The Monett City Council took steps to advance construction of a new water treatment plant on west end of town during the monthly city council meeting in May.
Council members initially increased the amount of money involved from $11 million to $12 million. Mayor Jim Orr said the council intended to spend the amount needed to build the plant and may not need the full amount. Additional money will cover increases in the costs of construction materials and fuel that have fluctuated wildly over the past year.
Council members voted to place the $12 million bond issue for the water treatment plant on the Aug. 2 ballot.
In other business, the professional services of Molly McGovern, a grant writer from Kansas City, were engaged to seek funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. Money would be used to replace the lights and the poles on six of the seven ball fields at North Park.
City Administrator Dennis Pyle said the city was pursuing the project in partnership with the Monett Youth Baseball and Softball League, which will share half of the cost. The expense was estimated at $264,000. Current lights at the field were moved there from Burl Fowler Stadium in the school district's last upgrade. Poles date back to when the park was established in 1968.
Mayor Orr said in addition to having higher poles requiring less light, Parks Superintendent Russ Balmas will be able to turn off the new lights from his home.
A resolution was passed in support of the downtown revitalization program. Pyle said the resolution is part of the requirements for a grant under the Main Street program being sought by Downtown Coordinator D.J. Miller. The resolution represented no change in policy or commitment to the ongoing effort under the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative, Pyle said.
Trash truck purchased
At the recommendation of Balmas, in his duties as sanitation superintendent, council members voted to buy a new trash truck from Key Equipment Company, of Kansas City, for a little over $192,000. Balmas said Key Equipment had the highest of the two bids, but the city has been satisfied with past dealings with Key and he felt the firm represented the best deal.
The city has tried to replace its trash trucks every three years, Balmas continued, but has gone six years since the last acquisition. The truck and frame for the unit will be purchased separately on a state bid. The purchase included a $35,000 trade-in on the old truck. The sideloading vehicle would be ready for delivery in 90 to 120 days.
An ordinance was passed stating which streets in town go one way. Orr said no street directions were changed in the process. City records were made to made directions posted on the streets.
One-way streets on the list are: Cale from Eisenhower to Linden; Linden from Cale to Dunn; Dunn from Eisenhower to Linden; Benton from Euclid to Lincoln; and East Scott Street from 10th Street to the alley.
A new ordinance was introduced to clarify where upright and flat stones can be placed at the Oakdale Cemetery. A provision in the ordinance states any monument company placing an upright stone in the area designated for flat stones will be obligated to pay for a replacement. A map of the specified area is available at city hall. Second reading and public discussion was scheduled for the June 20 meeting.
Department head reports
Police Chief Tim Schweder reported a new training opportunity has developed for Monett officers in a deal worked out between the City of Aurora and other Lawrence County law enforcement agencies. A shooting range north of the railroads in Aurora that had been maintained by a private club was donated to the city.
Aurora Police Chief Pat Jenkins contacted Lieutenant Mike Madewell with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department about interest in opening the shooting range to all the county law enforcement agencies. In response the Aurora City Council has now passed a resolution turning the range over to the county.
Monett officers have been going to Cassville for annual firearms certification since 2007, Schweder said, using a range at the city's sewer plant. The Aurora facility will be more convenient and enable 20 officers to shoot at one time. He expected the Aurora facility to be ready for use later this summer. Monett may have to contribute funds for the range's general upkeep.
Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch reported the booster pump for the north end of the water system has been ordered and should arrive by November. Once the booster begins to work, Rauch said the water tower at South Park can be sold for scrap. At present the tower is drained weekly and serves as an overflow receptacle for the well at North Park, which crews cannot shut down without muddying the water.
Balmas said this year's clean-up week generated less material this year, including no scrap metal after private haulers were done. Park crews had the swimming pool ready for use and street crews have started mowing rounds and were getting streets ready for crack sealing in July.
Building Inspector Wade Ennes said he has received plans for the new YMCA building. In new projects, Bob Heim and Lance Mettlach plan to open a driving range on Highway 60.
Municipal Court Clerk Mechele Tharp said 16 nuisance ordinance violations are presently pending. Orr said he appreciated Assistant Building Inspector Jeff Brattin and Alecia Graves, the nuisance enforcement officer, for their prompt responses to complaints filed with city hall.