City council chooses auditor, bank service

by Mark Cheffey

The Palmyra City Council last Thursday selected a new audit service as well as bank depository and banking services provider.

In addition, members heard the first reading of an ordinance to straighten out a street naming inconsistency.

The city was forced to seek a new independent audit provider for the current fiscal year, and chose Wade Stables P.C. Certified Public Accountants of Hannibal by a unanimous vote.

According to the bid provided to the city, Wade Stables will do the annual audit for an  amount not to exceed $9,500 in the case the city needs a special audit after receiving federal funding, or $7,500 if the special audit is not required.

The city’s previous audit provider was not qualified to perform the special audit, and the city is expecting to receive FEMA funding and possibly Community Development Grant funding during the current fiscal year.

The city received two bids for depository and other banking services and voted unanimously to follow the Finance Committee’s recommendation to award the bid to HOMEBANK for a three-year term, over the bid presented by United State Bank.

The council heard the first reading of an ordinance changing the names of Betty and Gene streets in the northeast part of the city to Betty and Gene avenues, in order to correct a name discrepancy involving the city, U.S. Postal System and the Marion County GIS system.

The streets in the Hinds Fairground Addition, First Addition recorded in May of 1998 were originally platted as Betty Street and Gene Street.

However, the streets have been designated as avenues by the city billing system.

As a result, City Clerk Deena Parsons said, the conflicts have caused problems for those seeking loans for property in the subdivision.

“This is the easiest way to get it unified,” Parsons said of the proposed ordinance, which will receive its second and final reading during the Oct. 15 council meeting.

By a unanimous vote, the council chose to officially hire the Schraeder Law Firm out of St. Louis for legal services pertaining to updating the city’s employee handbook.

The council delayed the first reading of an ordinance requiring residents to be responsible for the extermination of “any insects, rodents or other pests.”

It was decided to hold an Ordinance Committee meeting with City Attorney James Lemon to finalize the legal language. It was mentioned the proposed ordinance does not mention commercial property. 

Mayor Loren Graham reported on progress concerning a nuisance property which had been the concern of several neighbors.

“I think we’re making headway,” Graham said, noting he had been in communication with the property owner.

Police Chief Eddie Bogue reported one of his officers, Patrick Anderson, graduated from a D.A.R.E. school in Jefferson City last Friday.

City Street Commissioner Austin Dornberger reported that this year’s street resurfacing projects were completed.

Council member Brock Fahy, chairman of the Police Committee, reported the police department was successful in qualifying for Federal CARES Act funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council member Pam Behring said she was pleased with the outcome of a recent meeting with local landowners concerning occupancy permits and expressed hope it would be followed through.

After adjourning, the council went into closed session to discuss real estate issue. However, no action was taken as a result of the discussion. 

In attendance at Thursday’s regular meeting were some Scouts, as well as their leaders, observing the proceedings as part of a civics requirement.