Water service aid available in Pierce City

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Funds up to $750 per customer available until September 2023

There is good new for low-income residents in Pierce City.

Aldermen approved a resolution for Mayor Kenny Smith to sign an agreement with the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) Family Support Division to provide support for water and wastewater services.

Qualifying residents may receive up to $750 in water assistance until September 2023. If the full amount has not been used in that time, the remainder is returned to DSS.

“The funds are applied monthly until they are gone or until time runs out,” said Julie Johnson, city clerk. “This [program] is like the electric or gas assistance people receive from Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC).”

In other business, a request from Ed Golubski, who owns a vacant lot on Commercial Street next to Fern’s Tavern, was routed to the Planning and Zoning Committee. Golubski has requested a variance from the city code in order to establish some travel trailer hook-ups with water, electric and sewer service.

Alderman Jerod Jarvis, who serves on the committee, said the matter had reached a standstill until another meeting could be scheduled.

In the interim, Jarvis recommended the city come up with some ordinances regulating RV parks so no one is grandfathered in.

“That means everyone will have to abide by the same regulations,” said John Archer, alderman.

Johnson received approval to dispose of old records including banking and investment records dating from 2010 through 2016; accounts payable from 2010 through 2016; accounts receivable from 2010 through 2016; and federal and state tax records from 2010 through 2016.

Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has inspected two bridges in Pierce City, giving the Elm Street bridge, built in 2006, a rating of 8, which is determined to be good. The comments on the inspection cited removing drift and cleaning and sealing the deck.

The Gibbs Street steel bridge, built in 1900, received an overall score of 7, however, the superstructure received a score of 3.

The MoDOT report stated the Gibbs Street bridge is considered to be a “fracture critical bridge,” which means it has steel members in tension, that if they fail, could cause partial or total collapse. The superstructure rating was lowered due to continued deterioration of truss members and small holes in stringers at several locations.

Additional notes include heavy surface rust on stringers and floor beams; packed rust between rivets on top of chord, causing minor bulging; minor pitting and section loss on the outside eyebar, which has been painted over; small holes in the stringer web near floor beam connections and north pier; mortar loss and disintegration at both sides at the waterline; and a large crack in the north abutment.

“MoDOT recommends replacing the bridge in 10 years,” Johnson said.

In other action, aldermen approved requesting grant funding from the Lawrence County Tax Board for the Developmentally Disabled for handicap accessible playground equipment, including a wheelchair accessible merry-go-round, a handicap accessible swing, and portable pool lift, at a total cost of $24,952.

If approved, the equipment would allow children of all abilities the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor playground and pool areas.

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