approve such a deal.

    Think that has been brought up behind a closed door or two? I think so.

  148. NtheNo says:

    Elevator would be required on the second story of the old building b/c of ADA laws. That’s nothing to do with unfit firefighters…that Americans with Disabilities Act. Federal law, folks.

    Monticello was lied to when the old Whaley property was purchased. It was just certain folks with money being able to control who their neighbors would be…case in point – a noisy firestation. Please, please, please build the new station just far enough away to make historic Main homeowners’ insurance rates increase.

    And why not a station in East End?? They’re further away from any other protection. Surprised it hasn’t been pointed out before.

    The station out at UAM?? May only be one guy on duty. I feel so secure.

    Lastly, why the heck is the city pool something you pay to get in to, but the splash pad is free? Good job.

  149. Mark Allen says:

    THink about this people you go to the bank and borrow 350,000.00 to build a somthing and dont build it for 10 years what to you think will happen to you….You would probley be charged with fraud and arrested looking at a stent in the Arkansas Department of Corrections so explain why we put up with our goverment doing the same thing with our tax dollars that we pay for them to help improve our life’s, because they are a goverment body does it place them above the law if so and we let them continue the we get just what we ask for no. I with Mr. Taylor it’s time we showed them it for the people of the people by by the people that put them in office to work for us the people.

  150. Josh says:

    You know, the city owns the Whaley property, and the biggest noise makers about not building it there (The Wrights) are moving, so why not build it where there is room for expansion, and wouldn’t include the city acquiring more property. Now, someone tell me again when the Mayors term is up?

  151. D George says:

    I see the mayor did not feel it was necessary to have an open discussion, or did I just miss something. This is a big mistake. Crowding a fire station next to fire hazards. No room for future expansion. Fire professionals have reviewed all sites and the elementary school was the best. But what do they know compared to your omnipotent mayor. This came about way too fast. I smell a rat. Follow the money. What is the mayor gaining from this. The city of Monticello gains nothing but a continuation of it’s current eye sores. You reap what you sow.

  152. Just Checking says:

    I think this is absolutely ridiculous!! Why has this been such a problem? Build the fire station on the land that was purchased many years ago for this very purpose. Our firefighters could have already been given the facilities they deserve. Why spend money on new property when the intended land has already been bought and paid for a long time ago? Some residents may become unhappy but, I don’t think their world came to an end when First Baptist was finally able to have the street closed and proceed with their remodel and new construction. I bet they would survive a new Fire Station in the neighborhood, too. Building on the intended property sounds like the most logical thing to do. Don’t you agree? Just checking.

  153. LAX says:

    Mr. Gathings will build apartments on the old bus shop site. Apartments that will target UAM students not low income housing. This is a great deal for Mr. Gathings.

  154. LAX says:

    The fishy part of all this is that this land swap deal can only happen if Gathings’ can obtain ownership of the “Computer Guy’s” building. If that is true. Why is the City negotiating with the owner of the Computer Guy’s building and hiring an appraiser?

  155. Citizen says:

    I am amazed that the people on the council let the Mayor go on and on about a fire station anywhere but on the property that was bought for that purpose years ago. The Mayor looks totally ignorant in this matter! Mrs. Gillispie is apparently the only one using her brain in this situation. Mayor and other council members the city has spoken in this regard already. Get a grip or let someone else do the job. Enough already!

  156. larry says:

    how can allen maxwell say this is “a great deal” when the city would still be loosing over $20,000 in property value when both parties are looking to gain from this. Mr. Gathings is no dummy he knows what he is doing and will do with the city property.

  157. Concerned says:

    I urge the council to reconsider strongly where the new fire station will be built. I agree with Chief Faulkner. It appears that if the station is built on the Gathings property, it will be land locked again with no room to expand. Hopefully the city will grow again and this means an increased need to expand the fire dept. To me it would make better business sense to build on the Whaley property which is already paid for and was agreed to some time ago to put the fire station there. I am concerned that if the station is built on the Gathings property that it will eventually be a waste of taxpayer money and we will face the same situation again.

  158. bob says:

    The reason it is a great deal is because it would improve the overall look of our town. People don’t realize how run down this town is. If you want people to move here and create jobs, then you have to make it appealing for people with money. Right now we just have a bunch of old run down/falling down buildings. Why not “invest” a little money in the town and improve the overall look. If it costs a little more to make the town better so be it, we will be better off in the long run.

  159. larry says:

    bob if you call improving the overall look of our town by building a way past due firestation behind buildings that are falling or have fell and improvment then boy this town is in bad shap. i dont call that an improvment. after its built on main street like the land was bought for over ten years ago then the people looking to move here and start jobs here will drive down n. main and say wow thats a nice firestation. dont hide our cities improvements behind run down old buildings put them out where they can be seen on a two lane road. we shouldnt have to reinvest when the city has already invested over ten years ago. thats way to long to be waiting on improvments for our city.

  160. irritated says:

    Why is this guy mayor? Do we have no more sense than this?

  161. Randy says:

    Dont forget they will also have to shut down the parking on main street to make this project work. So no more parking from the tracks to Cockrells.

  162. pete says:

    it makes absolutely no sense to put a fire station in the middle of downtown monticello!!!! the logical expanation to me is to have it right outside of downtown if they are worried about a centralized location.

    on court days folks are not going to care that a fire truck needs to get out they are going to find the closest blank spot to park in…

    another thing the city doesnt need to trade the land and move their trash trucks from the current covered location to a location where they are out in the ellements! basically the better they can take care of them the longer they will last! saving the tax payers money. trash trucks are expensive, so is a new lexus, would you rather park your lexus in the driveway or the car port?

  163. D George says:

    If the bus shed is sold, where does the mayor propose to store all the city vehicles currently stored there? It serves a very useful purpose now and there is no need to sell it to anyone.

