If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council Thursday opened the way for more housing development on the south end of the city.
By a unanimous vote, the council approved the rezoning of tracts of ground in the Graystone Haven Subdivision from C-1 Commercial to R-1 Single and Two Family District.
The council also unanimously voted in favor of two other ordinances:
• amending an ordinance to more accurately not the city’s previous adoption of the National Electrical Codes; and
• creating a new C-2 Limited Commercial zoning district.
The council also heard the first reading of an ordinance that, according to City Attorney James Lemon, would clean up issues concerning mobile homes and recreational vehicles.
Having reviewed qualifications submitted by two firms, the council voted unanimously to select Klingner & Associates to engineer a stormwater drainage project.
K&A was received the top grade during the qualification review.
The council also voted unanimously chose K&A as recommended by the Board of Public Works to engineer proposed water system projects, including a water tower, wells, and water treatment plant upgrades the would utilize BPW as well as DNR-ARPA funding.
Also unanimously approved was a contract for engineering for a sewer lift station in the south part of the city at a cost of $14,400.
The council also awarded the contract for the city audit to performed by Wade Stables PC.
The council unanimously approved awarding the bid for council chamber roof repair to MHE at a cost of $9,7000.
There was considerable discussion concerning proposed changes to the city’s bid policy.
The BPW and street department specifically recommend raising the bid threshold to better reflect rising costs in materials and equipment.
Street Commissioner Austin Dornberger and BPW Superintendent Brent Abell both noted the bid process comes into play more often due to the rising costs, making it more difficult to obtain material and equipment needs in a timely manor.
They said the process is made more difficult by the quick expiration times for bids as well as the long waiting period on orders.
Council members acknowledged the problem, but were reluctant to raise the bid threshold of $25,000 as requested.
In the end, the council voted unanimously to raise the highest threshold for competitive bidding from $10,000 to $20,000.
Also unanimously approved was authorization for the BPW to purchase a new 2023 bucket truck for $200,429 and to be delivered sometime within 24 to 36 months.
As a comparison, Abell noted the department’s last truck purchased seven years ago cost $132,000.
The new one will have a bucket height of 48 feet, seven feet taller than the department’s highest one, reflecting the need to reach up taller utility poles.
Council member, Andrew Salsman, reported the Street & Alley Committee he chairs met and discussed proposed street overlay projects and indicated a list of projects would be put before the council at the next meeting.
Street Commissioner Austin Dornberger said his department took possession of two newly purchased pet waste stations for installation along Main Street downtown.
Council member Ellen Goodwin said she had been asked by two citizens to have the city consider putting stop lights at the intersection of Main and Main Cross streets in an attempt to better control traffic at the location.
In addressing an issue past council’s have wrestled with off and on over many years, Police Chief Eddie Bogue said the only viable options would be to leave it alone or have lights put in.
And, since it involves a state road, he indicated he would bring the issue to the attention of MoDOT.
The council heard from Paul Frankenbach, the city’s emergency management director, who outlined some of the work he has done during the year since he was appointed to the position.
He said his job description is that of working to coordinate various jurisdictions in the event of a community wide emergency.
“But, I only respond when I’m asked to,” he said, noting that he would respect the jurisdictions of such groups as the Palmyra Fire District and Palmyra Police, as well as countywide emergency response agencies.
He said he has been taking necessary training and also attending State Emergency Management Agency meetings to become better informed.
As for a citywide emergency plan, Frankenbach said one exists, having been developed by the Marion County EMD, John Hark in 2004 and updated in 2009.
However, Frankenbach said it is in need of updating on a continual basis.
“It’s still a work in progress,” Frankenbach said.
Frankenbach recommended the city do more to promote the public’s use of Code Red, an emergency notification system of which the county and city are members.
He said it can be an important tool for use in being in the know of oncoming severe weather and other emergencies.
He also asked the council to consider funding the purchase of a radio with which he can communicate with various emergency response agencies.
Mallory Sublette, a Palmyra High School student visited with the council about establishing a Local Wellness Wednesday in Palmyra on the last Wednesday in August.
Sublette said the day, which she hoped would become an annual observance, would be marked by numerous events focusing on health and wellness within the schools and the community at large.
A major event would be a “Miracle Mile” Race at the high school.
She also indicted special T-shirts would be made available in the color green, signifying heath and wellness.