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Monett crews are busy

Monday, October 3, 2011

City department heads reported a variety of activities over the past month at the September monthly meeting of the Monett City Council.

Police Chief Tim Schweder reported two new police cars have arrived. Officers are converting equipment from the older vehicles to the new ones as time permits. The old cars may be offered to other departments or put up for sale.

Fire Chief Tom Jones said new bunker gear had arrived. He was pleased to announce grass fire season had ended. The ladder truck had assisted in fighting a downtown Aurora fire for six hours on Sept. 11.

Street Department Superintendent Russ Balmas reported crews had been busy picking up brush and trimming low hanging tree limbs. Work has started replacing the concrete ditch on Industrial Drive by Friend Tire. From there. crews will return to the golf course to work on cart paths. Delivery of road salt for the winter was due this week and would be stored on a new concrete pad by the police station.

A crew from Amazing Painting will put another coat of paint on the F-4 Phantom jet veterans memorial at South Park this week, Balmas added.

Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said recent dry, hot weather contributed to three major water main breaks that have been repaired. Crews worked with a private contractor to make hot taps on water mains on the Jack Henry campus and at well #15. The financing request to the State Revolving Fund to handle the city's $12 million bond issue for construction of the new water treatment plant has been approved, Rauch said.

Electric department crews have laid an additional mile of fiber optics line that will provide service to Missouri Gas Energy for a utility site. The project will get well #15 on the automated control system. Rauch expected to spend $1,000 to run a fiber optics line to the golf course to improve control over the irrigation system.

A new camera has been positioned at the Seventh Street substation that will give dispatchers continuous visual contact with Kelly Creek, Rauch said. Presently dispatchers rely on updates from officers and firemen during flood conditions.

Assistant Building Inspector Jeff Brattin reported the footings have started being poured on the new Monett Area YMCA. Final work is being done on the Monett Community Church.

The Monett Building Board will meet at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3 to discuss the house at 109 E. Broadway, which remains unoccupied and has frequently had broken windows. Brattin said in the past month seven property maintenance violations have been resolved and about four more have worked their way through municipal court. Four more cases have been filed with the court, mostly over secondary buildings on properties.

John Strong said Crime Stoppers is still looking for new board members. Suzy McElmurry said the Monett Chamber of Commerce has been mapping the location of the Festival of Lights display at South Park, which is being rearranged because of the new YMCA.

City Administrator Dennis Pyle said work has started on replacing the lighting at North Park, a project undertaken with the Monett R-1 School District and the Youth Baseball and Softball League. A letter of inquiry seeking money through the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has been accepted. The average grant, funded by Major League Baseball, is $39,000 used for improving baseball fields.

The Monett Main Street Committee will have its first meeting in the coming week with representatives from the Missouri Main Street organization. Training is funded through a grant from the state organization, Pyle said.

A public meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 11 to discuss future development at the Monett Municipal Airport. Pyle said notice of the meeting has been sent to all the property owners within a mile of the airport.

Plans to renovate the Monett Community Center are continuing. Pyle said the Monett Career Center may now not have money to complete the move. City crews will replace the tile, paint the building and remove the old Barry County Emergency Management office. When work is finished, the city will probably return to renting the building for public use, Pyle said.

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