The Monett City Council approved the annexation of property and the purchase of additional land during its January monthly meeting.
Council members authorized the annexation of 25 acres of land owned by James and Wilma Callan. Located south of the National Guard Armory on Chapell Drive, the Callan property had become a "window" on city maps, the only property in the vicinity that was not inside the city limits.
"Barry County 911 wanted to change their address," said Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch. "The Callans wanted to keep the same address they had had for 80 years."
Rauch said the city already supplied the Callan property with water and electricity. Sewer service runs down the east side of Chapell Drive as far as the racetrack property. The Callans will be able to keep their septic service, having excess capacity for their needs.
"We're happy to have them in the city," Rauch said.
The Callan property represented the largest piece of land surrounded by unannexed city property on city maps. There are less than a half dozen other properties with a similar status.
At the recommendation of City Administrator Dennis Pyle, the council approved the purchase of approximately 10.4 acres of land located between the Bridgeport subdivision and Nellie Street, known as the old Brandt property, west of Central. The undeveloped land is a drainway for storm water coming off Brown Street.
|Pyle reported the land, owned by the PMI Group, had come on the market for $17,000, which was $8,000 below the appraised price. The city had previously worked out a storm water maintenance easement with the previous owner.|
"The council is looking at a long-term strategy," Pyle said. "There are no immediate plans for the land. We may provide some flood relief for the Bridgeport subdivision in conjunction with improvements to the north."
The city put $2,500 down on the purchase. The balance will be paid after April 1 to put the expenditure in the next fiscal year.
Four seats on the city's Tax Increment Financing Commission were due to be filled. Council members voted to continue the service of the present commissioners for another term.
TIF Chairman Mark Nelson and Mike Scabarozi were appointed to terms lasting until Dec. 31, 2012. Jane Sligar and Ron Smith were reappointed to serve until Dec. 31, 2013.
"My personal opinion," said Mayor Jim Orr, "is to keep [the TIF Commission] like it is [rather than appoint new members] till we get the lawsuit straightened out."
The stand-by pay rate for employees in the utilities department, the street department and the airport will be changed, beginning Jan. 29. Pyle reported the stand-by rate had not been adjusted in 15 years, leaving the city's rate significantly lower than other cities and electric cooperatives.
Orr said the city looked at several options and settled on raising the pay from $60 to $100 a week, guaranteeing a three-hour minimum of work if activated. Airport workers would receive a $75-per-week stand-by rate.
Formulas for stand-by pay range widely among other cities and utilities, Rauch said. Most are based on working a set number of hours of overtime. The formula selected was a hybrid of the system used by Missouri Gas Energy.
"I appreciate the council's willingness to address this issue," Rauch said. "It's long overdue. The crews appreciate it."