  164. D George says:

    I see the mayor has his son-in-law doing all the talking. What has stop signs got to do with a fire station? Trucks have their lights and sirens on, they don’t stop anyway. Does it take ten more years to turn a stop sign around if need be. Sorry folks, but listening to these two is like listening to dumb and dumber. The vote on the 20th will hopefully result in the building of the fire station where it always should have been built, Whaley Elementary.

    Even the state fire marshall has said such. One thing for sure, with all these delays it is going to cost more than the original $400,000, if that is even still around, and more the longer it is put off. As for the bus sheds, I’ll pay $50,000 if you folks really want to sell it. Worth a whole lot more and the mayor wants to give it away. It would make a nice additon to add more senior living options. Of course you will have to build something to park all the equipment at, as there is no room at other locations.

    Good luck folks. Call your mayor and tell him to quit playing games and fully endorse the Whaley plan instead of saying it is the council’s decision. It may be their decision but he should stand up and fully support it.

  165. Festus Haggerty says:

    Watch 32:15 to the end. Carolyn changed her vote because Chase voted “no”, so that the “club” would be together.

  166. My Opinion says:

    I say build the fire station at the WC Whaley site (as the land was purchased for in the first place!). The building architecture of the fire station can replicate a historical building. If I lived in this area, I would rather have a nice (not to mention an asset to the neighborhood AND city as a whole) than an empty lot.

    Right down the road from the new fire station will be the new library. What a way to revitalize this part of town. An old school and old hospital can be replaced with new and innovative buildings for our community to enjoy and benefit from.

    In my opinion, if you live on Main Street and don’t like the ideas of new and improved, then maybe you should move to another location in town.

    As far as parking congestion on Sunday morning Main Street, maybe one side of this road should be designated “no parking at any time.” Regardless of the fire station location, this parking/traffic congestion could be better controlled for the safety of church goers as well as passerbys.

    This is a CITY decision not a WARD decision. Council – Please vote for what is BEST for the CITY of MONTICELLO not a select few!!!

  167. LAX says:

    This council is an embarrassment and has spent enough time wasting the taxpayers money on this subject. The firestation needs to be built at the WC Whaley site. The fire inspector said this was the idea location but we are letting a few citizens (including a former city council member was for the Whaley property before she was against it) dictate how this city does its business.

    Maybe this next meeting will bring a conclusion to this issue once and for all.

  168. Assinine says:

    It’s about time, the “Land swap” was a house of cards at best. Finally Gillespie, McKiever, Hubbard and Peer had the courage and voted for true progress. The Whaley area needs revitalization and stablization. Building a Fire Station and other possible Muncipal Buildings in that area will help that cause. This is a very positive thing for that area coupled with a new Library. If I was living on North Main I would be saying “Come, build for the future here!”

  169. get real says:

    Dear Council member whose name I will not speak. I live in your Ward (2) and want the fire station at Whaley. I went around some neighborhoods and polled 100 people in your ward, they all said to put the station on Whaley. I just wonder why you listen to a few people on Main Street instead of everyone in your ward. Mark my words, you will have an opponent if you chose to vote against the true wishes of your ward. Most people on Main Street are in Ward 3 so they are not even your voters, however, you chose to listen to a few and not take care of the city. To quote a famous author ” the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. Do what is right for the City and not a handful of people. By the way, your decided to waste the city’s money by overlaying concrete streets, do you know what happens when you put asphalt over concrete? IT CRACKS!!! It will not adhere to the concrete and within three to five years, it will be crumbling apart. Way to spend my taxpaying dollars. Maybe it just is time for the councilmembers in Ward 2 to step down.

  170. BUBBALOU says:

    It looks like some of the council is leaning towards the Whaley property at last. Could it be because that Gloria Wright has put her property up for sale and is not there for them to be afraid of anymore? If you look at the average age of the city council you can figure out the problem……

  171. Michael Burns says:

    Simple solution – 1. Build new fire station on existing land already purchased for said fire station. 2. Frees up parking already available around exisiting firestation 3. Renovate exisiting firestation at later time to include city hall facilities and cramped “living quarters” for city council members. 4. Use imminent domain and power of almighty MEDC to take property which is already in midst of needing major clean up and torn down. 5. Sell or build on said property. 6. Keep bus shed as liquidable asset. 7.Let the architects and builders do their job, save money where possible 8. Do it and be done.

  172. Allen Dickerson says:

    I got a idea. Let all the city council members that have VOTED NO for the station to be at W.C.Whaley property, stay a night in the current fire station or do a 48hr shift with the fire dept to see what it’s like. I personally haven’t in the fire dept in years but the last I was there(over 20yrs ago)it was horrible then,but have heard it’s TERRIBLE now. WE HAVE HAD THE LAND!!! WHY WASTE TIME DECIDING WHERE TO PUT IT? Enough is ENOUGH!!! BUILD THE WELL DESERVED FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS A NEW FIRE STATION AND CITY HALL ON THE W.C.WHALEY PROPERTY!!! Goodness Gracious!!! We need change!!! And it is coming!!! It’s time for a different generation to be in charge. Look at where we have gotten with this in 10yrs!! NO WHERE!!! Build it at W.C.Whaley!!!

  173. As important as you are says:

    Tim you are saying, “this will work” even though you are saying we are going to lose parking space. Next time there is any kind of court going on please take time out of your busy day in your nice water leak, asbestos, roach and mold free office to take a ride around the entire block where the city offices are housed as of today. There will be NO parking anywhere close. I don’t personally know you but have heard you are a great dentist but even though you have measured every angle you could how being a dentist makes your opinion more valuable than an architect or a state fire marshal? Of which both have already said Whaley is the best location. As you watch the play back of the meeting please take note of Carolyn Browns facial expressions I bet if you ask her today what you said she would have no clue just as anyone else in the meeting. Other than you think it would be better to say centrally located well I am no scientist but the Whaley property is what 3 blocks away? I don’t see how three blocks could possible make it not centrally located. You make mention how easy it could be for the fire trucks to come out the end straight onto Gaines Street I think there is way more traffic to have to maneuver around in that area than it would be on any of the streets surrounding the Whaley property.

