Purdy Council approves trailer park law
By MURRAY BISHOFF
After months of discussion, the Purdy City Council gave final passage to its new trailer park ordinance at the council's March monthly meeting. An upbeat financial report was also presented by The CPA Group in the city's annual audit.
The trailer park ordinance had been fine-tuned so many times since discussion started last August that by the time aldermen got to the March meeting, there was nothing left to say. The ordinance was adopted without comment. Building maintenance issues and tighter regulations on the operation of trailer parks were key elements in the final package.
The big news for the month was that renovations at the Purdy City Hall were nearly complete. With new windows and paint, Clerk Debbie Redshaw said "it's like a whole new building."
Coinciding with the improvements, the council passed a new regulation making the city hall a smoke-free building.
Upbeat audit report
Most of the meeting focused on the city's audit for fiscal year 2007-08, which ended on June 30, 2008. Patti Weber, accountant with The CPA Group in Monett, reported the city had undergone major changes but appeared to be headed on an improving path.
The biggest change arose from the separation of firefighting services by the creation of the Purdy Fire District. Fire services had previously run through the city's general fund. Without the revenue of memberships and the large grant recorded in the previous year to buy a fire truck, the city's income was down in the audit year but so was spending.
Total spending outside of utilities for the city was $532,681.48 on income of $554,168.46.
For the utilities, Weber reported the water and sewer operation lost $28,000. The problem has been growing, as spending in the audited year ran almost $7,400 higher than the previous year. The city added a service contract for maintenance of the water towers, contributing to the total cost.
Aldermen had imposed a sewer user fee to make up part of the deficit, Weber said, but it had not been in place for a full year to fully show how much of the red ink it will absorb. The good news was sales tax income had grown significantly, keeping the city's overall position positive.
Weber further indicated the city's revenue from vehicle taxes was down as expected, since fewer car and truck sales were being made. The audit also showed a non-cash write-off of $50,392.12 for depreciation on the water and sewer system, about $2,000 more than the previous year.
The city got $10,000 from the State Emergency Management Agency during the audit year for recovery efforts from the 2007 ice storm, on top of the $20,000 that came the preceding year from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. No financial aid was expected from the May 10, 2008, tornado strike, as the county did not get a federal disaster declaration due to limited damage.
In summary Weber characterized the audit as "40 pages of wonderfulness." The city received no advisories on its bookkeeping practices or cautions about additional financial concerns.
Police Chief Jackie Lowe reported that officers responded to six criminal incidents during February, half of which
were domestic assaults. Other cases involved vandalism of an old ambulance at the Bennett garage that had been spray painted with obscenities. Officers responded to three vehicular accidents, two of which were on Gabby Gibbons Lane. Six times officers provided assistance to other law enforcement agencies. Seven cases were investigated.
Public Works Superintendent Teddy McIntire reported the amount of water reaching meters was still running around 83 percent. No new water leaks were found. Street repairs took 10 hours during the month.
The next monthly meeting of the Purdy City Council will be held at 5:30 p.m. on April 13 at City Hall.