Monett City Council members introduced a new ordinance and adopted two others during the March monthly council meeting.
First reading was given to a proposal to upgrade the city's building code to the 2006 edition of the International Code. Building Inspector Wade Ennes said the city had already purchased a number of copies of the 2006 version, and he chose to complete the upgrade rather than jump closer to the latest 2009 volume. Most architects were using the 2006 version, Ennes said.
Changes in the new code were minimal, said Ennes. Having a newer version on the books would help the city's standing with the Insurance Services Office (ISO) for its fire codes, he added. Public discussion on the ordinance is scheduled for the April 20 monthly council meeting.
Liquor license procedure
Final passage was given to the ordinance requiring landscaping on open spaces and parking lots in new construction with some exceptions.
Rules regulating the distance of an establishment from a school or church were reduced, and the decision to grant a liquor license was changed to being made solely by the city council. Previously, churches or the Monett R-1 School District could veto the issuance of a license in certain locations.
Rhonda Brantley, owner of KidsXcape daycare at 105 Second St., addressed the change in the ordinance. She said she had hoped daycare centers would be considered as schools and warranted a veto over a nearby establishment getting a liquor license. She asked council members to reconsider their action.
Because of business activity resuming near her daycare, Brantley said she had to discontinue offering 24-hour care in December and is now looking for a new location. Mayor Jim Orr thanked Brantley for her comments and said council members would take her concerns under consideration in future decisions.
Council members agreed to continue leases for the parking lot at 212 Fifth St. for another year. Presently, the city offers 14 parking spaces to employees of The CPA Group and one each to Mocha Jo's and Modern Variety.
City work discussed
Street Superintendent Russ Balmas reported crews were busy sealing cracks on chip-and-seal streets and doing ditch work.
Collection of bagged leaves for the compost yard is now being accepted, Balmas said. Mulch is available for a limited time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at the compost yard.
Fire Chief Tom Jones reported firemen planned to burn the Larry Long house as an exercise.
Police Chief Tim Schweder said nine people had passed the test required for job applicants. He expected to have a good pool from which to fill several vacancies.
The building inspector's office was working with the owners of 29 properties on needed maintenance, Ennes said. Code violations on 12 properties were presently pending in municipal court.
Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said electric crews had been busy laying primary lines underground for the new addition at Monett Elementary School and for the Monett Community Church. New mains had been extended on the north end of the project to the pump station.
The settlement agreement for reimbursement on electric rate increases during the transition between contracts with Empire District Electric Company has been signed. Rauch said. The deal would be ready for council action at the next monthly meeting on April 20.
Orr commended city employees for the assistance they provided in the visitation and funeral for Army Specialist Christopher Stark. Orr felt efforts by city crews helped provide "a good send-off."