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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council last week learned the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget is being finalized.
In addition, the council discussed future increased costs for computer software, the need for approving an ordinance revision requested by the Department of Natural Resources, and new information allowing the go-head to sell a piece of city-owned property.
Council member Ellen Goodwin, who chairs the Finance Committee reported on a recent meeting attended by all council members, the mayor department heads and city clerk during which proposed budgets from all the departments were considered.
“All that was presented we went with,” Goodwin said.
City Clerk Deena Parsons said the next steps will be to put the budgets all together and hold a public hearing for them just prior to the April 14 council meeting when they are expected to be approved.
City Attorney James Lemon told the council he has prepared a revision to a sewage pre-treatment ordinance requested by the DNA which will allow the Board of Public Works to charge a civil penalty up to $1,000 per occurrence instead of $400 per occurrence.
The first reading will be held at the next meeting April 14.
Lemons also indicated the city could now move ahead with the sale of a piece of city-owned property to the Patre family.
The sale had been held up due to the early failure to determine if the city indeed had clear title to the property.
However, Lemons said a subsequent title search proved to be fruitful allowing the sale to move ahead.
Lemons was asked by the council to prepare the appropriate deed so the transaction can be closed.
Police Chief Eddie Bogue requested an Ordinance Committee meeting be held to discuss implementing a primary seatbelt law for Palmyra.
The council heard a presentation by representatives of the Northeast Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety at the March 3 council meeting on the benefits of implementing primary seatbelt laws in lowing the number of traffic crash deaths.
Mayor Rusty Adrian reported the BPW is hoping to make the Warren Head Business Park more attractive to new business by clearing out some trees, doing some leveling work and installing a needed sewage lift station.
Adrian said the BPW will be seeking bids for removal of several walnut trees in the business park.
City Clerk Deena Parsons advised the council of increased costs for future upgrades of the city’s utility bill and payroll software.
She said the new upgrade will cost from $12,000 to $13,000 with an annual cost of $16,000, due to the vendor moving data to the cloud in 2023.
The city’s current software will no longer be able to be upgraded in the future, so the city will either have to upgrade, stick with the current software or seek software from another company.
“I’m really on the fence about it,” Parsons said. “It’s annual cost that’s way too high.”
Any possible decision was tabled until the next meeting.
Lemons informed the council the police department’s new e-ticking program is up and running, but there is a problem with uploading the tickets to ShowMeCourts.
The problem is something the vendors are trying to work out.
Street Commissioner Austin Dornberger said his crew is in “spring mode” and is cleaning sand off the streets and filling pot holes.
He said it was also decided to establish a handicap parking place on the north side of city hall on the south side of Olive St.
Council member Behring reported the city received an excellent evaluation by MIRMA, the city’s liability insurance carrier. She said the city received a 99 percent rating.