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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council during its regular meeting last Thursday voted to purchase an almost $40,000 leaf vac for the street department.
The council also approved setting limits on public input during council meetings and authorized the mayor to sign a certificate of substantial completion for two new water wells.
The council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of an Xtreme Vac 8027 Self Contained Trailer Debris Collector from Armor Equipment out of Arnold, Mo. for $39,769.57.
The purchase came at the recommendation of Austin Dornberger, street commissioner, who had seen the machine demonstrated.
City-wide leaf and yard debris collecting is a major task of the street department, especially during the fall, and Dornberger indicated the machine would make the operation more efficient.
The current budget did not include funding for a major equipment purchase by street department, but Dornberger contended purchasing the machine now would save the city money over waiting do so after the next budget goes into effect in June of next year.
Dornberger presented to the council two options, one for an outright purchase at $39,769.57, or a two year lease costing $40,112.
He said the city could save as much as $12,000 by buying it now over waiting until next year.
“That’s a pretty significant discount,” Dornberger said.
There was some discussion about which option to go with and whether the city could afford to buy it right now.
“We do have reserves,” said City Clerk Deena Parsons.
In the end, the council decided it was worth buying it now.
“It just seems it will pay for itself really quick,” said Council member, Patrick Barnes.
“I think people in town are excited about it,” said Dornberger who indicated the machine would be delivered sometime this week.
It was reported the new water wells in the Mark Bottoms were tested for the first time Nov. 22 and that the tests went well for both units.
And while some work on both still need to be completed, the Board of Public Works asked the council to authorize the mayor to sign a certificate of substantial completion.
The two wells were rendered useless after being flooded out in 2019, and the city has been able to replace them through significant FEMA grant funding.
The units were raised to avoid future flooding.
By a unanimous vote, the council passed a resolution that would set time limits on people addressing the council and also require groups to select a spokesperson who would also be subject to a time limit.
Citing “a need to effectively allow all interested parties to express their views, but also to allow the efficient running of city council meetings,” the council set new policy to limit individuals to five minutes in addressing the council.
In addition, persons selected to give the view of a group would also be limited to five minutes for their presentation.
The new policy allows for the time limit to be extended, but only by a majority vote of the council.
The new policy went into effect immediately.
The council held the first reading of an ordinance abandoning a portion of a platted alley that extends north from E. Main Cross between Main and Lane streets.
The Subway sandwich shop was built over the alley, and Parsons said the issue came up as Abells, the owner of the property, is being bought out.
The ordinance is expected to be approved at the next council meeting Dec. 16.
The council voted unanimously to approve rezoning a lot at 726 South Spring from residential to commercial as requested by the owners of Northeast Missouri Machine and Pattern, which owns and uses the lot as a parking lot.
It was noted the property was registered as zoned residential by the city, but commercial by the county. The zoning change was being adopted for conformity.
Council member Barnes reported the Police Committee he chairs met recently and discussed a need to replace one of the department’s oldest patrol cars due to mounting repair costs.
He said it was also decided to allow the department to fuel patrol cars at Farmer’s Coop as a convenience measure.
Police Chief Eddie Bogue told the council of a need to add iCloud storage to accommodate the use of officer body cams.
Bogue also reported his department followed up on neighborhood concerns raised by a resident, Roberta Thomas, and as a result, an arrest was made.
Council member Brock Fahy, the council’s liaison to the BPW said the board voted to spend $3,000 to look at installing a new 12-inch water line into Palmyra for redundancy in case the current line breaks as it did two years ago.
After failing to receive bid to purchase city property on East Water St., it was decided to rebid the property after the city received some new interest in it.
Fahy, mayor pro-tem, presided over Thursday’s meeting in the absence of Mayor Rusty Adrian.