NOEL -- The city council, at its March 14 meeting in Noel City Hall, discussed the upcoming property tax proposal, which will be on the April 4 ballot. The city plans to host a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. on March 28 to provide more information to the public about the proposal.
During the meeting, it was reported that the city streets department continues to clean and work on the buildings that were burned on Main Street. Updated work includes interior walls and doors being replaced, as well as plumbing accompanied by a water pressure test. Drywall installation is set to start within the next two weeks.
The city discussed citywide cleanup days, which are now set to occur every four months, totaling three times a year. The citywide yard sale will be hosted in late April or early May, with the cleanup day to be held the following week.
Noel Mayor Terry Lance discussed the importance of citizens recycling, encouraging individuals to use the recycling receptacle outside of the old Harps building in Noel. Lance explained that, if individuals want to recycle paint cans, the cans must be filled with sand or sawdust, and the lids left off, to absorb any liquid left in the can.
The city discussed the traffic light changes on Highway 59. The council noted there is no set end date for the road work but that the temporary traffic lights will not be used during "tourist season" in Noel, preventing a traffic build-up.
The public works department reported it is currently working on patching city roads. The department's bucket truck will also be diagnosed. The city was quoted $78 per hour for a diagnostic fee, and Gardner Towing volunteered to transfer the vehicle at no cost to the shop in Pineville for diagnostics. The department also noted it is fixing potholes in the city. The department plans to hang flags on Main Street and possibly put flowers out for Memorial Day Weekend.
The police department noted there is a suspect in custody for the dog shooting that occurred. The police department is also looking to sell one vehicle at a reasonable price and purchase a new department vehicle for a price within the city's budget. The search for the vehicle is ongoing.
The fire department reported that an AFG grant was submitted to FEMA, and the grant includes a 5% match. It was also noted that two pieces of equipment broke in a recent emergency situation involving an accident. A cutter and a combi tool were broken, both of which were 15-plus years old. The department is currently looking for used low-pressure equipment. The equipment is used, on average, 6 to 8 times a year.
Noel will host its annual egg hunt on April 8 at 11 a.m. Chicken dinners will be served. Aside from the meal, all other activities at the event will be free of charge.
A food bank is also being created for individuals in need in Noel. The bank will be held at the housing offices. On March 31, a spaghetti dinner will be held, with meals at $8 per plate to raise funds for the food bank. The bank will include non-perishable foods as well as meat and eggs. Anyone interested in donating to the food bank can take goods to the housing office.