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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council last Thursday gave the okay for the police department to purchase three new patrol cars.
Also during the regular meeting, the council approved an ordinance to transfer street numbering responsibilities to Marion County Emergency Services, agreed to hire a new cleaning service for city hall and the police station and passed on to the Finance Committee a request by the Board of Public Works to move ahead with a lift station project.
After a presentation given by Police Chief Eddie Bogue and officer, Mike Baker, the council voted unanimously to approve the department’s purchase of three new patrol vehicles from Carl’s Emergency Vehicles, a Des Moines, Iowa, company, at at a total cost of $169,000 to be paid over a four-year period.
Bogue said his department budget issues have prevented regular replacement of vehicles and, as a result, the department’s cars are accumulating considerable mileage.
He also explained that a lag-time for ordering and receiving new Ford vehicles is making it difficult to budget such purchases in the future.
In addition, he said continuing maintenance issues with the department’s current Ford vehicles are also a financial burden, prompting an effort to seek alternatives.
Baker said the department was contacted by a representative from Carl’s Emergency Vehicles about the availability of three Chervolet Tahoe patrol vehicles available for immediate delivery.
He also explained the locked-in price would save the city money over the next four years while alleviating any wait in trying to purchase other models.
He said he was also impressed with performance of the Tahoe after test driving one.
A positive was that Carl’s Emergency Vehicles would handle all the special equipment and decal installation, rather than having to get it done by multiple companies.
The council voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance transferring street numbering to the county’s E911 service providers.
The move was made due to E911’s expertise in that area.
BPW Superintendent Brent Abell requested to use $300,000 in American Rescue Act Plan funding to complete a sewage lift station project in the Warren Head Business Park on the east edge of the city.
The project is considered important in allowing for continued development growth of the business park in the future.
After some discussion, it was decided to refer the request to the Finance Committee which is in the process of developing the city budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23.
With the retirement of the city’s current cleaning service, the council, after advertising for the position voted unanimously in favor of hiring Flower City Cleaning to clean city hall and the police station for an annual sum of $11,000.
Mayor Rusty Adrian cast the tie-breaking in approving a request by the city’s IT service, McCain Consulting, to increase its retainer from $300 to $600 per month.
The vote was 3-3, with Earl Meyers, Pam Behring and Ellen Goodwin voting in favor of the motion to increase the retainer, while Andrew Salsman, Patrick Barns and Brock Fahy voting against it.
Discussion centered around whether the increase was warranted and if there was any chance of attracting other bidders to provided the service.
The council voted unanimously in favor of having a second title search for clear title on small city property which has an interested buyer.
In recommending the second title search, City Attorney James Lemons explained the initial search failed to turn up a clear title which was preventing the sale of the property.
Lemons said there were indications the city had a title and that a second search by another title company might prove successful at a cost of $100.
The council also voted in favor of allowing the police department to pursue the possibility of obtaining a K-9 from Arizona that one of Palmyra’s officers handled before coming to Palmyra.
The council failed to approve Mayor Adrian’s appointment to the Industrial Development Authority.
A motion to appoint Wes Tuley to the IDA failed to receive a second after discussion concerning his lack of residency in Palmyra and his real estate involvement.
Also during the meeting the council heard a presentation by representatives of the Northeast Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety on the importance of having a primary seat belt law.
Council member Barnes reported on a recent meeting with property owners in the Bailey/Stanley street area concerning a proposed storm water drainage project, noting it went well.
Police Chief Bogue informed the council about three grants his department is receiving to pay for special traffic enforcement initiatives this month.
Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer Chuck Anderson provided information about his activities during the past year, and indicated a need for informing the public about permit requirements.