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City Council Splits Vote on Approving 2011 Budgets

Posted on December 17, 2010

Among the items on the City Council meeting agenda Thursday night were resolutions to approve the city’s operating and sales tax budgets for 2011. 

When it came time for the operating budget’s approval, Carolyn Brown made a motion to postpone the vote until January to allow input from Mayor-elect Allen Maxwell on the decision. The motion to postpone the budget vote failed with a 4-4 tie, allowing the vote to approve the budget to proceed.

The operating budget for 2011 then passed with a 5-3 margin. Alderman Tim Chase (one of the three “no” votes)  stated, “I vote ‘no’ solely for the reason that I feel we should wait til January to pass it.  The budget’s fine. I just would like for the incoming mayor to have some input on it.”

When the budget for the sales and use tax came around,  Brown again made a motion to postpone the vote til January and it also failed with a 4-4 tie.

City attorney Bill Daniels reminded the council they can make an adjustment to the budget at anytime in the upcoming year, not just in December, as is the usual practice.

This budget also passed with a 5-3 margin.

One Monticello Life: The Marketplace, Drew County’s Industry of the Year

Posted on November 21, 2010


MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

The Drew County Industry of the Year award was recently presented to Launius Enterprises, also known as The Marketplace, at the MEDC/Chamber of Commerce banquet. The Marketplace is a 47,000 square foot building in which space is offered to individuals and businesses in order to sell their products. This week’s One Monticello Life tells of the beginning and growth of The Marketplace and its owners, Gene and Shelly Launius.

When Gene and Shelly Launius moved to Monticello from Hector in order for Gene to continue his education in forestry, an idea like The Marketplace never crossed their minds. Years later after owning J&L Timber Company and Prestige Home Furnishings, they purchased the old building that currently houses The Marketplace in hopes to lease the property to other companies. After numerous failed attempts, Gene had an idea and started the wheels rolling.

The Marketplace opened in September of 2009 with 77 booth spaces available and one man’s dream of becoming “THE” place to shop in Southeast Arkansas. The booths completely filled up within a few months so work quickly began to open up more of the building for additional spaces. Located at 249 Hwy 425 North in what most Monticellonians remember as the old Safeway grocery store, The Marketplace currently has 190 retail booth spaces between two parts of the building with future plans of more being added once the third phase of the building is finished.

Read the rest of this entry »

One Monticello Life: Drew County’s Business of the Year, Drew County Developmental Disabilities Council

Posted on November 14, 2010

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

The Drew County Business of the Year award was presented to the Drew County Developmentally Disabilities Council, Tuesday night at the MEDC/Chamber of Commerce banquet.

The DCDD operates several facilities in Drew and surrounding counties; has 275 employees;, and has a $4,p00,000 annual payroll.

This week’s One Monticello Life tells of the beginning and growth of the Drew County Developmental Disabilities Council, and their organizations.

Read the rest of this entry »

City Council Approves $65,000 for Beautification of City Square

Posted on November 11, 2010


The Monticello City Council approved an additional $20,000 to add to the currently allocated $45,000, from several years ago, to be used for renovations and improvements to the Monticello City Square.

The modernization project will take place in four stages:

1.   fountain
2.   sidewalks
3.   columns
4.   sod

This is the same topic of last week’s meeting, where council member Claudia Hartness argued with the rest of the council over the improvements.  At that meeting, the council asked the square improvement committee to provide a drawing and cost estimates, which led to Wednesday night’s meeting.

Last week’s video has been viewd 425 time, so far.

MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

Video Tour of New Mainline Community Health Clinic in Monticello

Posted on September 9, 2010

Click on the video above to go on a tour of the new Mainline Community Health Clinic in Monticello.  (Click on the “cloverleaf” to set it to full screen.)

Mainline’s Allan Nichols will take you on a tour of the facility, and explain many of the features of the clinic, and the services that they offer to Monticello and the surrounding area.

City Council Discussed Stop Signs on City Square

Posted on July 17, 2010

At Thursday night’s meeting, city council member Tim Chase expressed his ongoing concern about the “all-way stop signs” that have been placed on the city square.

Chase accused Mayor Joe Rogers of telling or recommending the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Dept. that the city preferred stop signs, instead of stop lights, when the study to determine that issue was requested. Chase added that he didn’t recall the city council having discussed the issue.

Chase also suggested that the city council, at a later date, consider passing a resolution expressing their desire to have lights put up at the 2 locations, instead of the current stop signs.

A “blind spot” on the north side of the square was also mentioned.

The next topic, related to the signs/lights, was if the man who caused the damage with a November truck wreck had insurance coverage. Mayor Rogers reported that there was “around $22,000” (Damage to businesses and other utilities probably filed claims against the vehicle’s insurance, as well.)

Council member, Judge Clifton Bond told the council that he felt they should get a letter or petition to the AHTD, requeting that the lights be replaced., in hopes that this effort may get their attention.,

Bond reporeted that he understood that replacement cost for the lights would be around $80,000, and that he felt that cost was the reason that stop signs had been put up on place of the stop lights. Read the rest of this entry »

City Council Approves Water Rate Increase

Posted on March 19, 2010


The Monticello City Council approved an increase in city water rates at Thursday evening meeting.

