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Monday, May 2, 2016

Monett City Council considers no smoking zone at North park

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Monett City Council members discussed establishing a no-smoking area at North Park during their May meeting.

Parks Superintendent Russ Balmas said the Little League received complaints about smokers gathering around the concession stand. Mayor Jim Orr said he heard objections from people in the bleachers.

Without an ordinance against smoking at the park, violations cannot be taken to Monett Municipal Court for enforcement, City Administrator Dennis Pyle said. League officials attempted to restrict smokers but could not enforce their preference without a city ordinance.

Pyle recommended passing a resolution about smoking and posting signs restricting smoking to a specified area. He hoped the issue could be addressed without taking people to court. Commissioner Jerry Dierker advised picking out a location as a first step and placing large visible signs.

Department reports

Police Lieutenant Greg Brandsma reported Paul Ferguson has been hired as a new officer for the police department. Testing to fill the remaining vacancy will be held on June 16.

Building inspector Wade Ennes said the move into the new office across from city hall at 508 Bond had a few glitches in the past month. He thanked council members for the bigger office and expressed hope the operations will go well once problems get resolved.

Parks Superintendent Russ Balmas said the swimming pool has been filled with water and will be ready to open on Saturday. Crews started construction on a new park shelter at North Park on the pad where the old basketball goal was located.

Work on the Community Center, where the Missouri Career Center is due to move in on June 1, is nearly complete, Balmas said.

Balmas said collections during the city-wide clean-up were up by about 25 tons. Only two property owners were cited for having more than two truckloads of debris to remove.

Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said electric crews finished their work on the Community Center. New lights were installed around the concession stand at North Park to improve security.

Rates for electricity for the coming year, under the new contract terms with Empire District Electric, arrived on May 15. Rauch said the formula had gone to a consultant for review and he planned to have a proposal for council members to consider at the June 20 meeting.

The cost of fuel to generate electricity remains a larger component of the monthly bill from Empire, Rauch said. The cost per kilowatt hour was almost three cents in April.

"As we develop new rates, we'll try to incorporate more of the fuel charge into the base rate," Rauch said.

Work on the new wellhouse for well #21 is almost finished. Rauch said the next step would be to install the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system and finish programming.

Southard Construction was nearing completion on the water loop around the city. Installing altitude valves on well #15 would be the final step. Rauch said construction of water lines from the chronically muddy wells at North Park and at the Jack Henry and Associates campus could be done in the coming months up to completion of the water treatment plant.

City administrator Dennis Pyle said the Missouri General Assembly passed a bill allowing Monett and West Plains, the only cities in the state with a commission form of government, to pass on primary elections if there were not enough candidates to create a race. Governor Jay Nixon vetoes similar legislation a year ago, so Pyle said it was any guess what would happen this time.

The General Assembly voted by a wide margin to reimpose sales tax on vehicles purchased out of state. If Nixon vetoes the bill, Pyle said there is strong support to override any objections.

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