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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council continued to discuss on-going negotiations with the Greenwood Cemetery Board on reaching an agreement for city maintenance of the old city cemetery during last Thursday’s regular meeting.
In addition, the council approved an ordinance amending the city’s building codes and approved an amended budget for the recently closed-out fiscal year.
The council discussed what it might cost for mowing and maintaining the City Cemetery, but could not come up with a definitive answer, which was considered a necessary step before making an agreement offer to the cemetery board.
City Clerk Deena Parson said she had received a estimate $400 per mow from a local landscaper, while Councilman Brock Fahy said he had heard of a minimum total of $10,000 for a year of maintenance.
In addition to trying to nail down a cost for maintenance, the council members questioned who actually owns the city cemetery.
City Attorney James Lemons said the question could best be answered through a title search, and the council voted 5-0 in favor of having it done as the next step in working out an agreement.
The cemetery board came to the council last month hoping the city would agree to an amended agreement concerning services provided by the city.
The council voted 5-0 in favor of approving the third in a series of ordinances proposed by Chuck Anderson updating the city’s building codes. This one concerns regulating non-owner occupied dwellings.
The vote was 5-0 in favor of amending the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget to better reflect actual revenue and expense amounts.
Also approved was a routine resolution concerning ethics and conflict of interest which is filed annually with the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Fahy, who chairs the council’s personnel committee, reported on a recent meeting with department heads for the purpose of completing work to update the city’s employee handbook.
Fahy said standby time and overtime were discussed, and noted it was agreed that standby time will go from six straight hours to seven straight hours per week and that employees complete time sheets daily.
Possible changes to the employee clothing allowance were tabled until next year.
The council discussed the recent demolition derby held in the fairgrounds arena. There were some concerns about trash pickup and the fact that insurance paperwork was not submitted by the organizers until the day of the event.
The council discussed setting a deadline for required paperwork to prevent late submissions which make it difficult on city hall personnel.
A Street and Alley Committee meeting was set for June 3 to discuss this year’s street overlay projects.
And, a special council meeting was et for 7 p.m. June 24 to discus the city’s possible involvement in a downtown revitalization program.
BPW Superintendent Brent Abell reported about ongoing repairs to two of the city’s water wells in the Mark Bottoms.
He also said materials for a South Main sewer project and a replacement for a damaged decorative light pole on Main Street are on order.
Before adjourning, the council went into closed session.