    Claudia Hartness, you took Tim’s drawing and looked at it for maybe 30 seconds and said you agree with him. You asked Gillespie if she tried to honor the wishes of the residents in her ward from what some of us see Mrs. Gillespie is trying to honor the wishes of people in her ward along with your ward to. There are a few people on Main Street that still doesn’t want the fire department over there but there is also others that do want it over there along with many in every ward would like to see the FD on the Whaley property. After all the research they have done they presented plans of “the looks” of a department that will fit in with your historical neighborhood and look like the older residences even though there is also brick buildings and offices on the same street. And your comment about the people in Ward 2 around the historical district really don’t want it there and that’s the bottom line.” Well lady bottom line is as of today everyone is responsible for working and paying taxes so until the people in Ward 2 want to pay everyone’s taxes work everyone’s jobs then they need to realize that they are not the only ones who have a decision in this matter. Gillespie stated you were on board with the plan to build the station on Whaley property your reply was “circumstances have changed” I highly figure “circumstances may change” when several of you have opponents in the next election.

    Carolyn Brown you stated that fire stations are for providing city services, and are not toured by the public, like a museum. Do you realize how many schools bring their students on field trips to the Fire Dept and Police Dept each year apparently not I bet there is more that visit these departments than the museum in our town. CLUELESS

    Instead of coming up with excuse after excuse that really doesn’t show why it would be better at its current location vs. the location that was purchased to build a fire department by people who sat exactly where you each are sitting today. Enough excuses just save everyone the time and say we just don’t want it at Whaley. Which is stupid to me but you are entitled to your opinion it’s like other things everyone has one. It is past time for this to have been resolved and from my point of view I don’t see why the discussion should be going on anyway since Whaley was purchased for this and the city wanted it then and the majority still want it there so stop thinking about 5-10 people and think about the best place for all involved which includes everyone in the city of Monticello not just those in Ward 2. Just in case the 4 of you that sit to the left side of the mayor didn’t know the people in Ward 2 are no more important than anyone else in our city.

  174. sistaMck says:

    i think that city hall should go there. and they can put the fire station where that library going and then the library can be moved to the old city hall!! sound good?

  175. think about it says:

    IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL CALM

  176. Joe Meeks says:

    The square is too congested to build a bigger building. Keep the historical aspects of the square (which needs work) and build on Whaley! Build on an empty lot, don’t close another street, don’t tear down another building, don’t loose more parking!

    WE HAVE TO CALL THE COUNCIL AND TELL THEM HOW WE FEEL!!!! Go to the council meeting next Thursday and hold a sign showing you are for Whaley.

    Everyone knows how I feel. I put a sign in my yard and called my council members. Do they know how YOU feel?

  177. doc says:

    It didn’t take any time to spend 50,000.00 on the square. Even less time to spend 20,000.00 for Christmas trees. I bet they did not ask the voters what they thought about this. This is another waste of taxpayers money. VOTE THEM OUT.

  178. Amy D. says:

    Best one I’ve seen is at Dickerson Auto Sales on Hwy 278 West.

  179. Rick says:

    A Ward 4 voter says put it at Whaley location.

  180. weevilswin says:

    Council members: Time to listen to the members of your WARD. You know those of us who you came around asking for votes? IF you simply did a poll by reading the comments on this page the OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of the comments are for putting the fire station at WC Whaley. Besides that The fire Department, Fire Chief, State Fire Marshall and other people in authority have said this is the best place to put it. Would the HONERABLE council members like it if we told them where to put their place of business? Problems happen when people who are experts in a field reccomend we do something then we do it a different way anyway. 9 times out of 10 it bites us in the behind. Why would you think for 30 seconds even that your idea was better than the one reccomended by the experts? Another thought to keep in the back of your mind….. When Whaley property was bought people were for it becasue a new firestation was being built. The firestation doesnt get built there and next time you want money for something people are not going to be so open to giving it or supporting it. ON a high note if you are sick og the whole thing and dont want to be a council member next time vote for it to be downtown and I think it is safe to say you wont have to worry about making anymore choices like this!

  181. Amen Weevilswin says:

    I totally agree with you. People like you should jump in there and run if you are in Claudia, Beverly, Tim or Carolyn’s ward. “Important as you are” posted the following quote in reference to Claudia Hartness several comments above yours “Gillespie stated you were on board with the plan to build the station on Whaley property your reply was “circumstances have changed” I highly figure “circumstances may change” when several of you have opponents in the next election. I think that statement is a very true.

  182. make a stand says:

    bring the signs to the meeting and walk the side walk with them. call chanel 7 news and have them cover it. let the whole state know how the city counil and the mayor are dragging their feet on this.

  183. agree says:

    Sounds like a great idea make a stand

  184. just wondering says:

    well i wonder if the fire station will be put where it should be at the whaley site or if the city council will cause the entire city of monticello to suffer a large financial loss because they are bullies and want their way even if they are cutting off their nose to spite their face…guess we will find out tonight.

  185. GRANMAW says:

    Calling Nancy Grace right now this is crazy to Flip a CITY HALL we can have a NEW one and ALOT of ROOM !!!This mayor has something in this follow the money and the big dogs in town it will tell more to come JMO

  186. Just sayin says:

    The motion to build a new fire station on the former W.C. Whaley School property on North Main failed in a tie vote by the Monticello City Council tonight. Mayor Allen Maxwell elected not to break the 4 to 4 tie. The Mayor should have voted , he has no back bone when it counts.

  187. Rick says:

    Wow. Just Wow.
    Mr. Mayor, you had a chance, and you blew it.
    Everybody looks for leadership, and abstaining from action as critical as this ain’t it.

