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 approved an engineering contract for structural engineering services to inspect five downtown buildings, voted to purchase a drone, and decided on a new city logo during a regular meeting last Thursday.
The council also approved a contract for storm water drainage project grant administrative services and for an electric rate study to be completed for the Board of Public Works and heard a complaint about a newly revised ordinance that restricts RV camping within the city limits.
After rejecting several samples for a new city logo over past meetings, the council took the recommendation offered by City Clerk Deena Parsons to go with something the city has had on hand for more than five decades.
By common consensus, the council chose to make the current city seal as the new logo, which will be used on city signage, correspondence, the new website and city employee clothing.
The emblem, in the shape of a wheel with four spokes and featuring artwork scenes depicting the Pony Express, agriculture, education and a church, surrounded by the words “Palmyra Missouri The Flower City” was a contest winning design for the city’s bicentennial in 1969 and was subsequently chosen as the city’s official seal.
Still to be decided are the colors to be used since the seal is in black and white.
At the recommendation of the board of public works and its administrator, Brent Abell, the council unanimously approved the purchase of a drone for use by the BPW and city with the $1,300 total cost to be split between the two.
In recommending the purchase, Abell said the drone would have many uses including inspecting utility infrastructure, and that it would be of use by the city’s building inspector as well as for photos to be posted on the city’s website.
“I think this would be money well spent,” Abell said, of which the council agreed.
The council voted 5-0 in favor of accepting the low bid for structural engineering services from MECO engineering at a cost of $3,400.
The contact is for inspecting five downtown buildings to make sure they are structurally sound.
The council has expressed concerns about the soundness of downtown buildings, and decided professional help was needed in making those assessments.
The council also voted 5-0 in favor of accepting the only bid offered by the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments to provide administrative services as the city applies for Community Development Block Grants for proposed storm water drainage projects.
City Clerk Deena Parsons said she sent out 30 letters to possible bidders but received only one bid.
“They’ve done a good job for us,” said Mayor Rusty Adrian.
The cost which are yet to be determined will be paid for through the grant the city received and will not exceed a maximum allowable amount.
The council voted 5-0 in favor of the low bid for an electric rate study for the BPW by BMHG Engineers, Inc. at a cost of $22,600.
Abell said the BPW has not had an electric rate study for 10 years,
Dennis and Don Martin addressed the council concerning a recent zoning ordinance change that prevents longer-term RV camping in Flower City Park.
They said there are times when contract workers come to Palmyra and stay in an RV while working at nearby job sights, but that is no longer an option under zoning laws.
“Your kind of kicking us in the face,” said Dennis Martin, in expressing his displeasure.
The Martins cited the example of contract workers for BASF who sometimes stay for several months while they are completing their work.
“And, as far as we know, we’ve not had a problem with utilities being paid,” Dennis Martin said, noting the change is anti-business while drawing bad light on the community.
Mayor Rusty Adrian said the ordinance change came about in an effort to “clean up” the community and also to prevent people from living in trailers or RVs on a permanent basis outside of existing trailer parks.
However, after considerable discussion, Adrian said the planning and zoning board and council would revisit the issue.
“I get what you’re saying. Let us look over it again,” Adrian said.
It was the consensus of the council to purchase a sponsorship in the Ignite entrepreneurial program offered by the partnership of Hannibal Economical Development Council, the Small Business Development Center and the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce.
However, the council did not take an official vote, preferring to table final action until next week in order for council members to think over the level of sponsorship the city wants to make, ranging from under $500 to $1,500 or above.
The program, which holds public events in the area, works to develop an “entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports new and existing businesses in the Hannibal region.”
“It gets your name out there for people to help you,” said council member Brock Fahy, in recommending the sponsorship.
Abell reported on a catastrophic failure by a piece of equipment at the sewage treatment plant.
He said he and the BPW are trying to decide whether to repair it as is, or go with a more up-to-date system that is more efficient but would cost more to install.
Council member Earl Meyers reported city hall is in need of new air conditioning units to replace old ones regularly in need of repair, and that companies are in the process of coming up with bids.
The council did discuss the possibility of moving the units from the roof to the ground if possible.
It was also reported that Kyle Brennemann has been hired as the city’s new building inspector/code enforcer, and that he started to work Monday.
Abell, who along with others have been doing the work related to the position during the time it was left open, said he would be discussing with Brennemann, the need for the city to take more responsibility for the upkeep of city property, such as mowing of grass, while enforcing ordinances in the city.
“You can’t come down on somebody, if you don’t take care of your own,” Abell said.
Parsons also discussed with the council the need for looking at employee health insurance before the end of the year.