The Mayor's Address
In 2016, the City of Caraway made improvements by purchasing new equipment, approving new policies, and signing contracts for new businesses in order to keep the City moving into the future.
During the first quarter, the City Council approved purchases for a new fire truck. The fire truck was much needed to help the City with its ISO rating that will be coming up in the near future. The fire truck replaced a truck that was bought in 1986 and had many needed repairs. There has been other equipment purchased throughout the year to help the fire department prepare for the upcoming inspection by ISO.
The City's sewer lines are starting to show their age and have to be replaced. In order for these lines to be replaced, the water department needed equipment for their safety, as well as equipment to aid them in digging the old lines and replacing them with new lines. The City Council allocated funds in the 2016 budget for the purchase of trench boxes and a backhoe. Two trench boxes were purchased throughout the year for safety of the crews and the backhoe was purchased the first of the year. The water department has finished the first block of repairs and will work on the next block (Jennings Drive) in the spring and summer months.
The City also added new policies during 2016. The first policy was to make the City a Drug-Free City. This policy was established to have the employees drug tested and subjected to random testing; the initial testing was completed throughout the year for all employees as well as the volunteer fire department. The City also started paying all employees through direct deposit. Before direct deposit, with the closing of the bank, the employees had to drive to other cities to deposit their checks.
The City Council also approved monies for the Arkansas Municipal League to code all of the City ordinances and put them on digital record. That project should be completed by March 2017.
The City entered a contract with Abilities Unlimited to process the recyclable bags that were being collected through the blue bag program.
The County finalized the Mitigation Program for the County, which will enable the City to be available for upcoming FEMA grants or FEMA aid in case of a disaster.
The City rented the Basler Building to Crop Production Services until the end of the year when the company closed its doors in Caraway.
The City is proud to have rented that building to Helena Seed Company and we look forward to working with them in the upcoming year.
I am very proud to announce that on the second day of 2017, Brooks Jeffrey Marketing, Inc. launched our new website to help promote the events going on in this City as well as to help promote our great community. This website will help us get news out to our citizens and allow those who are thinking of moving to our community an idea of how great of a community Caraway is.
This City needs to continue moving forward with projects to help improve our infrastructure and promote a community that can support future businesses. It will take the Mayor, City Council, the City employees, and the citizens of Caraway to make our town strong. I am very proud to represent this town; we are a great little town with the best volunteers a community could ask for. So let us all work this year to make our community stronger.
Mayor Barry Riley