  188. Heather says:

    Looks like our council members are not looking out for the best interests of our city. The next time they come up for re-election, we need to get them out of there and put people in that actually care about our city. I for one, will not be voting for Maxwell again. That is if we still have a city…

  189. weevilswin says:

    Are you kidding me? Well I say we just wait now until the new city council is IN. Lets not let these people who say they care about this city make any more decisions. the 4 council members that voted in favor of Whaley GOOD FOR YOU for standing your ground. Just hold it and when they come up with a new site for the firestation vote no lets see if the good mayor will still abstain. If he abstains when the vote is split again. Will he vote against the other members? I am disgusted right now. The best thing this city can do is call newspapers and TV stations and anyone that will listen. Express your right to be heard. Obviously our council members are not hearing us .

  190. Unknown says:

    And Josh Mckiever folds to pressure just like people figured. Wow way to listen to the citizens of the City “YOU WORK FOR” Yes, Council Members, and Mayor, You work for the Citizens of Monticello, They don’t bend to you, you bend to them.

  191. Larry Doggett says:

    I absolutely do not understand the decision of the city council this evening. Monticello has the property which was bought originally for the purpose of putting the fire department on the Whaley site. The state fire marshall said it was the right place to build it. The city’s fire chief and fire department recommended it and the council split on the vote. Why go negoiate to put it someplace else, when the property is already in hand and paid for. I wish someone would give the answer from a business and economical stand point why it is a no-go on building the station at Whaley. I personally do not want to spend another tax penny on buying some other property to do it or lose another tax penny in the city negoiating a swap to put it someplace else. Some of the council members must be hearing something I am not and I guess that is a good possibility. By an overwhelming majority I have been hearing build it at Whaley and I personally wish the matter had been resolved this evening.

  192. D George says:

    It is time for Monticello to remove this mayor. He doesn’t want to do the dirty work. He gets Chase to do the dirty work and just stands by. Who would have thought McKiever could be had. I would loved to have been a fly on the wall when Tim Chase was persuading McKiever to vote with him. New face, same ole BS! Monticello remains in the dark ages. Question is, what is the real reason to not build the firestation at Whaley? Follow the money. Someone is going to profit from the Mayor’s proposals. A special election should be called immediately and the Mayor asked to resign since he is unable to do his job.

  193. What says:

    Yes he Mr Maxwell could have voted for the people to build he chose to take the coward way out

  194. Allen Dickerson says:

    I agree with GRANMAW. Especially “The mayor has something in this follow the money and the big dogs in town it will tell more to come”. Something is going on under the table. The mayor does what Tim Chase,wants to. And Brown needs to retire. She’s lost,in another world. And Beverly Hudson is a crook anyway. IT’S TIME FOR ALL ALL NEW CITY COUNSEL & a new MAYOR!!! They have spent OUR tax money doing ONLY what they want & not worried about us citizens. Thats not there duty. Love your ward,protect your ward,do what’s best for your ward,not what another counsel member wants!!! VOTE ALL OFF THEM OUT come election time. You don’t have to have a suit and tie too run for council. VOTE THEM OUT… In my opinion,this just proves that they have no respect for the firefighters and officers. VOTE THEM OUT!!! VOTE THEM OUT!!!!
    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

  195. blondie says:

    Well just commenting, he runs the people and children out of Juvenile Court, why wouldn’t he run the emergency teams out of town??? Guess the old thinks their days are good ruling…Wait till they need to depend on someone again for help!!! I say vote YES, build at Whaley!!!!

  196. Steve Davis says:

    Please note, that when i asked why the poeple who voted no, only one took the step to answer. The others never said anything. If they read this, could y ou please post your reasoning as to why you voted no. People in your wards are wondering. Give us a reason instead of just saying no or yes.

  197. Get rid of 'em says:

    It is quite possible that the 4 council members who voted against this plan, as well as the mayor, outnumber the entire number of people in the rest of the city who don’t want the station built at Whaley…Thank you Councilmembers Peer, Gillespie, Hudson, and Hubbard for using common sense and listening to the people of Monticello. Joe Meeks has been a consistent voice of reason also…The mayor is coming off as completely gutless, haughty, and a flat-out jerk. I have NEVER seen such a blatant lack of leadership!!! Everyone in Monticello should take it personally that these 5 think they know best…Get rid of ’em

  198. Time for change says:

    I am appalled at the decision that was made tonight. There is a large piece of property that was purchased with tax payers money to build a city complex but in the end you have (1) mayor and(4) council members against it (1) that cant stay awake and is totally clueless during any meeting, (1) that says she is speaking up for the people in her ward but if you will drive through her ward there are many signs representing they are “for it” to be built on this property, (1) that is mayor Jr. who thinks his napkin blueprints has it all figured out better than the State Fire Marshal and (1) that just got elected this past election and in the last meeting he was “for it” wonder which one helped change his mind . If the citizens of Monticello were allowed to vote on this I think there would be a City complex being built on the Whaley property. Since when can the mayor just take it upon himself not to vote? I thought the mayor was the one over the city, is that wrong? I defiantly see opponents coming in the next election so those who are there now as you go home tonight and feel like you have won stop and think you were voted “for” to represent those in your ward therefore you can also be voted “against” in the next election. You are not in there to stand up and vote for just what you want but also for what everyone else wants to.

  199. ok says:

    Is there a such thing called studying for a phd to know where a fire dept should go cause thay have studyed this for so long thay could all have a phd in something.Guess it is in makeing us all wait for a new dept cause thay all got to study more.O wait MAYBE THERE GETTING THERE MASTERS.

