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City flood control plan moves ahead

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Monett City Council moved forward on plans to explore flood control for the downtown area during its July regular meeting on Wednesday.

The council voted to amend the contract with Olsson and Associates for consultation on a flood control plan. The revision added authorization to work with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in negotiating a land use arrangement.

Olsson has proposed building a bypass channel for Kelly Creek that would run east from Second Street to 10th Street, located between the railroad tracks and Front Street. Negotiations on modifying the two railroad bridges under which Kelly Creek drains are also part of the plan. Council members set a maximum of an additional $5,000 payment for working with the railroad.

Authorization was also given to finalize the $8 million in revenue bonds that will be issued by the Monett Industrial Development Authority (IDA). Michael Garrett, chairman of the capital campaign for the Monett Area YMCA, was present to answer any questions concerning the bonds, which will help finance construction of the new YMCA facility at South Park.

Garrett said the ordinance under consideration authorized the mayor to sign a certificate of approval stating the IDA had properly issued the tax-free bonds. The city also consented to allowing the YMCA to mortgage the lease as collateral on the bonds.

No questions were raised, and the ordinance passed.

"Our thanks go to the city for your cooperation," Garrett said. "We hope to have the facility up and running in 14 months, providing materials all arrive on time."

Garage sale limit

A new ordinance on the duration of garage sales was introduced. Commissioner Mike Brownsberger said a significant number of requests have been received asking the city to extend the number of days a garage sale can be held from two to three.

"We couldn't see any reason not to," Brownsberger said.

Public discussion on the change was scheduled for the Aug. 19 public meeting.

Mutual aid with Joplin

Council members passed a mutual aid agreement with the City of Joplin to cover assistance provided after the May 22 tornado. Brownsberger said the agreement was required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to get reimbursement for the use of equipment and personnel.

Monett's electric department provided a generator used for 400 hours in Joplin. Personnel from the street, fire and police departments also participated in the tornado response. The agreement allowed repayment on a set scale for use of any equipment and hours by city employees, including overtime.

Council members awarded a contract to Southern Construction, of Joplin, to extend a water line between wells #15 and #21. The work is part of the water system expansion for the new water treatment plant going before voters on Aug. 2.

Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said there were nine bidders. Southern Construction got the job with a low bid of $92,400.40. Rauch said Southern would begin once the company finished laying 11,000 square feet of main for FEMA in Joplin.

Conditional approval was given to award a contract to Hall Construction, of Buffalo, for construction of a new well house for well #21, pending the review of references. The company submitted the low of $110,000. City crews will install the electricity and rough in the plumbing, leaving the contractor to erect the building, Rauch said.

Weather system purchased

Council members approved purchase of a new automated weather observation station (AWOS) for the Monett Municipal Airport at a cost of $81,500. Brownsberger praised Airport Superintendent Howard Frazier for maintaining the old system, which was installed in 1995.

Frazier said parts for the old AWOS are no longer made. The ceilometers broke down and could not be revived. The AWOS is important for instrument landings, particularly during the winter. The new unit will be placed in the same location and use the same radio frequency as the old unit.

The cost came as no surprise, Brownsberger said, as AWOS units all cost around the same price. Only one bid was received from Vaisala, the largest manufacturer in the field.

A possibility exists for potential reimbursement on part of the AWOS cost, Brownsberger said. Qualifying will depend on moving the AWOS at a later date to a different location specified in the new airport master plan.

Council members approved paying $1,903,940.04 in bills for the month. Large payments included: $1,300,351.18 to Empire District Electric for wholesale electricity; $41,000 to Fred Weber Iron Mountain for rock used on chip and seal resurfacing of city streets; $28,000 to Greens Pro for golf course chemicals; and $19,000 to Larson Farm and Lawn for a new John Deere mower for South Park.

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