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City council approves Foster Field lighting

by Mark Cheffey

The Palmyra City Council last Thursday gave approval for the park department to install ballpark lighting for Foster Field, and allow use of city dirt for a demolition derby in the arena in May.

In other business, the council heard the first of two readings of ordinances revising the city’s building codes and approved the purchase of a pre-owned police car for the D.A.R.E. program.

The council voted 4-0, with two members absent, to authorize the park department to spend up to $20,000 to install lighting at Foster Field, the newest softball, baseball facility at the park.

The field was donated by Lucile Foster who stipulated it also be lit, but it has taken some time for the park department to fund it.

Dakota Damron asked for and received permission to use city dirt for a demolition derby May 15 in the arena.

Damron, who organizes the Jaycees sponsored derby during the fair, told the council he was part of a group which is planning to hold numerous derbies in the region this season.

While plans are still being made for the event, Damron said it will not have quite the participation the Jaycees Derby has each year.

Damron was hoping to also receive assistance from the city street crew to help prepare the derby site for May 15. But, it was the consensus of the council not to allow use of city employees and equipment for a privately organized event.

The council voted 4-0 in favor of allowing the police department to purchase a police car from Webb City, Mo. at a cost of $12,752.99.

Police Chief Eddie Bogue said he submitted the winning bid for the 2015 Ford Explorer, one of several vehicles put up for auction by Webb City.

“We saved a lot of money,” Bogue said, noting the vehicle comes 75 percent equipped as a police car.

The car will be used by the D.A.R.E. program which is currently raising funds from the community to offset the car’s cost.

Bogue said the fundraising campaign is going well, having raised about $6,000 toward the $10,000 goal.

The two building code revision ordinances heard by the council change portions of the residential and electrical codes, of which copies can be obtained by the public at city hall.

The council will hold the second readings at the next meeting, April 15, at which time they are expected to be approved.

City Attorney James Lemons said additional ordinance revisions are still being prepared for council consideration.

BPW Superintendent Brent Abell advised the council the city, was hit, just as other municipalities were with additional power costs resulting from the February’s polar vortex.

Abell said the bill was $307,682 over and above the standard power bill and was caused by skyrocketing costs for natural gas used in a large part of the power generation the city depends upon.

According to Abell, there are ongoing efforts, even on the state level, to address the issue  and provide funding assistance for cities and other power distributors.

The council voted 4-0 to approve Mayor Loren Graham’s appointment of Paul Frankenbach as the city’s new emergency management director.

Street Commissioner Austin Dornberger told the council he has had discussions with Doug Meyers, parks and recreation director about adding Flower City Park’s Memorial Drive to the list of overlay projects this summer.

Council member Ellen Goodwin, said she had received information that the bug problem in the area of the intersection of Home and Church streets was still ongoing.

It and other issues were referred to Chuck Anderson, the city’s code enforcer, to address.