  200. Allen Dickerson says:

    VERY well said Time For Change. And that is what is going to happen come election time. These “people”(mayor,mayor Jr(Chase)& the other the other city council members have GOT TO GO!!! And Im thinking the same way about the council member that changed his mind. He has been with wanting it at the Whaley Property up till tonight. That is going to hurt him if he runs for a lseat again. Y’all people stop hiding behind a screen name. Let them know who you are.
    @Get Rid of Em’- you are right as well. ENOUGH!!! Vote them out!! GET RID OF EM ALL

  201. Allen Dickerson says:

    By the way,Ms.Brown. Why even bring up a problem at this meeting? I seriously don’t think this lady knows where she is. I congrats the city council members that voted for the Whaley property. The mayor had his chance to speak for the people of “his town” and didnt. It’s the mayors fault that this didn’t pass tonight. Something is fishy. The money is there to build it. The lot is empty at Whaley and ready to build(as original planned) & to Ms.Hudson,you ask that lady to address her name to the counsel. Does it matter? She’s a citizen just like me. This Mayor/City council news to GET OUT!! ENOUGH US ENOUGHT!!! These counsel members have got to be voted!!! And major,you have authorities to veto the council!!!! These people make me sick!!!

  202. Fed up says:

    Seems to me if the station is built on whaley someone might lose some money under the table but its the same as state and fed gov . Everyone knows that lot would be the best place even the ones who voted against it. Once again our home town withers a little more . Looks like there some puppets on the council. People of monticello ask yourselves do we have the best reps and mayor in office. Im sure the mayor did not want to vote against his son in law. PEOPLE OF MONTICELLO THEY WORK FOR YOU!!!!!!

  203. Fed up says:

    Joe meeks for mayor!!!!!! Just dont turn the cablevision off to the fire dept or the firefighters wont have anything to pass there time at night except look at the same ole run down walls and watch the asbestos floating around.

  204. Heather says:

    Maybe the citizens of Monticello need to protest. Get the news casters involved. Show them that the city members want the Fire Station at Whaley and we’re not going to put up with our elected officals not listening to the people that put them into office. WE ARE THE PEOPLE, not them. They are suppose to be our voice, not the voice of a few. They obviously do not read the comments we post, nor do they care what we think. Let’s get them out of there… Or we can sit back and do what we’ve always done and get what we’ve always got. Come on Monticello, let’s stand up for what we believe in.

  205. Cindy Gibson says:

    Hmm. Somebody just lost my vote. I guess our soon-to-be former city council members know more about fire than the experts. This makes me not want to pay taxes. Our tax money is supposed to be used for all of the citizens of Monticello and not just for the benefit of the privileged few. Since tax money has paid for the W. C. Whaley property, and said property is not being utilized for the purpose it was originally intended when purchased by the City of Monticello, I respectfully request MY money be returned to ME! That is what happens when we purchase something that does not fulfill its intended purpose when it was purchased, we return said item and get our money back. So, if the City of Monticello quorum court decides not to use the property for the reason it was originally purchased, then the City of Monticello should refund tax dollars to its citizens. Since the quorum court would rather spend money on something for looks rather than something that would benefit all of Monticello by providing a better, safer, more functional building on land already owned, I say vote out every member that voted no, and do it now before they waste another cent of our tax money.

  206. Every day I get more confused about some decisions made in Monticello. I don’t understand why there was even a need for a vote on building a Fire Station at the Whaley property. The property was bought for that very purpose.
    Mr. Mckeiver, I was very happy to see a young man take an interest in “his” town. I voted for you so we could get new blood on the city council. You are one of the council members for my ward. Not one time was I or my wife approached about our thoughts on this decision. As for me you would have learned that I fully support building the Fire Station at Whaley. Another thing, I don’t think we should stop with just a fire station. There should be a new Police Station built right beside it. There are not any more important city departments than the Police and Fire Departments in this town.
    During the weeks up to the October 20, I saw many signs along the streets supporting building on the Whaley property. Did any of you council people stop and ask these folks anything, maybe get their ideas, opinions, or reasons. I guess not….
    Now we are back to square one. We still don’t have a decision made and our police and firemen are working in deteriorating buildings.
    I am a citizen of Monticello, Ark. and will be for a long time. I feel like now we citizens don’t have any input about decisions that our council members or mayor, (whom we elected) are making.
    Hopefully one day we can change this. Thank you for letting me express my opinions, and they are just that,,mine….Steve..

  207. My Opinion says:

    I called my two City Council representatives and told them how I hoped they voted. Josh McKiever didn’t ask my name, address or anything when I called him. He simply replied “okay.” His interest in my call tells me of his interest in the citizens of his Ward. Granted the fire station is not in my neighborhood, I still feel the best location for the firestation is W.C. Whaley.

    What are you Main Street people going to think if the city sells this land one day and apartments go in on the lot. Come to think of it, that site would be great for a playground and apartment complex, or how about rental storage. Maybe someone should start preparing to invest in this financial endeavor! I can think of a lot worse things than a firestation that could happen to this empty lot. Think about the future, people!!!

    I commend Mrs. Hudson, Mrs. Gillespie and Mr. Peer for voting yes last night. Shame on the rest of you, especially Josh McKiever!

    BTW (A. Dickerson), I believe it was Ms. Hartness and not Ms. Hudson who asked the young lady to state her name…

    Just who can settle this once and for all? Is there any way that the City of Monticello can vote on building the firestation at W.C. Whaley? We’re the ones who will have to pay for the building and upkeep so why can’t we have a say so on its location?

  208. My Opinion says:

    Thank you, Mr. Hubbard, for your “YES” vote also! So sorry I excluded you in my original post.

  209. QB says:

    Since the council voted down the W.C. Whaley property… Maybe they will put it at the old Ryburn Motor Company building on Gaines. They really seem to want to make a deal with Gathings who trashes every building he has. This would get rid of one of his eye sores. He should not be given any other land to trash up in our town. I don’t care how much land is behind the falling down buildings it is not enough to build a fire department that can grow! I think that idea is stupid! I don’t know what the leaders if our town are thinking. I was born and raised here and truly love this town so we better get some leadership in there that care about or town and not that their stupid ideas win!

