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Casino plans moving forward

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Monett City Council moved forward on plans to build a new City Park Casino during the regular monthly meeting on Nov. 20.

Mayor Jim Orr scheduled a special meeting for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29 for action on awarding a construction contract and financing.

During a work session on Nov. 19, council members opened the 10 bids received for casino project, projected to cost around $1.2 million. According to City Administrator Dennis Pyle, bids ranged from $1,549,000 to $2,102,000. The average bid was for $1,677,513.

Dropping the low and the high bids, the council entered into discussions with Rich Kramer Construction, of Springfield, the firm that built the new middle school in Pierce City. After changing some of the requirements for the heating and cooling system, Kramer's bid came to $1,393,278.

The Kramer firm also offered to finish the job in 180 days, not counting days for weather. Others had estimates as long as 365 days. Kramer would start work seven days after the contract is signed. Pyle hoped the new facility could open for use in August, 2013.

Also scheduled for Nov. 29 was action on financing the casino project. Pyle said to cover Kramer's contract, the council is seeking to finance $1.5 million in a package jointly managed by First State Bank and Community National Bank. Furnishings and the cost of issuance are expected to run about $60,000. Pyle said the balance would provide a cushion to address change orders.

Council members also passed a resolution accepting the grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build a FEMA-approved safe room on the west side of the American Job Center, formerly the Monett Community Center, at County Road and Maple Street. The $800,000 grant would require a 25 percent city match totaling $200,000.

In May, the council advertised for an architect for the FEMA safe room and selected Parrigon and Associates, of Springfield. Toth and Associates, which frequently works with Parrigon on safe rooms, was chosen at the project manager.

The safe room would measure 4,000 square feet and provide shelter for 550 persons, large enough for all the residents within a half-mile.

The grant comes in two phases, Pyle said. The first part, for $129,213, was approved by council members on Nov. 20, requiring a $32,304 city contribution. Funds from the first phase will be used mostly for design, which will take around eight months to prepare. The design will be submitted to FEMA.

Once the design is approved, the city will submit construction documents. The entire project has 30 months to complete to qualify for funding, Pyle added.

In other property issues, council members approved the annexation request from Danny and Charlotte Conner for buildings and land around the IMEC factory on Highway H, east of North Park. The 4.75 acres includes factory building and the house to the north of the building. Agricultural acreage, west of the house and factory, were not included.

Council members were not as accommodating on a request by Saturnino Rodriguez for an easement across the north edge of the city's old landfill, east of the city off Farm Road 1100. Commissioner Mike Brownsberger said that after he reviewed the request on site, he did not consider granting a 15-foot easement to be "in the best interest of the city." With no other comments offered, council members voted against the request.

The name of the Monett Municipal Airport was formally changed to the Monett Regional Airport. Under standards established by the Missouri Department of Transportation, a regional airport must have a 5,000-foot runway, a 2,500-square-foot terminal building, hangar storage space for 70 percent of the aircraft using the airport, the availability of jet aviation fuel, rental cars, and accommodations such as public bathrooms and a public telephone.

"I believe this identification brings significance to Barry and Lawrence counties and other surrounding communities using the airport," Pyle said.

Council members also awarded a contract for the demolition of the house and garage located at 601 Eighth Street. The property had previously been purchased for use as a future storm water detention site.

Bids to demolish and remove the house and garage plus fill in the basement ranged from $2,730 from Vaughn Dirtworks to $5,366 from Olen Morris and Son Ditching Service. The contract was awarded to Vaughn.

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