With summer activities in full swing, members of the City Council in Pierce City discussed making improvements at the city's South Park at the council's June meeting.
Mayor Allen Stockton said a major push had been needed to get the city pool ready to open on June 7. A YMCA-sponsored pool party on June 6 had to be cancelled due to equipment problems.
With money due to come in this fall from the new sales tax supporting the parks, Stockton said the coming winter months will be time to replace the main 600- to 900-gallon tank in the equipment room. The tank appears to be original equipment from when the pool opened in 1969. In recent years much of the equipment, including the pool, has developed regular leaks.
"We'll have to do repairs or [the pool] will not open next year," Stockton said. "It's held together by fiberglass and baling wire."
The tank in question is so large that it will have to be cut apart to remove it. A new one will have to be built inside the building, preferably in a different shape or height to allow better access, the mayor said. Stockton added the pool could use a new lining and mentioned a firm he had discovered with a guaranteed product worth exploring.
The park lake, another regular point of concern, came up in a conversation Stockton had with the Missouri Department of Conservation. A state team may be available later this year to conduct a survey and assess what the lake is lacking.
"The water [in the lake] needs to be eight to 12 feet deep," Stockton said. "I don't think it is. The more sediment it has, the more it depletes the oxygen, which will turn into a marsh. I'm hoping when they come down to do a check-up, they'll find the lake is deep enough and doing well."
Part of the problem with the lake is the moss-like vegetation growing on top. The Conservation Department attributed part of that problem to geese, whose manure is fertilizing the plant growth.
Although the city's financial outlook has improved since the additional sales taxes passed, staffing has become an increased problem. Aldermen learned water and wastewater operator Keith Coggin had quit. Rob Yonker, who has worked part-time in public works, has left to take a job with a contractor who works with the railroad.
Police Chief Mike Abramovitz reported he continued to work eight to 10 hours of overtime per pay period. Stockton said the city cannot yet afford to put another officer on full-time, although a part-time person may be added.
"I'm working on a way to give some relief to the department," Stockton said. "We're behind on everything. With a small crew like Pierce City has, they give it up in the evening and start again in the morning."
With staff committing extra time to getting the swimming pool open, Stockton said the larger generator still has not been hooked up at the wastewater plant. Help would be needed to build a shelter over the generator to protect it from the weather.
Stockton commended Leo Golubski and Andy Hogenmiller for mowing and trimming the city park in preparation for the annual children's fishing derby.
Police officers made reports on 19 incidents requiring a response during May. A violation was reported of the registered sex offender law. Abramovitz shot a dog after a biting incident. Officers also worked cases involving child custody, stealing from cars, tampering with city utilities and assaults.
Abramovitz showed aldermen a form letter he plans to use to notify residents that lawn height has exceeded what city code allows. Offenders who do not mow within seven days may have the property mowed by a city worker, then receive a summons to municipal court as the city seeks restitution for mowing expenses.
City firefighters reported making four runs for medical calls and responding to a fire alarm at the high school during May.
Clerk Julie Johnson reported the community will participate in the 100-mile yard sale for the second year in a row on Saturday, Aug. 28. A rabies clinic where discounted shots will be available for pets has been scheduled for July 24 at the South Park.