Verona aldermen voted to hire a part time reserve officer to the city's police force.
Shelby Berry, a dispatcher with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office (LCSO), has been hired as a reserve officer and will join Captain Jeff Cooper. Berry also worked for the Marionville Police Department prior to joining LCSO.
Aldermen were unanimous in their decision to terminate Joshua Thompson, who was hired as a patrol officer on Oct. 3.
Jack Ward, chairman of the planning and zoning committee, tendered his resignation after 18 years of service.
Mayor Willis Hutson met with Sprenkle and Associates, of Monett, concerning installment of new sidewalks from the downtown area to the school. The project would include re-contouring in areas to provide better storm water drainage.
Sprenkle provided an estimate of $136,335, which would cover the first portion of a three-phase project.
Aldermen approved a 20 percent match for the 2012 Transportation Enhancement Program grant match, totaling approximately $27,275.
In other business, aldermen voted to put three lots for bid pending approval from the Verona Community Development Committee. Those lots are where the old City Hall building was located and a rental building. They are located at 101, 105 and 109 N. Third St.
Aldermen approved an ordinance changing the date of municipal court hearings from the first Tuesday of the month to the second Tuesday of the month.
Aldermen heard from several Verona residents who were complaining about the air quality in the areas in close proximity to BCP and Kemin Industries.
Kenneth Grant expressed his concerns about the possible depreciation in property values, as well as the quality of life for Verona residents in regard to the "offensive smell" coming from the two businesses.
Grant asked if anyone was checking emission control logs and asked if the city would exert some sort of influence to compel the businesses to be more proactive in scrubbing fumes released from the plants.
"There are permit requirements for operational emission control and the companies should have respect for the community," Grant said.
Judy Pennington, who lives near the Kemin plant, said the foul odor is a daily issue.
"You can't even have the doors or windows open," Pennington said.
"[The smell] gets in your clothes and my car smells like it," added Barbara Samuels.
"There are ways to mitigate pollution or emissions," Grant said. "I'm asking to work with other agencies to find out what can be done to improve the problem. It's an investment to improve quality of life."
Hutson said he would contact both plant managers and discuss the matter.
Aldermen discussed requiring rental properties to have occupancy permits to ensure dwellings are up to code before renters move in. more information will be made available at the November meeting.
The council approved renewing a contract with Sprenkle and Associates, of Monett, for engineering services.
In department reports, aldermen heard the wastewater treatment plant had been struck by lightning on Oct. 13, resulting in significant damage to equipment. A time delay switch, a set of contacts, two rotors, the wires providing power to the ultraviolet lighting system, a computer, a flow meter and two electrical receptacles were damaged and in need of repair or replacement. Most of the issues have been repaired and the claim turned in to the city's insurance carrier.
The Verona Police Department answered 34 calls for service, issued 27 citations and 27 warnings and made three arrests during the month of September.
The fire department answered six calls for medical, one brush fire, one motor vehicle crash and one mutual aid request.
Building enforcement official, John Cowen, reported action on a manufactured home at 123 Ella St. Cowen said the structure is unsafe for occupancy and is harmful to the surrounding community. The owner was given15 days to remove it from the city.
Cowen is also preparing letters to address the disposal of inoperable vehicles within the city limits.
The next regular meeting of the Verona City Council has been set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at City Hall.