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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council took action on and discussed a variety of issues during their regular meeting last Thursday.
The council voted 5-0 in favor of helping the Palmyra Nutrition Center fund an electrical upgrade at the facility in order to accommodate a new cooking stove being purchased.
The council approved paying $500 toward the $4,000 total cost of the upgrade.
Council member Earl Meyers abstained from voting since he serves on the nutrition center board.
By a unanimous vote, the council approved awarding a lease of park farm land to Chase Goldinger at $220 per acre as recommended by the parks and recreation board.
Doug Meyers, park’s director, said he was surprised by the amount of interest in the lease.
The council voted unanimously to authorize the mayor to sign paperwork for extending a line of credit through HOMEBANK for another year.
The extension makes sure the city will be able to complete ongoing projects funded through the line of credit.
The council voted unanimously to table the first reading of an ordinance eliminating the city-operated fire department, since it is its own entity now.
Mayor Rusty Adrian said some new information had been received that has a bearing on the issue, and recommended holding off on passing the ordinance until council members had time to look it over, noting the council may want to “go a different route.”
The council voted 6-0 for the planning and zoning committee to hear a request for rezoning from residential to commercial the property at 616 S. Main just north of the Expressway convenience store.
Council member Brock Fahy said the Personnel Committee he chairs has been meeting frequently of late and is urging department heads to do their best to follow hiring guidelines.
“We’re just trying to clean things up here, and keep morale good,” he said.
Board of Public Works Superintendent Brent Abell said bids will be opened this week for installation work for the new sewage treatment plant aeration system.
He said work could begin soon, as well on a new sewage lift station in the south part of the city.
Abell also reported a need to remove the old power plants and his efforts with City Attorney James Lemon on new pole assessment policy.
He also said he is hoping to hire some help for the summer.
Police Chief Eddie Bogue discussed with the council the need for painting pedestrian crossings at downtown intersections in light of a recent accident that injured a pedestrian trying to cross Main Street.
It was the consensus of the mayor and council that the crosswalk situation be studied.
Doug Meyers, parks and recreation director, expressed concern about being able to hire enough help for the summer season at the pool, concession stands and other park work.
He said it is hard for the park to stay competitive when it comes to pay.
Meyers gave an update on a proposed application for a Missouri Department of Natural Resources grant to fund the first phase of a 1.5 mile walking trail in Flower City Park. (See related article)
He reported sign-up is underway for the 13th annual Daddy/Daughter Banquet Feb. 18 in the Sesquicentennial Building. He said the event remains as popular as ever with available seating being reserved quickly.
Meyers said the park will host a large pro-am disc golf tournament April 15. The park hosted it last year, and it drew a large multi-state field of competitors.
He said the softball season will be even busier this summer with an additional tournament as part of the park’s association switch from USA to ASA.
Mayor Adrian said a recent meeting involving a proposed Community Improvement District resulted in three owners of property within the district signing on to the effort.
The city needs a simple majority of property owners within the district bounders to sign on for the CID to move forward.
If completed the district would form a taxing district to provide funding for downtown improvements.
Adrian said therw will be at least one more meeting held to gain signatures.
Street Commissioner Austin Dornburger reported his crew has been tree trimming and preparing for the mowing season with help from the BPW, while doing routine maintenance on equipment.
He also said he was seeking summer help.