  210. im with allen says:

    Allen Dickerson is right… the mayor droped the ball, he has the “POWER”

  211. Get a pair says:

    Thanks to Peer, Hubbard Gillespie and Hudson for speaking up for what the people want that put you in those fancy seats as a council member. To the others before the council has to make another decision on anything try asking your significant other if you can take your jewels with you to the meeting if you promise to put them back on the shelf when you get home. To those who don’t have any jewels ask someone if you can borrow theirs for a few hours. If you are allowed to do that maybe you will see everyone’s point of view not just your click of 5 people sitting there keeping those fancy seats warm.

  212. 2011 says:

    Thank you for making a rational decision on this issue and not succumbing to a well financed campaign. Why did the mayor abstain rather than vote against this as he had promised to do when running for office?

  213. Recia says:

    Prisoners have larger living quarters than our firemen, don’t they?

    Aren’t cells larger than that??

  214. Susan says:

    I don’t live in the city limts. But as a citizen of Drew County and someone who pay city taxes when I shop. I belive that Whaley would be a place. The land should be paid for so therefor the cost would only be for the fire station. Why would you want to buy more land and spend more tax money. Next the city will have to vote on more taxes, bonds or the utiles will go up to help pay for the land and fire station.

  215. Mary says:

    All of this arguing aboout the site of the fire station seems rather
    childish. Also think about the site. On the south side of the lot
    are two churches who have to park on the streets. Also, some of
    residents have to drive in and out. Do you want that huge
    red truck swinging out of the station and running over a car or a
    person. Even if it is great to have a fire station close by, can they
    negotiate those turns easily? If you think about it, when there is a
    fire and the trucks must leave the station, they must pull out into
    traffic that is uncontrolled – a state highway remember. These
    guys are good drivers, no doubt, but the chances are great that
    someone could be hit. It does not appear to me that on the square or on the Whaley lot are good choices. What about some
    place with a little more space, etc. Don’t you think that the people other than on the north side of town would like their fire
    station closer? Why doesn’t the Western Pines or Tanglewood
    group chime in and voice their preferences? They may not be in
    the city limits, but the firefighters are obligated to go there, too.
    Please let us think this out rationally, without malice.

  216. clergyman says:

    SOOOO disappointed in the council. Guess we will have to get busy to see that they are voted out before they do any more harm to our community. We can do something about this, and the time is now.. Tea party come to mind?

  217. Kris says:

    THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM!!!!

  218. D George says:

    It only takes 25 per cent of the registered voters, maybe a thousand signatures, to get a recall election. Based on what I have been reading and the total ineptness of this Mayor, it would probably take a week to get them. Go for it Monticello, or continue to suffer.

  219. Try working together says:

    I agree nobody needs a huge 2 million dollar fire station but they do need a building that is safe regardless if there is 1 firemen in there or 20. Building a station does not have to cause all this negativity. This all has totally gotten so out of hand. Approximately 10-12 years ago the tax payers agreed to purchase this property for the reason of building a decent station not a New York City station just one that would work for Monticello then at a later date build another part to eventually have a City complex on this land. Since then they have spent money to tear the old school down only to have a large piece of property with grass. As far as a “volunteer based fire department” stop and think if your house is going up in flames and nobody shows up are you really going to think that was a good idea? If they are working as volunteers only basis you cant say anything if nobody shows up. Why does everyone have to belittle the fireman for wanting a decent place to stay anywhere from 24-72 hours at a time. They have a kitchen upstairs equipped with needed appliances such as a stove but if you will watch an earlier video of the council touring this building you cant even go upstairs and walk around because it could fall through at any time. Is having a stove/kitchen asking too much? These guys are the ones that you will have to call when you are standing by watching your life valuables burn to the ground these are the ones that when someone has an accident and cant get out of the vehicle that will have to come cut you out to be able to let someone help you. This is not Jr. High School people cant adults handle whatever is best for our city without degrading everyone that is affiliated with the Monticello Fire Department? Then to throw other city departments into the fire just to get more stirred up is beyond me why would they have anything to do with any of this controversy? I had to pick up an accident report the other day and the police department is in the back parking lot in a small 2 room trailer while they are cleaning and painting the police department and not one person complained while I was in there asking how are all of you all working out of here. They seem to be totally satisfied with cleaning, painting and getting some of the mold out of their main building. So why put them down for no reason. Even though I hope you people that are belittling everyone never needs a fireman, rescue, policeman, ambulance, deputy or trooper I strongly feel like you would be proud to see them in your time of need. I wish everyone would work together to come up with what’s best financially and morally for the city of Monticello.

  220. Allen Dickerson says:

    @My Opinion. You are correct. It was Hartness. I made a mistake. Sorry.
    @Cindy Gibson- You are absolutely correct!!!!

  221. Resident says:

    I called Ms. Brown, Ms.Hartness, I guess they didn’t hear or should I say care to hear what I said. I wanted the fire station and police department moved to WC Whaley. My husband called them as well voiced his concerns, guess we don’t count anymore, well come next election I will be campaigning for the other person that runs against you both, I hope others will think about this as well. Next election will tell, as for getting signations, let me know, where to sign, I will be in line. I’m really ashamed of our Mayor, guess you couldn’t vote against your son in law, not that you would, we thought the last Mayor was bad, looks like we were wrong. Also, I would like my tax money back that was given for the not using the money where we voted it to go. I would love to have a fire station next door to me, at least they wouldn’t have to go far to put out a fire, or if I needed the police they would be right next door to me. Oh my bad, you council members that voted against that. Josh, I was so happy when your ran and won, guess you fooled everyone too.

  222. its time for change says:

    Monticello is in desperate need of change starting first and formost with the city council dinos, and we need a mayor that isnt afraid to make a stand one way or the other. guess he was afraid if he voted for it, the council would be mad at him, and if he voted against it the MFD and its supporters would be mad, so he took the cowards way out by not voteing witch did nothing for him but cause him to be hated by all… he must be feelin mighty low and if not he should be…it just disgusts me that we have a mayor that dont have the guts to vote one way or the other….SHAME ON YOU MAYOR MAXWELL!!

