The Monett City Council approved two property leases at its January meeting last week.
The one-year lease was authorized for the Monett Community Building at County Road and Maple with the Workforce Investment Board of Southwest Missouri. The arrangement, generating $1,500 a month for the city, will allow the Missouri Career Center to move its services for the unemployed from its current location. The Missouri Career Center has been located on South Kyler since 1992.
According to City Administrator Dennis Pyle, the Career Center approached the city in June 2010 about finding another location. The Community Center had no tenants after the Barry County Emergency Management office moved to the Justice Center.
After the building became vacant, council members approved modifying the Community Center for use by the Career Center. At one point the deal appeared to fall apart, then came together again.
"They talked about having a mobile unit in Monett two days a month," Mayor Jim Orr said. "We thought that was not practical for the industry we have here, so we made the building available. We feel fairly good about them being there at least two years."
The city facility will enable the Career Center to test 40 people at one time for job skills. The current office only has testing room for 10. Street department crews have done the remodeling, reducing costs to the city.
Under terms of the lease, the Missouri Career Center will be responsible for maintaining the exterior of the bulding, including the roof, siding and parking areas, as well as snow removal. No sub-leasing will be allowed without the city's permission. The city will keep the building under its extended insurance coverage, and the Career Center will be responsible for public liability insurance. The lease is for one year and can be renewed annually.
Council members terminated the lease with Shawn Hines for the Monett Gymnastics Center, which is located behind the Ramey Supermarket. Hines had leased the facility annually for five years.
|According to Pyle, Hines said he planned to return to school and wished to cancel the building deal, which ran out on May 31.|
"The council will look at all options on the building," said Orr. "We'll look at trying to generate revenue from it. It's a good building."
Two ordinance changes received a first reading. A new section to a city law would make it a criminal offense to make a false declaration then fail to appear in court.
Pyle said City Prosecutor Amy Boxx requested the change. A spouse may file a complaint, Boxx indicated, triggering prosecution, then fail to come to court when the case is scheduled, forcing dismissal. If the same person repeatedly fails to follow through on a complaint, Boxx wanted the option to file charges of making a false declaration against the complainant.
A second change would drop a city policy on annexations and utility service that has been on the books since 1994. Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said the current policy requires water customers outside the city limits to annex into the city or pledge to annex when their property became contiguous to city line.
Boxx told Rauch the city could not enforce pledges to annex. Therefore, Rauch said the proposal would drop the annexation mandate entirely.
Water customers outside the city will continue to pay a 20 percent surcharge for service. Rauch said the change would not resolve the annexation situation and may result in forced annexations in the future.
Public comment on both proposals will be taken at the Feb. 17 council meeting.
Council members agreed to put two city police cars up for sale as surplus property. Police Chief Tim Schweder said the cars were not in good condition and each had more than 125,000 miles. None of the other city departments wanted the cars for their use, Schweder said.
A report requested by the council from the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS) had arrived, offering three alternatives to the main plan. Council members voted to accept the report, making it available to employees.
Pyle expected to receive considerable feedback from city workers over the next two weeks about the options. The council will base its action on staff recommendations.
A change order was also approved in the contract with Southard Construction. Rauch said water crews are preparing to run a 12-inch main from the new well behind Lowe's, south on Chapell Drive, east on Farm Road 2020 and across the Church of the Nazarene property to Highway 37. The loop will become a significant part of the water system upgrade.
Southard submitted the same unit price for the 11,000 feet of pipe installation bid for the northern loop. Rauch said work would be done in 60 days. When completed, the looping project will be finished except for hooking into the unbuilt water treatment plant on the west side of town.
Bills were paid totaling $1,923,651.50. Major payments included: $1,050,307.95 to Empire District Electric for wholesale electricity, $229,000 to Waterwork Specialties for pipe for the water main extention project; $81,000 to Vaisala for the new automated weather observatory system (AWOS) at the airport; and $31,000 to Water Products for replacement meters.