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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council last Thursday learned a soon-to-be finalized hotel feasibility study still needs tweaking.
The city of Palmyra has been working for some time on the study to help convince a possible developer to move ahead with a proposed 45-room hotel that would be built on two acres of city owned land along Mo. 168 east U.S. 61.
Council member, Brock Fahy, who lead Thursday’s regular council meeting in the absence of Mayor Rusty Adrian, said the study is “favorable for the most part” but falls short when it comes to projected investor return.
Fahy said a better return on investment should be around 16 percent, and the study as is projects it at three to four percent.
“We’ve got to make it a little better,” said Fahy, who said the project is needed for Palmyra, where there are not many hotel rooms available and where it would be a boost to economic development.
Council member Earl Meyers indicated support for the project, but said there would need to be more nearby availability of places to eat.
“Breakfast especially,” Meyers said.
Brent Abell, superintendent of the Board of Public Works, also reminded the council that city utilities would also have to be extended to the site at some considerable expense.
“There are some obstacles to deal with,” Abell said.
Fahy expressed urgency in improving the feasibility study now.
“We need to keep this thing going,” Fahy said.
In the only official action taken during the meeting, the council voted unanimously to renew its line of credit up to $3.5 million through HOMEBANK but with a boosted interest rate from 4 to 6 percent.
City Clerk Deena Parsons expressed hope the line of credit might not be needed in the near future if a number of capital improvement projects are completed within the next year.
Fahy reported about a recent meeting of the Personnel Committee he chairs, during which it was the opinion of members to leave the city employee sick leave limit at six hours per month rather than raising it to eight as had been requested.
“We are very gracious with what we are doing,” Fahy said, suggesting the issue could be reviewed again next year.
It was the consensus of the council to approve an informational flyer for printing concerning the city’s proposed bond issue which will appear on the April 4 Municipal Election ballot and will be passed out during two upcoming public meetings.
The flyer, which will be included with the February utility billing outlines the reasons the city seeking a $15 million, no-tax bond issue to fund water and sewer projects.
It was reported the Police Department had taken delivery of the last of three new patrol vehicles, and that they are now all in use.
Police Chief Eddie Bogue also explained the decision to go with a new blue and black decal design for the new vehicles.
He said the decision to go away from the orange and black Palmyra Panther design was made by staff during a team-building process.
“It was my people coming up with it,” Bogue said, noting the design evokes the “thin blue line” theme.
Bogue said the city’s insurers decided to total the department’s oldest patrol vehicle which was damaged in a crash earlier this month.
Bogue also informed the board of the need to replace all of the computers used in patrol cars due to the inability to update them in the future.
City Attorney James Lemon reported he is working on a storm water runoff ordinance that should be ready for council consideration at the next meeting.
Lemons said the ordinance, which is needed for supporting the city’s future storm water projects will be comprehensive and based on those used by other municipalities.