Issues relating to the Roy Carver Building and other city property took priority at the May meeting of the city council in Pierce City.
Frank Compton, chief executive officer for the Clark Community Mental Health Center, and Clark Board Member Carolyn Flummerfelt asked aldermen to lower their rent on the Carver Building to cover the cost of a maintenance contract on the building's elevator. Schindler Elevator had not revealed its intention to charge $2,300 a year to maintain the elevator until a year after its installation.
Aldermen had balked at paying the extra fee. According to Compton, the Clark Center, which leases the Carver Building, has to have the elevator inspected to keep the Clark Center's state certification.
"If the elevator goes out, we move out," Compton said.
Aldermen saw no alternative and agreed to allow the Clark Center to switch its rent from twice a year to monthly, and to continue the reduced rent of $1,300 a month that has been paid for the last 14 months. The $200 deduction for the elevator will go into effect when the rent goes back up to $1,964 a month, as outlined in the original agreement.
The recurring problem of water collecting in the basement of the Carver Building forced the recent installation of a trench system under the floor with suction. Compton said both the city and the Clark Center have lost money because of design flaws in the building and hoped compensation from the architect, Creative Ink, could be secured.
After reviewing three bids, aldermen awarded Jeff Myers and All-American Asphalt the contract to pave three city streets. The list of streets considered for paving generated bids up to $72,000. With only $31,000 to spend, the itemized list of road bids was narrowed to two: North Elm to Monroe; and Morris Street from Walnut to Pine.
The most heavily traveled roads received priority consideration. Morris has been given a chip and seal overlay before but never covered with asphalt.
Hirsch updated aldermen on progress to buy railroad property on the south side of the railroad tracks. Paperwork has been completed. Hirsch said she is still talking to the railroad over its request for fencing on the land. The type of fence requested by the railroad will catch debris during flooding, the mayor said, a problem that can be minimized.
Paperwork is nearly completed on annexing the right-of-way for Highway 97 from the south city limits to Highway 60. Hirsch said she has received letters from all the required parties supporting the proposal but is still awaiting a statement in writing from Barry County.
At the time of the meeting, the fire hydrant at Commercial and Olive had still not been fixed. The unmapped water main feeding the hydrant was finally traced to a main at Washington and Pine.
Hirsch said crews turned off around 15 valves around town trying to cut the flow. After the hydrant drained the lines for several minutes, flow finally dropped to the point where a crew from the Monett Water Department was able to install a valve on the main, resolving the issue.
Storm damage report
Representatives from the Federal and State Emergencies Management Agencies had been in town inspecting damage from the May 8 wind storm. Hirsch reported taking the delegation around to see the downed trees and branches.
Lawrence County has not received a disaster declaration, Hirsch said. Consequently there is no public assistance offered for removing storm debris. Property owners have piled branches up beside the road, but there are no plans to pick up the debris.
Hirsch said without state assistance, residents would be on their own to dispose of storm debris.
Hirsch made appointments for the year, returning those who had already been serving to the jobs of clerk police chief, fire chief, city attorney, mayor pro tem, utility clerk, municipal court judge and clerk, collector, zoning inspector, building inspector, emergency management director and solid waste management representative.
Tom Gripka was named to succeed Betty Bierkortte on the Zoning Board.
Named to the Park Board were Pat Freeman, Kenny and Sue Cobaugh, Shanda Cobaugh, Tamara Cobaugh, Hollis Webb, Michelle Roux, Ray Roux Jr. and Ben Glover.
With an appointment made late last year to the Museum Board, no vacancies were open this year, Hirsch reported.