NOEL -- The Noel mayor and Noel City Council, at the city meeting Tuesday, discussed city reports, event plans, department updates, and touched on various citizen concerns for the city.
To start the meeting, Deborah Hopping, Noel's city clerk, called the roll, with all members present. The board then heard from the city's collector and treasurer, with the collector's report totaling $100,226.35 and the treasurer's report totaling $124,261.36.
The board noted the city purchased a new firetruck, a tanker-pumper, which was purchased out of city stimulus funds. The truck was approximately $50,000 and will cost $4,000 to be shipped to Noel. Terry Lance, Mayor of Noel, said the new truck will enhance citizen safety in Noel.
"This will allow our fire department to have a tanker-pumper on each side of the railroad tracks," Lance said. "We feel this will be a good addition to the department's equipment as well as provide added safety to our residents when we have a fire."
Lance noted the Department of Natural Resources has called for tests to be run on the remnants of buildings at 300, 302, and 304 Main Street before the structures can be rebuilt. The buildings, which were partially destroyed in a fire, must be tested for asbestos and tested for lead-based paint. Lance said, if the buildings pass these tests, they can be rebuilt because they are structurally sound.
Local individuals have expressed interest in purchasing two Noel buildings -- the old O'Reilly building and the city's old recycling building. The O'Reilly building would be used to start a local business, and the recycling building would be used for a multi-family dwelling that would use septic tanks.
Rosie Hartley, speaking for the event committee, proposed Fourth of July plans that were well-regarded by the board. Hartley said the event would take place in town on the third of July with festivities beginning at 1 p.m. Hartley proposed snack and drink options such as lemonade, snow cones, and popcorn. Hartley said the event would host kids' games, an apple pie contest, an auction, a firetruck present for kids, a Mr. and Ms. Independence Day contest, a block party, a street dance, and possibly a dunk tank.
City employees discussed how the extensive rain impacted the city, noting the low-water bridge suffered flood damage. It was noted that the wastewater system performed well during the rain although there were a few collection system backups that have since been repaired. All generator systems have been checked for efficiency this month, as well as scales and flow meters calibrated.
It was noted that two new homes are being built in Noel, and the homes have yet to be connected to the sewer system but should be connected soon.
Randy Wilson, Noel's marshal, said there are police vehicles currently being worked on in the shop. Police vehicle cameras are being updated, as well as police body cameras. For the month of March, the police department received 365 calls and the department received 333 calls for the month of April.
Citizens expressed concerns about the lack of a property tax, noting detriments due to the lack of the tax. Mayor Lance said, if a property tax was to be passed -- which is on the November ballot -- it would bring in about $77,000 annually, equating to about $2 per week for Noel citizens. One citizen expressed concern about a hole in the road near the post office, which the mayor said he had worried could be a sinkhole, although he believes that is now ruled out.
Hopping noted Noel's new website which features a chatbox for citizen concerns. Housing information will soon be added to the website.