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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Monett Council makes appointments, commits funds

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Downtown Monett
The Monett City Council took action on appointments and several financial matters during its March monthly meeting.

Board appointments

Present members of the Board of Adjustments and the Planning and Zoning Commission were reappointed to new terms.

Serving on the Board of Adjustments will be: Ron Netzer, four years; B.J. Stegman, three years; and Gary Dustman, two years. Board chairman Mike Wallace is on a five-year term running until 2013.

Serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission will be: Jeff Carr, four years; Randall Click, three years; Cecil Mayer, two years; and Max Easley, one year. Wallace, who serves as chairman, is on a five-year term running until 2012. Mayor Jim Orr and another unnamed council member also serve on the panel.

Main street coordinator

Council members passed an ordinance committing $20,000 to help pay for the new main street coordinator. The position is being created as a joint venture between the city, the Monett Chamber of Commerce and the downtown merchants to work exclusively on downtown promotion and development.

According to the city ordinance, the main street coordinator will pursue the four-point approach defined by the national Main Street program. Efforts will also focus on the state's Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) program and recommendations made by the Vision 2030 Planning Committee.

"It is the city council's intent to provide funding for this position for a minimum of two fiscal years, but no guaranty of funding shall be made beyond this initial two-year period," the ordinance reads. "The city council's continued financial support of this position is conditional upon the monetary and in-kind support provided by the Chamber of Commerce."

Chamber Executive Director Suzy McElmurry said the chamber board had committed $3,000 for the first year toward the $28,000 budget. Much of the chamber's commitment would come as in-kind services, such as office space and staff support.

No deal had yet been worked out to cover the remaining $5,000 with the downtown merchants. Pyle said if no agreement is reached, the budget for the position may be cut accordingly.

Computer contract

A maintenance contract for the computer network was approved with MDC Computer. Justin Austin, senior network engineer with the Monett company, said MDC has worked on the city system for several years as specific problems have arisen. A contract at a set fee would provide unlimited remote and phone support plus maintenance and general support for the system.

Austin said MDC now has an evening staff that will be able to do much of the maintenance work from its offices without disrupting daily city business.

City Administrator Dennis Pyle said the city spent an average of $13,000 with MDC over the past three years. The proposed contract would cost $18,000 a year plus an extra $1,800 for the first year, with round the clock service, monitoring for security breaches and viruses plus alerts when memory capacities were approaching.

"This is probably the most cost effective way of managing the network," Pyle said.

Other financial matters

Council members agreed to name Barker Phillips Jackson, of Springfield, as the city's broker for health and life insurance services for three years. Seven bids were submitted. Council members interviewed each, Pyle said, and chose to stay with Barker Phillips Jackson, which has had the city contract since 2007.

"They know our system," said the mayor. "They provide extra services, like the employee handbook, and they keep our clerk current on all state laws."

The proposed water rate increase was adopted without receiving any public comment. The 40-cent hike per 1,000 gallons goes into effect with the April consumption, showing up on the May 1 bills to industry and the May 20 bills to residents. The second 43-cent increase will be phased in one year from now.

The proposed sewer rate increase of $2 per month was also passed, going into effect on the same timetable. Pyle said the sewer system has not broken even for the last three years. The increase will not close the gap but lessens the shortfall.

The mayor received authorization to sign a Community Development Block Grant for the $65,800 environmental assessment for the Monett Municipal Airport. The study is a necessary step to proceed with improvements laid out in the airport master plan.

Most of the cost will be covered by federal funds. Pyle said the city's portion will be $3,290. The study is contracted to be finished by the end of 2010.

Bills paid for the month totaled $1,756,308.40. Large bills included: $1,107,918.90 to Empire District Electric, including a fuel adjustment charge of $275,544.90; $186,000 to Missouri Rural Services for workers compensation insurance; $53,000 to Water Products for water main pipe; $45,000 to Beacon Insurance for one quarter of the year; and $29,000 to Graybar Electric for a transformer.

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