The Monett City Council was updated on the results from a recent survey the city conducted concerning the future of the Monett Park Casino.
City Administrator Dennis Pyle said nearly 94 percent of those responding felt the city should continue operating such a facility for public use and 41 percent of those answering the survey were in favor of a newer more contemporary building.
When asked about location, 76 percent thought the building should remain in Monett's South Park. About 47 percent of those surveyed said they would approve a tax increase to pay for a new building.
"That gives the council some direction on what to build and where," Pyle said.
The architect, Richard Werner, of Werner and Associates, is currently working on a project for the city's club house at the golf course. Pyle said no reservations for the Monett Park Casino have been accepted after Aug. 1, 2012, and it was his belief that Werner would have preliminary plans for the Casino construction well before that time.
Pyle also announced the purchase of property located at 508 Bond St. in his report to city council at their meeting on Friday.
The office property, owned by Sprenkle and Associates, was purchased at a cost of $50,000. Pyle said building use plans are being finalized and will be announced at a later date.
In other business, the council approved a change order for the contract with Southard Construction, which has built the water main line between wells #15 and #21. Council members authorized Southard to build the chlorine detention line for well #21 by the Jack Henry and Associates campus for $7,000.
The change was due to a telephone cable mass that required a cut across the roadway to avoid.
Pyle said sales tax revenues had picked up by 8 percent over last year and the council needed to amend the budget to reflect the increase.
Pyle said the increase in revenues totaled $165,670, and approximately 90 percent of that would be used for capital improvements.
Pete Rauch, utilities superintendent, updated commissioners on the Empire District Electric contract with the city.
|With the expiration of Monett's 20-year wholesale contract with Empire, negotiations for a new contract extended use of the old contract's terms. Once the new contract was signed, customers who paid a higher rate under the old contract were due a refund for the interim months.||Rauch informed the council that Empire District Electric had agreed to a $900,000 refund, $300,000 of which would be passed on in the form of credits to Monett customers.|
Monte Giddings, a managing member with L.J. Gliem & Associates, LLC, out of Olathe, Kan., updated commissioners on the city's property and casualty insurance.
Giddings said that the city's claims had been unpredictable, and that insurers likes to see predictable trends; however, he said that was not the reason for the premium increase on the city's policy.
"There have been a lot of unanticipated changes and uncertainty in weather trends," Giddings said. "You have a pretty good premium in light of what's going on in the marketplace."
Giddings said the city's carrier, OneBeacon, did not increase premiums as much as they could have, which was a benefit to the city.
Commissioners opted to increase income/other expense in the event the city has to lease other property due to damage to existing property from its current $100,000 to $500,000. Cost of the coverage is $876 annually.
The commission also opted to increase crime coverage from $100,000 to $250,000 at a cost of $506 annually.
These costs are in addition to the city's renewal of insurance coverage in the amount of $182,422 one month ago.
Giddings also discussed the city's need for terrorism insurance.
"Even though this is a remote area, I would recommend all publicly funded institutions to take it," he said. "The act must be defined as a certifiable terrorist attack by the Department of Homeland Security, and that could include both foreign and domestic attacks."
Commissioners waived the terrorism option.
Giddings advised commissioners that the city needed more liability insurance in the event the sovereign immunity law is circumvented. That law states the government cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution.
The law does not, however, provide the city's employees such immunity.
Giddings recommended commissioners consider adding an additional $1 million in coverage.