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Monett City Council hears annexation proposal

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Monett City Council received a request to annex most of the land covering the Industrial Machine and Engineering Company (IMEC) plant.

During the Oct. 19 city council meeting, Mayor Jim Orr introduced the request from Danny Connor, IMEC founder, to annex all of the IMEC land into the city except for a buffer strip between the plant and the east edge of North Park. The addition would square off the north edge of the city west of Highway H.

Clerk Janie Knight said the annexation request had been recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Council members scheduled public comment on the proposal for the next monthly meeting on Nov. 20.

An additional land proposal was requested by Saturnino Rodriguez, who purchased 10 acres of land west of the old city dump, northwest of town off Farm Road 1100. Rodriguez's property has no access road.

According to county records, the city has a 30-foot wide road platted across the north edge of the city dump that has never been built leading to Rodriguez's land. Rodriguez initially asked the city to finish the road, which was declined.

The city property is presently used for burning debris, such as tree branches like those severed in the January 2007 ice storm. The city can adequately access the land with dump trucks and bulldozers without building a road, said Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch.

After discussing the matter with surveyor Sam Goodman and City Attorney Amy Boxx, Rauch said the city could vacate the platted roadway. Rodriguez could then build a road at his own expense across city property to his land, placing a gate at Farm Road 1100. Both the city and Rodriguez would have a key for the new gate.

Council members voiced no objections to Boxx's proposal. Public discussion was scheduled for Nov. 20.

Greenways expansion

Council members agreed to apply for Federal Transportation Enhancement funds to expand the Greenways Trail, connecting downtown with South Park. If funded, the project would receive 80 percent of its money from a federal grant, and 20 percent from the city.

The original proposal, developed by engineer Kevin Sprenkle in 2009, called for a new route that would connect to the old trail at Ninth Street and run on the north side of Broadway through the downtown business district to the Chamber of Commerce office at Second Street, using existing sidewalks. At that point, the trail would cross to the south side of Broadway and proceed west to the Highway 37 viaduct bridge on what is otherwise known as Lincoln Street.

The trail would then run south over the viaduct on the east side of the bridge. Concrete barriers similar to those on the new Highway 60 bridge would be put in place to separate pedestrians and bicyclists from traffic.

The trail would proceed over the Clear Creek bridge to Highway 60, then head south along Highway 37 on the edge of city park property. A pedestrian push button signal would be installed at the junction of Highways 37 and 60 to accommodate trail users at the busy intersection.

The trail would enter South Park near the park lake, tying in with the new YMCA property and the existing Greenways Trail.

Cost of the entire project at the time was estimated at $230,976. Securing a grant would involve competing with other applicants. The city's portion of $36,200 would be covered by the use of city equipment and labor.

Financial action

Bids were reviewed for the demolition of the house at 400 15th Street. According to Building Inspector Wade Ennes, the owner had until Sept. 21 to fix the structure or face demolition. Part of the building was torn down, after which the owner stopped all work.

A bid of $870 from Vaughn Dirtworks was accepted to complete the demolition. A lien will be placed on the property to cover the cost of cleaning up the site.

Council members agreed to a recommendation by City Administrator Dennis Pyle to enter into an extended agreement with the investment banking firm of Gilmore and Bell. The company annually prepares reports on disclosure and arbitrage over the city's investments.

Pyle said if the city entered into a five-year agreement for the same reports, the cost could be reduced by $2,000 a year.

With the completion of the annual audit, Pyle reported the city could transfer funds into the reserve fund of the electric department, available for emergency repairs.Under the formula established, $289,500 was transferred into the reserve. Pyle said $1,460,000 is now committed for emergency acquisitions in case of a major event that damages the electrical infrastructure.

Bills for the month were paid totaling $1,778,143.21. Large bills included: $1,201,823.50 to Empire District Electric for wholesale electricity; $62,000 to Utility Services for water tower maintenance; $56,000 to Water Products for new water meters; $28,000 to MFA Oil for fuel; and $25,000 to architect Richard Werner for planning the replacement building for the City Park Casino.

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