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by Mark Cheffey
Mayor Rusty Adrian advised the city council during its regular meeting last Thursday, he is putting together a citizens advisor board charged with helping with the possible redesign of the city’s outer road system along U.S. 61.
Adrian said he has already received some commitments from local citizens but is still seeking others and even asked council members for suggestions.
The advisory board came about following a meeting Adrian and Police Chief Eddie Bogue had with MoDOT officials in Hannibal about the need for redesigning the system in order to improve safety and business access along U.S. 61 in Palmyra.
There have been discussions and even design work done over the past few years toward a goal of adding more outer roads.
MoDOT has also indicated a desire over many years of eliminating some of the Palmyra’s intersections with U.S. 61 and even build a new interchange.
After the board is appointed, it is expected it will lead discussion and even planning of future changes to the outer roads and even hold public hearings in Palmyra to allow citizens to provide input.
It was announced during the council meeting that Mike Baker, an officer with the police department, has been promoted to captain and will assume the assistant chief’s position opened up by the recent retirement of Ron Peer.
Bogue said the retirement, along with the resignation of another officer have left his department shorthanded.
As a result, Bogue indicated Patrick Anderson will be pulled from school resource duties during November and December while two new officers go through field training.
Bogue continued to sound the alarm about problems with officer hiring and retention.
“I can’t express how difficult it is, especially in northeast Missouri,” Bogue said.
He did indicate other departments in the area are having even more trouble than Palmyra.
The council gave approval, by a 5-0 vote to a newly revised boundaries for a proposed Community Improvement District in Palmyra.
The boundaries are needed to assist the city in its ongoing efforts to form the district, which is considered a way to help Palmyra’s downtown business district.
The council voted 5-0 in favor of agreeing to a change order in the city’s contact with Bleigh Construction Company concerning ongoing work to complete modifications of the city’s water wells in the Mark Bottoms.
City Clerk Deena Parsons said the change only allows more time for the project to be completed following a pause in work earlier this year due to concerns about FEMA reimbursement for the work.
The council gave 5-0 approval of an ordinance changing some of the city’s liquor regulations in order to bring them in compliance with state law.
John and Cathy Fohey, who live in the 300 block of W. Olive St., went before the council concerning a dog bite incident last Wednesday morning.
John Fohey was getting into his truck to go to work early in the morning when it was still dark and was suddenly attacked by a dog which bit him on the leg.
Officer Baker told the council, the dog, which bit another person less than two hours later, had gotten away from its owner down the street and had not been retrieved.
City Attorney James Lemons advised the Foheys to sign a complaint against the dog owner and to request a hearing before the city’s vicious dog board as provided by city ordinance.
If the board deems the animal a vicious dog, the owners would be required to follow stringent rules in order to keep the dog on their property.
The council voted 5-0 to approve the purchase of $4,000 worth of video conferencing equipment to be installed in the city council chambers and used for training as well as live-streaming of the council meetings.
The Board of Public Works is expected to be asked to split the cost.
“I think this equipment will pay for itself over and over,” Mayor Adrian said.
Parsons said remote training is becoming the “the new norm,” in response to training expense and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Street Commissioner Austin Dornberger reported on the start of construction on storm water drainage improvements along the south and west sides of the courthouse square.
He said T & B Excavating has begun work and that the project is expected to be completed by Oct. 22.
Jeff Arp, a loss control specialist with MIRMA, the city’s liability insurance carrier advised the council the city was being awarded a grant of $2,876.30 towards three safety items purchased during MIRMA’s fiscal year.
Council member Brock Fahy reported a newly revised city employee handbook is being prepared for consideration.