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Monett council OKs dispatching change

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Monett City Hall
The Monett City Council agreed to a supervisory reorganization of the dispatching division of the Monett Police Department during a special session held Wednesday.

Dispatching Supervisor Bonnie Witt-Schulte presented council members with a proposal to add a shift supervisor to the operation. Under the current arrangement, Witt-Schulte was the sole supervisor and worked with the training officer in running two shifts. The proposal would promote the training officer to the position of shift supervisor.

"If I have to leave as the emergency preparedness manager, no one has the authority to make decisions," Witt-Schulte said.

The staff, who have held their positions for an average of six years, tend to know what to do, Witt-Schulte said. Because the office has had little turnover, the staff has also had little room for advancement. The new proposal would provide a chance for staff members to learn supervisory skills.

Council members were open to Witt-Schulte's idea but cautious about the price. Total cost to add two salary steps in creating the new position was $4,280.

Mayor Jim Orr had asked City Administrator Dennis Pyle to calculate the cost of adding only one salary step. Pyle confirmed the reduction would cut the cost by more than half.

Orr proposed instituting the revised plan with one salary step. If the plan worked well, the mayor said a second step could be added next year. Council members liked Orr's suggestion and approved the plan.

Financial contracts

A contract was approved for purchase of a new trash truck. Pyle said he and Sanitation Superintendent Russ Balmas had reviewed three bids for the refuse body of the truck, finding Key Equipment and Supply to be the low bidder.

Key Equipment offered to sell the city a Phoenix 20-yard rear-loading unit, which was unfamiliar to city crews. Balmas and Butch Mitchell traveled to Muskogee, Okla., to look at several Phoenix units owned by Herringshaw Waste Management.

Pyle said Herringshaw had two other styles of trash trucks in service and were happy with the Phoenix brand. The unit has a quick cycle time with all the controls in the cab.

After further talks with Key Equipment, Pyle said the city would get a three-year warranty on the cylinder and the body, plus a competitive trade-in. Council members approved buying the 2011 International 7400 chassis on a state bid for $69,055 and a Phoenix refuse body with a heavy duty hopper liner for $62,500. The total price with trade-in was $128,755, or $20,000 less than the budgeted amount.

A contract was also approved with architect Richard Werner of Werner and Associates. Werner had met with council members at the City Park Casino to evaluate options for renovating the facility.

Werner agreed to prepare a study on what can be done with the 1927 building for a maximum cost of $3,500. Pyle said Werner had agreed to work at a discounted rate of $100 an hour, two-thirds of his normal fee.

A request had been made to rename one of the baseball fields at North Park to recognize work done making the recreation resource a reality.

"Our feeling is we only have so many fields," Orr said. "Lots of people have contributed over the years."

Commissioner Jerry Dierker recalled many people contributed time and effort back when the fields were started in the late 1960s. He suggested placing a plaque that could recognize individuals for helping. More names could be added if the list proved to be incomplete or deserved future additions.

"We don't want to create problems long after we're gone," Orr said.

Pyle agreed to work with Parks Superintendent Balmas to find a suitable site for a future plaque.

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