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Monett council approves sale of federal bonds

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monett City Hall
The Monett City Council authorized the sale of bonds from federal stimulus money for water projects and addressed a wide range of business during the monthly meeting on Monday.

Council members approved the issuance, sale and delivery of $2,859,000 in Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds. According to the bond underwriter, sale of the bonds had been secured at 3.57 percent after the 45 percent interest sudsidy from the federal government was applied. Savings due to tax-exempt financing will total $600,000.

Funds from the bonds will be used for water main extensions in both Barry and Lawrence counties. An allocation of bond money originally offered to both county governments made the project possible. Several local buyers would be acquiring the bonds, the underwriter indicuated. Funds from the bonds were expected to be availalbe by June 30.

In other financial action, council members asked Sanitation Superintendent Russ Balmas and City Administrator Dennis Pyle to study bids and recommend a direction to go to purchase a new trash truck. The city can buy a chassis on a state cooperative purchasing program at the same price as state agencies for $69,055. The cost to buy a body for a rear-loading truck, as offered by three bidder, ranges from $59,700 to $63,652.

Demolition approved

The council accepted the recommendation of the Building Board and ordered the demolition of a house at 314 Pearl. The house had been severely damaged in a fire in September.

Pyle reported that Habitat for Humanity may have an interest in the property and would have 30 days to secure a donation from the owner's family and establish clear title to it. If arrangements had not been made in that time, the city would complete demolition and place the cost on a tax lien for the property.

Ordinance action

A new ordinance was introduced amending the requirements for commercial and industrial properties having storm water retention basins. Currently all plans submitted for new commercial or industrial construction must include a plan for management and control of surface water runoff from the property.

The proposed amendment would call for less restrictions and limit the need for a storm water plan to commercial and industrial developments with more than 500 cubic feet of storm water. Detention of storm water, under the new ordinance, would be required for all commercial developments of approximately 8,000 square feet. A previous proposal calling for stormwater basins for all commercial developments greater than 10,000 square feet was ultimately dropped.

Public comment on the proposal is scheduled for the July 20 meeting.

Final approval was given to an ordinance adding the cost of commercial plan reviews into building permit fees, where applicable. Reviews would be done by Better Projects, of Republic. The need to hire an outside firm would be determined by the building inspector.

A memorandum of understanding was approved with Cox Monett Hospital. Under the agreement, the city and the hospital could share radio frequencies during emergencies. According to Pyle, frequencies would be shared to provide communications among departments and agencies to support mutual aid activities.

Department reports

City department heads summarized recent activities. For the street department, Balmas reported crews had recently completed sealing of the Kyler Street overpass and crack-sealing Broadway. A section of Broadway between Central Avenue and Sixth Street will be microsealed in the near future.

Building Inspector Wade Ennes reported that a building permit had been issued for the new McDonald's restaurant. Three other commercial plans are currently under review.

Emergency Management Director Bonnie Witt-Schulte reported that area emergency service providers conducted a disaster drill at Cox Monett Hospital on June 15. The exercise simulated a tornado striking the hospital. Public safety agencies evacuated several patients as part of the drill.

Paying the bills

Council members approved paying bills that totaled $2,028,437.62. The largest expenditure went to Empire District Electric for wholesale electricity totaling $1,076,946.36).

Other large bills included: $275,000 to Wells Fargo for the debt on the police station;

$115,000 to Utility Service for water tank maintenance; $61,000 to HD Supply Utilities for electric meters; and $45,000 to CBIZ Insurance as the quarterly payment for liability coverage.

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