The Monett City Council has begun plans to place a storm shelter in the Marshall Hill neighborhood. Details were revealed at the May council meeting.
"The city is looking at building a safe room," said Mayor Jim Orr. "We've tentatively set it for the Community Building in Marshall Hill."
According to City Administrator Dennis Pyle, the city is exploring a 3,600-square-foot addition to the Community Building, located at Maple and County Road, that would hold 600 people. The city has received initial approval for grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for 75 percent of the cost. The city's projected costs are $200,000.
FEMA projects include a review of solicited qualifications for an architect, a grant project manager and engineering services. A meeting to review proposals was set for Wednesday.
At the present time, the only FEMA-approved safe room in Monett is located at Monett Elementary School. Pyle said the planned shelter should be large enough to hold all the residents living within a quarter-mile of the site.
Council members approved a $25,000 purchase of a lot and house at 601 Eighth St. Storm water improvements made on the next block had a negative effect on the Eighth Street property. The situation will be remedied by converting the property into a storm water detention basin. Pyle said the house will be demolished.
The demolition of a house at 200 W. Sycamore was approved as recommended by the Building Board. Building inspector Wade Ennes said a fire last summer badly damaged the single family house.
Council members authorized the demolition. Cost was estimated around $10,000 and will be placed as a tax lien against the property.
A contract was approved to join the Southwest Missouri Joint Municipal Water Utility Commission. Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch introduced Gail Melgren, executive director of the Tri-State Water Coalition, as background for setting up the new water entity.
The new commission will include municipal and regional water providers.
"This allows members to do projects," said Rauch. "We can participate in planning, but we're not obligated. Surface water projects take 20 to 25 years to do. We need to be in on this from the beginning."
Monett has been a member of the Tri-State Water Coalition since 2002. Rauch said Nixa, Carthage, Lamar and Springfield are in the process of signing onto the coalition as initial participants.
Orr said city plans to build a treatment plant for muddy water from three wells would address the city's needs for the foreseeable future. The water commission would be for the next step past that.
Council members agreed to retain the services of Geosyntec Consultants Inc. to study the copper content in city water. Rauch said Monett is in an odd position of having a wastewater permit requiring less copper coming out of the waste treatment plant than is allowed in city drinking water.
"The microfauna in the creek is far more sensitive than humans," Rauch said.
However, tests show the copper in Monett's water appears to be bound together. While the concentration is higher, the amounts do not appear to have a toxic effect on wildlife and plants. Geosyntec will conduct more tests and dialogue on the city's behalf with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Rauch said.
Garage sale revision
No objections were raised at a public forum held during the meeting on a council proposal to remove the limitation on garage sales held in one year by not-for-profit organizations. Council members then passed the revision.
A new ordinance was introduced to re-establish water rates for customers outside the city limits. Rauch said the 20 percent higher cost matched rates set prior to the annexation plan that went into effect in 1994. Second reading for public discussion was slated for June 20.
Bills were paid totaling $1,592,275.39. Major bills included $1,034,438.44 to Empire District Electric for wholesale electricity; $73,000 to Utility Service for standpipe maintenance; $37,000 to Fabick for a drum roller to flatten street surfaces; and $35,000 to Cooper Power Systems for pole mount reclosures.