Water rates will increase by 3%, except for the minimum usage bills, which will increase by 50 cents  per month.

Update–City Council’s 9 Step Process of Cleaning Up “Nuisance” Properties, 7 For-1 Against

Posted on December 8, 2009

MEDC director Truman Hamilton met with the Monticello City Council, Thursday night, for their planned committee meeting to discuss the process of dealing with properties that have been reported to be run down and/or abondoned.

After the meeting, MonticelloLive asked each of the eight council members if they were in favor of proceeding with the process of dealing with potentially “nuisance properties”, as explained by Hamilton.  The only council member who stated that he was opposed to the measures was Judge Clifton Bond.  All others stated that they were in favor of proceeding with the 9 steps, as they were described in the meeting.

Hamilton presented the following list to the group, outlining the order in which events are to take place in the process of dealing with the property owners of those potentially “nuisance properties.” Read the rest of this entry »

Millage Tax to Remain at 1.8 Mils, Discussion, and Public Comment on QC Insurance & Taxes

Posted on November 17, 2009

 As the topic turned to tax related issues, Gay Griffith asked the County Attorney Cliff Gibson for a clarification as to what limits would bind the use of the “1400” account, which is a sales tax fund, that can have multiple designated purposes.   Basically, Gibson responded the court can set it’s own purpose for the money in that fund, as long as it’s done in a public forum, once a year.


Next, Arlene Russell asked to come before the court and discuss her feelings on the possible increase of millage taxes. Russell is reluctant to support the tax increase due to the fact that the county is not “hurting” for money. She feels that the county is likely going to be getting more money. She also mentioned that the Quorum Court should be paying for their own healthcare benefits.

“We pay for our own, and I don’t see how you can in good conscience take it out of the general fund,” stated Russell.

 After several comments from the Quorum Court about the ad velorum (millage) tax issue, they voted to leave the tax on property at the same rate that it has been set at since 1983, which is 1.8%.

Council Discusses Cleaning Up “Eyesore” Buildings

Posted on October 19, 2009


Beverly Hudson lead a debate last Thursday during the regular city council meeting on condemning buildings for city clean ups. She opened the topic by showing pictures taken by Truman Hamilton depicting the old, abandoned buildings. Hudson wanted the council to enforce the ordinance already in place that states that if the council deems a building to be a nuisance they can condemn it and ask the owner to tear it down and clean it up, or if the owner refuses, the city can take down the building. Read the rest of this entry »

Drew Central’s Mrs. Eason Gets Head Shaved after Students Read 3400 Books–VIDEO

Posted on May 15, 2009

Current research indicates that for students to grow as readers they need to read 1,000,000 (yes, that’s one million) words per year. In terms of books, that’s approximately 25 books of 200 pages in length.

To encourage students to make 1,000,000 words their goal for the year, Melissa Eason, literacy coach for grades 4-8 issued to middle school students at Drew Central the chal-lenge to read 25 books this school year. The campaign was known as the Twenty-five Book Campaign. The theme of Read Like a Rock Star was chosen. Drew Central students, Aaron and Alan Jones, wrote a rock song, “You Gotta Read to Succeed,” and their rock band, which includes their father, performed it at the campaign kick-off.


Each student and staff member at Drew Central signed a pledge to try to read 25 books and kept a list of books read. To get credit for the books, students had to make 70% on the AR test or turn in a satisfactory literary letter about the books read. As an added incentive to get kids to read,

Mrs. Eason promised to shave her head if students read 3,100 books which would be the same as of if one-half of all fifth, sixth, and seventh graders read 25 books. This week when teachers turned in their class totals, students were congratulated for having met and surpassed the 3,100 book goal.

Drew Central Middle School Students read 3,400 books this year! It was time for Mrs. Eason to live up to her end of the bargain. At an early morning assembly today, Read the rest of this entry »


Posted on April 17, 2009

This year’s MADD sponsored DWI mock accident was held on the parking lot area of the Monticello High School, Monday.

This year’s event was held in honor of Dustin “Rooster” Ferguson.

The first video show the accident re-enactment.
The second covers Steve Brantley’s comments about the event.
The last video is of Dustin Ferguson’s mother’s statements from Monday, which was the first time she has spoken publicly about the wreck that took Dustin’s life.

MADD MOCK DWI 2009-04-13 from MonticelloLive on Vimeo.

Dustin’s parents came out to speak for the first time since the accident. His mom told the students attending, “Sept. 22, 2008, two days after his 19th birthday, our son lost his life from a drunk driver. One choice of an indivdual changed our lives and our community. I stand before you as Dustin’s voice. His plans and his dreams could not be achieved because of the choice of another. Remember your choice affects everyone.”

DVD video’s of last year’s presentation are available at James Quick Print.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monticello Animal Clinic

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