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by Mark Cheffey
Two new police officers were sworn in during last Thursday’s regular Palmyra City Council meeting.
Mayor Rusty Adrian administered the oath to Joseph Tanner Martin and Casey J. Lanford, both veteran law enforcement officers tho moved here from Arizona.
Also during Thursday’s meeting, the council heard a presentation about proposed senior housing apartment complex (see related story), set filing dates for the next city election, heard the first reading of a check valve ordinance and approved payment for completed construction of the courthouse storm water drainage project.
Martin and Lanford come to the police department with from 10 to 13 years of law enforcement experience, ranging from commercial vehicle enforcement to detective work.
Both are married and have young children, and are now glad to be in Missouri.
“I really like the area,” Lanford said on why they chose to come here.
“We decided Palmyra is where we needed to be.”
Martin, the first one to move here, credited Chief of Police Eddie Bogue for “talking up” Palmyra and helping them make their decision.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to pay T&B Trucking & Excavating the $150,932.70 amount owed for construction of the courthouse drainage improvement project.
“It’s totally complete and done, and it’s working well,” said Mayor Rusty Adrian.
The county agreed to reimburse the city for half of the project’s cost.
The council also approved a resolution setting the annual city election for Tuesday, April 5, as well as the filing period running from Dec. 7 through Dec. 28.
Palmyra voters will be electing one council member from each ward. Up for election in April are Ellen Goodwin (Ward 1), Patrick Barnes (Ward 2) and Earl Meyers (Ward 3).
City Clerk Deena Parsons noted the State of Missouri this year shortened the filing period by two weeks.
The council also heard the first reading of an ordinance requiring check valve protection in order to lesson the potential risks sewage back flow issues.
If approved following a second reading during the next meeting Nov. 18, the ordinance would, among other things, require all new construction to have check valves installed.
Bogue asked for and received approval to accept a $5,000 grant to pay for a new mobile radio for the police department.
Bogue noted he had wanted funding for two radios but ended up getting only partial funding for one with his department having to pay the remaining $154.
Board of Public Works Superintendent Brent Abell announced the newly refurbished water wells in the Mark Bottoms are scheduled to be started up for the first time since 2019 on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
He also reported to the council there are concerns raised by MoPEP, the electric power cooperative of which Palmyra is a member, of the possibility of another power crisis this winter due to a number of factors, including lower supplies of natural gas used in power generation.
“We’ll keep our eyes on it and do the best we can,” Abell said.
The council also discussed options for handling Palmyra’s homeless man situation.
There have been numerous complaints about him including his recent residency in Big Spring Park.
Bogue said he had contacted every agency available in the area in an effort to provide him with some assistance in obtaining shelter, but that he apparently prefers to be homeless.
City Attorney James Lemons suggested an option used in Hannibal in which problem homeless people are prosecuted for various municipal violations, including indecent exposure, littering and breaking curfew, and hoping the resulting fines and hassles for the individuals convince them to change their behavior.
Bogue expressed skeptisim, but agreed to try it.
“Let’s give it a shot,” Lemons said.