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— Animal control, dogs in particular, consumed much of the discussion at Thursday night's meeting of the Gravette City Council.

Questions were raised about why the police department apparently is not picking up animals after an employee was hired to clean the kennel.

The City constructed the kennel at a cost of some $40,000 and it functioned well until about three months ago.

It had been noted earlier the department was short of manpower because two officers had returned to resource duties at the school, one had retired and another was off because of injury. The Council had authorized hiring of only two part time officers, because of decreasing city finances.

Since operation of the police department is under the jurisdiction of the Mayor, the Council gave tacit support for Mayor Bill Howard to work toward a solution of the problem. "I'll take care of it," the Mayor said.

In other action the Council approved an additional $414 to pay increased insurance coverage on the museum and its contents. This followed an appraisal of the value of the property and contents which resulted in the needed increase.

Mayor Howard proposed forming a committee to hear complaints received by the water-sewer department. He indicatedthereareusuallyfive or six complaints each month involving billing. Complaints now are routinely handled by city personnel. Howard indicatedifacommitteeisformed memberswouldbevolunteers and they could provide a buffer between the complainant and the City Council. The Mayoralsoisproposinganew water reconnect fee.

The subjects were recommended for discussion by the Committee of the Whole later this month.

Howard told the Council the city has received no franchise fees from Carroll Electric Coop since the city passed an ordinance setting a fee. City Attorney Tom Smith will do a follow up on the subject.

The Council approved a resolution in support of the proposed BellaVista Bypass.

"The U.S. Department of Transportation is encouraged to award Supplemental Discretionary Grant Funds for the I-49 Bella Vista Bypass - a critical highway project for Arkansas, Missouri and all of mid-America," the resolution stated.

The Mayor informed the Councilthecity'sgeneralfund is expected to receive $843 and the street fund $160 from recently discovered monies in a county account. Other cities and schools will receive their share of the funds.

News, Pages 1 on 09/02/2009

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