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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council approved a request from the Board of Public Works to upgrade the system that triggers the city’s early warning siren system as well as the daily sirens during its regular meeting last Thursday.
Mayor Rusty Adrian reported the current trigger system is experiencing chronic reliability problems due to the hard-wired system which is vulnerable to lightning and other factors.
In an effort to alleviate the problem, the BPW asked the city to approve funding a radio controlled trigger system that would be more reliable and easier tested.
In response, the council voted unanimously to approve the $29,800 cost of the system.
Adrian said it would also improve the reliability of the daily siren, which malfunctioned recently and had to be turned off for the time-being.
With the wireless system, Adrian said, the sirens will be able to be tested individually instead of all at once.
The council also voted unanimously to approve a list of street resurfacing projects to be completed this summer.
To be resurfaced are portions of Marion City Road, Warren Lane, Thompson Ave., Daren Drive, Industrial Drive, Ashland, Prosperity Lane, Lafayette Street, West Jefferson Street, West Hamilton and East Main Cross, as well as Memorial Drive in Flower City Park.
Austin Dornberger, the city street commissioner, said his crews are at work improving the base for Memorial Drive, which had suffered severe deterioration over the years.
Also approved unanimously was a new mission statement for the city, developed by Mayor Adrian, with input from department heads.
The new mission statement is:
“The city of Palmyra’s mission is to provide the highest quality of professional services addressing the resident’s needs, while promoting an enhanced quality of life for the citizens of Palmyra and the surrounding community.”
Adrian asked for input from council members about the proposed mission statement.
“I think it’s great,” said Council Member Pam Behring, who suggested it be posted on the city’s website.
Deputy City Clerk Kristen Olson said it would also be possible to put the mission statement on city bills.
The council continued discussion concerning ongoing negotiations with the Palmyra Cemetery Endowment and Improvement Association on a service agreement.
Concerns were raised about how much it will cost the city to take over maintenance of the old city cemetery.
Mayor Adrian expressed concerns about the negotiations becoming more contentious.
“It would be nice to work with them on this instead of cutting ties and causing hard feelings,” Adrian said.
Council member Brock Fahy reported work continues on a revised employee handbook with questions still to be answered concerning standby and overtime pay.
Fahy also reported on a meeting he attended hosted in Hannibal by Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adrian reported the work continues on repair of two of the city’s water wells in the Mark Bottoms.
He said that, in the process of repairing one of the wells, it was discovered that a valve and pipe needed to be replaced, something that was not expected.
Chuck Anderson, the city building inspector, reported progress in performing inspections of rental property.
There was some discussion about whether or not there was a need for inspecting buildings after they have been purchased by a new owner.
The matter was referred to the Ordinance Committee since it would require ordinance changes.
Before adjourning, the council went into closed session.