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City discusses school officer program

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Monett City Council discussed arrangements for continuing the school resource officer program during its March meeting.

Mayor Jim Orr said the school resource officer started under the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, but grants backing the effort expired long ago. City Administrator Dennis Pyle said the city approached the Monett R-1 School District about sharing costs, since the officer splits his time between police duties and school activities.

Under the proposed split, the school will pay $22,695.50 and the city would provide $22,469.69 plus health insurance and withholding taxes. Pyle said a formula for addressing overtime has to be worked out. Public comment will also be requested. Pyle expected to bill the school district monthly for the contract.

The new school resource officer, Jay Jastal, started the position on March 19. Jastal previously served as school resource officer in Aurora.

The city also pays for two school crossing guards.

In closed session following the meeting, council members looked at bids for the city-owned gymnastics center. Pyle told The Times that the only proposal came from the R-1 School District.

"The two parties have entered into negotiations on the potential sale," Pyle said.

Fire Chief Tom Jones described the fire at the Tyson Foods hatchery on March 13. The fire was confined to the north side of the building, where no eggs were located that day.

The fire department stretched 700 feet of hose to the hatchery from a hydrant near the National Guard Armory. Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch agreed to run another main off well #18, located near the hatchery. The line will be on the higher pressure line off the water tower at Lowe's and should help in future situations by the hatchery.

Street Superintendent Russ Balmas said his crews laid concrete in the parking lot at the Monett Community Center at Maple and County Road in preparation for occupancy by the Missouri Career Center. Crews had finished putting a concrete cart path in for one hole at the golf course and half of another.

For the parks, Balmas said one large and one small soccer practice fields have been added at the site of the city's old wastewater plant near the dog pound on the east side of Eisenhower, south of the railroad tracks. Activity on the city's soccer fields has warranted expansion.

The soccer field on Eisenhower that was damaged by a vehicle last year has been leveled and reseeded. Balmas said fences will be built around all three Eisenhower fields.

Spring clean-up will be held at the end of April and early May, Balmas added.

Building Inspector Wade Ennes said he has been inspecting construction at the Monett Area YMCA building. He has looked at plans for Bruner Pharmacy's drive-in and discussed the Monett Rural Fire Association's proposed building in the Industrial Park.

Moving the building inspector's office at 508 Bond will depend on when the furniture arrives. Ennes was hopeful the office would be open by mid-April.

Rauch said electric crews moved the 50-kilowatt generator from the old police station into the mechanic's garage. Crews would finish hanging lights at the Community Center once the street department crews finished hanging sheet rock.

Water department crews hooked the Woodland Ridge subdivision onto the high pressure loop on Chapell Drive, adding about 25 pounds of pressure to their homes.

An agreement has been reached with Raymond Schmidt for use of land purchased south of the wastewater plant. Schmidt will raise corn on 22 of the 32 acres owned by the city.

Pyle reported the Monett Main Street Board continued its meetings on downtown revitalization. Chairmen of the various committees will meet to finalize budget recommendations, then the entire board will meet in April.

The layout plan for the Monett Municipal Airport, submitted to the Missouri Department of Transportation for review in May 2008, has finally been approved, Pyle said. Now the city is eligible for federal funds under the master plan. Once the environmental assessment has been finished, Pyle said the city can begin acquiring land for the next airport expansion.

A request for council members to review its regulations on having chickens in the city limits was moved to a work session. Orr said he expects to see more requests by residents to have chickens in a stressed economy.

Legal issues were discussed in closed session. A memo from Mary Jo Shaney, the city's lead attorney on litigation involving the tax increment financing (TIF) program, stated Barry County and Barry County 911 have asked the Missouri Court of Appeals for an extension to May 10. The county is appealing Judge Neal Quitno's August 2011 ruling in Monett's favor.

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