  223. Monticello person says:

    As, a resident of Monticello, we do need a new fire station everyone agrees. Right? And, I would like to say thank you to the ones voted for the station, you are the ones are wanting to make progress in this town and has leadership quality.. The ones voted against the station you need to stay in that station for a 24 hour shift and not home with your family and see if you like living in your home away from home… The ones voted against it does not have leadership quality and does not want to make any improvements to the town… As far as the Mayor, he is a coward, did not want to vote.. Is it right to have a son-in-law, father-in-law in public offices like this? How I see it, the Mayor wasn’t goin to cause any conflicts with his boy Tim Chase, cuz he prolly looking at his plans about building it in the street, where the station is at now… That will be a waste of money.. The Whaley lotwas bought by tax payers money, and should have that building put there. For Joe Meeks, I would like to say Thank you for speaking on your behalf, how the mayor did not vote…

  224. doc says:

    The City Council just told the voters of Drew County they didn’t have enough sense to make descisions. they will decide for you. remember this when election time comes!

    I recollect the fire station was supposed to be 450,000.00. But they haven’t been able to make a decision in ten years plus.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the estimate for the cost hasn’t doubled or tripled in the last few years. So how about the City Council being held accountable for the difference in price?

    Remember at reelection time how much more it cost for thier derelection of duty years ago. IT COST YOU IN TAX DOLLARS

  225. Wondering says:

    How is a group of people putting signs in their yard to express their opinions about an issue a “well financed campaign”? We have to let the council know what we want somehow. They aren’t going around talking to the people in their wards asking them. Ms. Brown said she has talked to so many people about this, builders and such. Did she talk to the state firemarshall (I think it was) who said that Whaley was the best choice. And Dr. Chase, was that person not telling the council Whaley was the best choice meaning you all were looking at more than one place. Just becuase the place you are now interested in was not on that list doesn’t mean we need to spend more money on more studies!!! Bottom line is that the Whaley property was purchased wtih tax dollars from the citizens of Monticello to build a new fire station. We have been sitting around arguing for 12 years about something that has essentially already been decided. Why can you people not move on?!?!? Build it at Whaley and be done already so we can move on to other important issues in our city!!!! Let the people have their say!!!! And to the council members…last I checked you were hired by us to speak for us…when aer you going to start doing the job you were elected for?!?! I appreciate those of you who voted yes, but even those- if you were honest in your answer could say that you reached out to your ward to find out what they wanted you to do? I’d like that statistic. I agree it is childish what this issue has become. It’s not about you council!!! It’s about Monticello and you’ve already been told by an expert that
    Whaley is where the station needs to go. Why do you need more? This isn’t a best 2 out of 3 game. Just do it already!!!

  226. dipnet says:

    Maybe they should hire an outside agency to do a feasability study regarding the available sites. Then they wouldn’t have to made such a difficult decision on their own!

  227. Allen Dickerson says:

    Well said Wondering. I for one AM NOT ashamed to hide behind a screen name on this matter and will not. My name is Allen Dickerson. And the mayor,and ALL the city council members NEED TO GO!! And @Doc,you are absolutely correct. It don’t matter who runs for council in each ward,it matters that we vote for a new member from each ward. I personally know 3 people from 3 different wards that are running and will support them in everyday possible to get these so called,”people for the citizens” off the council. So get ready council,a new generation is coming at your seat!!! And mayor,shame on you and grow a set!!!

  228. a screan name says:

    alot of the people on hear with screan names are most likely people who would loose their jobs if they used their real names, or are people related to the mayor or members of the council and want to call them out for being totally wrong and support the MFD in the only way they can. i love there are people that CAN AND DO use their real name, and i thank them. but those of us that cant do that for fear of job loss or family discord should not be looked down on for doing all we can to show support for the fire department….however if someone was to start a signature campain to remove the mayor and council well id be glad to risk all that and sighn my real name loud and proud.

  229. Allen Dickerson says:

    Your right in a way “screan name”… I understand what you are saying. And when someone starts a signature campaign,let me know because I know about a minimum of AT LEAST 300-400 people that will have a pen ready waiting to sign it. The city counsil SNUBBED all us voters!!! We voted for it to go to Whaley and paid for it to go there and I think they forgot how they got into office. By us tax paying voters!!! That’s why!!! What a Kangaroo Counsil we have!!! SMH….

  230. male voter says:

    I called three of the counsel members and asked the to vote for the fire station. All three plus their father (Tim Chase) voted against it…… The root of the problem is Alan Maxwell. He is tim’s father in law Tim has claudia and carolyn in his pocket and Alan recruted Josh…. See the pattern?

  231. Wade Newman says:

    The firefighters allowed their station to get into the state it’s in. They could have fixed the leaky roof and remodeled the upstairs for a small amount compared to what a new station would cost.

  232. Festus Haggerty says:

    Wade, the firemen can’t remodel their work area. They also aren’t responsible for repairing a leaky roof. These matters are the responsibility of the MAYOR and the CITY COUNCIL, who have shown that they can’t make a decision about a fire station without changing their minds over and over and over and over………

  233. partsisparts says:

    I know a solution for the Whaley site. Let Tyson build chicken houses on the site since the people were afraid of the noise and not fitting in with the historic area.
    Maybe they could build a lot of historic chicken houses? Maybe next time a vote came up a decision WOULD be made.

  234. Wade Newman says:

    Maybe their jobs aren’t to remodel it, but that wasn’t my point.

    They are however responsible to ask for funding to fix said problems instead of allowing the building to degrade to it’s current state. Has the current or previous fire chiefs asked the council for funding to fix the station, or was it simply allowed to fall apart so that we would have to pay for a new station?

