With ballot language still in preparation, the city had missed the deadline to put the sewer project on the April 6 ballot. Mayor Ron Dutra proposed going for the next ballot opportunity in June rather than delay the project another three months for the August primary election.
Aldermen agreed to file papers by the end of March to call for a special election in June. Rather than hold the two required public hearings before filing, aldermen opted to hold both sessions closer to the public vote. Dutra said he would ask Greg Perkins from Allgeier, Martin and Associates, the city's engineering firm, to explain the project.
Bruce Hively, director of the local Rural Development office, said Allgeier Martin's preliminary engineering study has been reviewed by Rural Development's engineers, who asked for several additional specifics. Allgeier Martin has started on the environmental study, which will have to be submitted with the application for Community Development Block Grant funding.
The entire project will cost an estimated $3.3 million. Hively said representatives from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and Rural Development can attend the public hearings to explain the particulars of the project and the difference between funding with a loan and a grant.
Hively said loan money can be locked in now for Purdy's project. The city would not have to commit to the project until the council signs a contract.
The project will cost the city more in auditing expenses. Hively said that a city receiving more than $500,000 in federal funds has to have a more detailed annual audit. Quotes from the CPA Group in Monett were distributed, showing the cost for a more thorough audit would run around $3,000 more per year over the length of the loan process.
Aldermen gave Public Works Superintendent Teddy McIntire authorization to make improvements on the city's two garages. McIntire recommended trying to seal the buildings better in light of the $600-a-month heating bill for the garage next to city hall alone, which has garage doors on both the east and west sides of the building.
Since one garage door is enough, aldermen agreed to have McIntire replace the east door with blocks. A new west door and insultation will be put on before next winter.
The garage across the street, north of the fire station, previously used by the fire department, presently houses most of the city's equipment.
Aldermen agreed to have Easy Open, a Purdy business, install an automatic door with a seal on the bottom for further energy savings.
Truck traffic ordinance
Reports about trucks driving through residential districts, tearing down power lines and snapping utility poles prompted aldermen to ask for an ordinance banning truck traffic on Commercial and Fourth streets.
Police Chief Jackie Lowe recommended going a step further a designating a specific truck route. He feared trucks would simply switch from Fourth to Fifth streets. Aldermen Ken Real said grain trucks exit Highway 37 on Valley Drive and cut across Jefferson twice a week. The matter was referred to City Attorney Don Trotter to prepare an ordinance.
McIntire reported he had almost finished draining the west lagoon for the sewer system into the east lagoon.
Several leaks have dropped water efficiency down to 75 percent, McIntire said. Alderman Steve Roden advised McIntire to contact the Missouri Department of Transportation directly to get a permit faxed to the city to repair the two-inch line running under Highway 37, which is leaking at the right-of-way.
Police Chief Lowe reported officers responded to 38 calls for service in January and 49 in February in the city. Other agencies and citizens generated 20 calls in January and 18 calls in February.
Interviews over vandalism at the city park caboose led to confessions from three juveniles for the Oct. 12, 2009, incident. Lowe said damages exceeding $200 would be split between the subjects. The juvenile judge was ordering community service and an apology. Information had come forward on the Oct. 19, 2009, vandalism, apparently done by other parties, which Lowe is pursuing.