Monett Advisory Bd hears about park plans
By Murray Bishoff
The Monett City Council announced plans for a new city park on Marshall Hill during the meeting of the council advisory board last week.
Mayor Jim Orr said the park will be located at Oak and County Road. The city placed a tax lien on the land for a demolition at city expense. The owners donated the land to erase the tax lien covering demolition costs, leaving the city with a double lot.
According to city administrator Dennis Pyle, the city approached Habitat for Humanity about using the land. Habitat turned down the offer, having plans to build on the northwest part of Monett for the next year.
Rather than leave the land as another mowing project, Orr said the council chose to pursue making a park. The city budgeted $15,000 for the project and secured a deal with Miracle Recreation Equipment for new playground devices. The Lions Club agreed to donate $5,000 to the effort and the city has also approached the Kiwanis Club to help.
Most of the discussion focused on city resources, particularly on plans to rebuild the City Park Casino. Copies of the floor plan for a facility were distributed, showing a new building one-and-a-half times bigger than the current building.
Commissioner Jerry Dierker said finding adequate storage for the proposed 97 tables will require using space under the building where the heating system will be located. No exits are planned on the north side, mostly because of the downward slope of the land.
Advisors voiced concern over the size of the kitchen, planned as a holding area for caterers and not for cooking. The size of the women's restroom for an expanded facility was also questioned.
Orr said the council would like to hold to a budget of $1.2 million without having to borrow any money. Dierker said the old foundation would not be used, but he did not plan to reduce the lawn. Removal of the old water tower next to the casino would provide some additional parking.
Advisors recommended looking into different flooring, similar to the current wood floor that may require less maintenance. Dierker said he hoped to use lapsiding around the bottom three or four feet of the building to reduce wear from mowers and weed eaters.
Ralph Scott applauded the council for bringing back the casino, citing the need for a multi-purpose building of its type for the community. Suggestions were offered about expanding use of outdoor terraces proposed by Werner and improving the audio-visual capacities of the building.
Golf course efforts
Advisors discussed the condition of the golf course. Harold Schelin voiced concern that an infiltration of Poa anna, a grass that dies out in summer heat, will cut the quality of the playing area for the second half of the season.
Commissioner Mike Brownsberger said efforts to improve the root structure of the bentgrass, a warm weather grass, should help it fill in open areas. Pyle said better venting of the greens should help other grass to grown.
The golf course advisory committee approved the city's use of an outside consultant from St. Louis and the recommendations he made. The consultant remains under contract through Aug. 1, after which the council will decide whether to retain him for another year. Orr said committee members felt the course was headed in the right direction.
Plans to replace the golf course clubhouse have been delayed a year to leave adequate funds for rebuilding the casino. Orr said the city is again talking with school officials about ways the technology construction class at the Southwest Area Career Center could help with the project.
Orr said the city is also working with the school district and traffic engineers to improve conditions at Monett Middle School. Replacing lights on the #6 ballfield at North Park, part of a bigger light upgrade, will put in new lights guaranteed by the manufacturer for 25 years. The new lights can be deactivated from a computer.
As plans develop for a new safe room at the Monett Community Center. Orr said the city is trying to design the facility for public meeting use. The addition of the shelter, at standards set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), would be able to still offer a place for groups to gather once the center becomes the new location for the Missouri Career Center.
Monett Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said the city received another round of comments from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on plans for the new water treatment plant. The comments were fewer than the previous times.
Rauch hoped the city would retain the services of Southard Construction to begin digging water mains from the city limits to the airport. Southard's equipment dug trenches easily with little clean-up, as shown in the looping project around the city's perimeter, he said.
With $400,000 left in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act federal stimulus bonds, money was available to move ahead with hooking the airport well into the city system. The city would still need to buy pipe for the multi-mile project, Rauch added.
Orr said the city's budget projections remained on target. Pyle reported that the sale of the gymnastics center to the school district helped. All the equipment and the floor had been sold as well.