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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council voted last Thursday to commit the city financially toward establishing a Community Improvement District as part of an effort to improve Palmyra’s downtown business district.
In addition, the council, during its regular meeting, officially abandoned an alley to help with construction of a new bank facility on the north side of the square, and heard the first reading of an ordinance putting the city in line with state liquor statutes.
The city council members have discussed establishing a CID in Palmyra over several months, but have balked at the legal and paper work costs estimated between $50,000 and $70,000.
While the costs are expected to be reimbursed to the city once the special taxing district becomes a reality, council members were still concerned about how spending that much money would effect the current budget.
City Clerk Deena Parsons reported revenue figures were strong for this time in the fiscal year and indicated the city’s legal and engineering budgets were in good shape.
“We’re doing well,” said council member, Brock Fahy, who has had the strongest voice in favor of the CID.
“People coming to town look at our downtown,” Fahy said. “It’s up to us what we want to do.”
Council member Ellen Goodwin made the motion to hire the law firm of Cunningham, Vogel & Rost to provide legal services for the district at a cost not to exceed $60,000, and it was seconded by Fahy.
The motion was approved 5-0.
The council also voted 5-0 in favor of abandoning a portion of an alley between Dickerson and Main Street on the north side of the courthouse square to accommodate construction of the new HNB banking facility.
Upon hearing the first reading of an ordinance to put the city in line with state liquor statutes, City Attorney, James Lemons, said some of the state statures were recently signed in to law, while others still needed to be adjusted from previous changes.
Joe Schaffer came before the council to bring a storm water drainage issue east of Martha St. to their attention.
After some discussion, it was decided to table the issue until a future meeting while the situation is looked into.
Fahy reported to the council the city lost out on a prospective business for the Warren Head Business Park. He said the company decided to locate in Hannibal.
Street Commissioner Austin Dornberger reported Emery Sap- is in the process of completing street overlay projects in Palmyra.
Police Chief Eddie Bogue reported his department is applying for a grant to purchase a portable radio, and that implementation of the new digital ticketing program is not expected for another two months.
It was the consensus of the council to ask the Palmyra Planning & Zoning Board to consider rezoning city owned property on East Water St. to commercial.
BPW Superintendent gave a slide presentation in updating the council on the on-going water well modification project in the Mark Bottoms and informed members about a sewer concern on South Main as well as the status conducting utility pole checks throughout the city.