    To be honest, I’m all for a new station…if the cost is rightand the area chosen would actually better our ISO rating. I wouldn’t think that moving the station 1 block north of it’s current location is going to improve that. However the empty lot between SEEMS and the Breaker is a much better option since it is on a major street. Heck, there are a few lots around town that could work better than on N. Main St. where if a fire broke out on a Sunday could be a tricky situation with cars parked along each side of the street.

    The problem around here is that we continue to overspend. If it cost 500K to build what equates to a few pipes that spray water over a concrete slab, then I can guarantee you a new station would cost over a million. This town has a major problem with approving building projects without even having a end cost. We tore down the City Park pavillion before we had an estimate to rebuild and when the council (namely Miss Hartness) asked for a cost on rebuilding the square all she was presented with at the next meeting was a nice pretty picture of what it was supposed to look like, with no prices at all.

    You all keep blaming the Mayor, but I think our track record with bad spending has more to do with this than anything. If the last Mayor had his way, we would have spent 10 million plus building a huge tax burden on the Whaley lot. Let’s get our priorities in order and start working toward job creation and away from wasteful spending!

  235. i used to be disgusted, now im just amused says:

    Wade, of all the insane comments iv read….yours comes in at a new level, first off how dare you insult our fire fighters, by acting like they are slobs and to lazy to keep their surroundings maintained. Second they do keep things clean neat and very orderly and make minor repairs that they CAN fix. Third that building is as old as time its self and there is no way a building that age could be remodled and brought up to todays codes and standards with as much mold and asbestoes it has lurking in its walls without it costing a truckload of money that would be better spent on a new building at whaley where the tax payers paid for it to go over a decade ago. Fourth, these are FIRE FIGHTERS…NOT CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND ELECTRICIANS! they are here to protect and serve people like you when your life, your home, your properity OR all of the above are on the line! ….get a clue and show some respect for the people that get out of bed in the middle of the night, go out in the worst possible weather, witness the most horrific accidents not even a hollywood horror show could come up with and at times work the sceans of fires and auto crashes where they pull the mangled injured and some times the deceased remanes of their friends and sometimes family members out….they have enough on their plate doing what they do, the least the city of monticello its council, mayor and citizens can do is make sure they have safe nice acomadations, AND SUPPORT THEM!!!!

  236. Wade Newman says:

    Did I call them slobs? In my last post I stated that while it may not be their job to repair said problems, but it is up to them to ask for funding when repairs are required.

    As to your last statement about the current building being old and un-useable…you should ask my buddy who is a firefighter in NYC about working out of a 125+ year old building. His company does what’s needed to keep their building from falling in on itself because they know that’s all they have.

    Don’t go making me out to be some monster because I happen to question things. I’m in full support of our firefighters…I’m also against wasting money we dont have. Get your facts straight before you go accusing me of “being against the poor firemen”.

  237. Allen Dickerson says:

    Well said Festus & I used to be disgusted. With all do respect Wade, doesn’t your family(father)own the property in between Breaker & SEEMS? And this is all about what us Monticello tax payers paid for. We paid taxes to have a lot(w.c.whaley),we paid taxes too have it built there. And how do you think it is the firefighters fault for letting there current station go to crap? Have you ever stepped foot in there? If not,take a break from your busy schedule and go check it out. I do agree with you on the SplashPad & About the Pavilions. The SplashPad never should have happen in my opinion. And the mayor,I’m not gonna even go there. Yes I will.. No matter what the city council says, A good mayor would have had a special election just to see what and where us,the taxpayers, would like to do about a fire station. But he didn’t because he knows everyone wants it WHERE IT IS SUPPOSE TO GO!! The mayor is Council member Tim Chase’s Assistant(and father-n-law I might add) and does what Chase tells him to do. Most people born with Golden Spoons in their mouth talk alot of talk. I have had to bust my ass for everything that I own. Isn’t no one telling me what to write on here but me. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! OUT WITH THE OLD,IN WITH THE NEW!!! Hope The Mayor enjoys his first and only term in office.
    Sincerely,
    Allen Dickerson

  238. Wade Newman says:

    My father, nor any of my family own the lot between Seems and the Breaker. If I wanted to sell the city a lot, I would have recommended the site between our store and the bakery. But I didn’t.

    Are you going to sit there and say the firemen and fire chief aren’t responsible to ask for funding to keep up their own station? If not, then who is? If the current station was allowed to fall apart, then how are we not to believe that the new one will be any different? We also haven’t heard yet whether or not moving it to the Whaley lot would actually improve our ISO rating. Let’s get that info first and then we can decide as a city if and where we can move the station.

  239. Allen Dickerson says:

    We have the property. We have the money to build. It’s already been done. And yes,I support our firefighters and believe that yes indeed it is there responsibility to maintain there fire station. The current station has been falling apart for awhile now so the blame is not on the current firefighters. Jus Say’n. Our City Council Snubbed us Monticellonians. And the Mayor,……………….

  240. Didn't really wanna say anything says:

    I am still in awe at our city council at work. For those of you who do not go around the square much, take a trip around the square…and then go around the one way street around the fire station/police station/city hall. HELLO!!! You want to build a new fire station in this hole where there is no room….no traffic flow….it is absurd, to say the least. And no amount of making it sound or look pretty is going to help. It’s kinda like when you run out of room at a cemetery to bury bodies…what are you going to do then? Have condo lots? Well, that is the situation on the square. There is only so much room and hopefully if our town continues to grow we will need more fire protection….where will the fire station expand if they build in the hole?

    Not to beat a dead horse, but the Whaley property was bought 12 years ago for the express purpose of building the new fire station there. No plan is going to have 100% agreement….so just do what was supposed to have been done already and build the dang building!!

    I, unfortuanately, cannot vote in a city election. But I urge anyone who can to change the leadership of Monticello. We desperately need a leader and set of council members who can and will make decisions in the best interest of Monticello. And in the event of a tie..grow a set and make a decision. That is the job of the mayor and he certainly did not do his job!!!!

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