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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council last Thursday voted to take the next step toward obtaining state certification for an industrial park site.
In addition, the council awarded the bid for the Lane/Olive street culvert project, okayed expansion of the Houston Drive trailer court and approved subdivision restrictions and covenants for the Warren Head Business Park.
Following a brief presentation by Maria Kuhns, executive director of the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, and the recommendation by Mayor Rusty Adrian, the council voted to pay Klingner & Associates $7,500 for more engineering services at an available site in the Warren Head Business Park.
“It’s really something we should do,” Adrian said in recommending moving ahead with the step needed before the city can officially apply for state certification.
Kuhns told the council state certification would “make you very recognizable” for businesses and industries interested in a building site.
“It’s a stamp of approval from the state of Missouri,” Kuhns said, also noting it will indicate to those interested that site will require little extra preparation.
“It will speed up the timeline as a prospective site,” she said.
Kuhns praised the city for its ongoing development of the industrial and business parks on the east side of U.S. 61 and said “it will make my job easier“ in helping market it.
“You have a really great industrial park, and you have accomplished a lot in the short time you’ve had it,” Kuhns said.
In a related issue, the council voted unanimously to approve restrictions and covenants which outline such things as construction standards, repurchase of undeveloped property by the city.
The council awarded the bid for the culvert project at Lane and Olive streets to Flowmaster Construction, of Mexico, Mo., at a cost of $497,205.06, the lowest of two bids received by the city.
In his letter of recommendation to the city, Mark C. Bross of Klinger & Associates, said he saw “no reason not to move forward with the low bidder.”
Following the recommendation of the Planning & Zoning Committee, the council unanimously approved the expansion of the Houston Drive Trailer Park for five more mobile home pads.
It was the consensus of the council to turn down a request to purchase a one-acre piece of property owned by the city and located on Route BB at the north end of the city.
Mayor Adrian noted that a proposed Charlie Brown Industrial Park access road would go through the property.
Board of Public Works Superintendent Brent Abell asked the council to amend a recently approved ordinance governing the BPW.
The ordinance states BPW financial reserves should be capped at 10 percent when utility rates are raised, but Abell asked the council to consider raising the limit to as much as 40 percent or even eliminate the limit.
He said the 10 percent limit would hinder the BPWs efforts to secure DNR grants and also prevent the building of emergency reserves that would help avoid having to secure interest bearing bank loans.
He said city and BPW oversight of finances should ensure against any abuse associated with not having a limit.
The council was open to amending the limit, but tabled any action until more information is made available.
Abell also told the council the BPW was moving ahead with paying for a test drilling for a water well to help replenish the Jackson Park Golf Course pond.
The council also discussed the possibility of seeking an engineer’s assistance in finding a way to fix the Well Family Nature Park lake leak.
When asked for a report, Police Chief Eddie Bogue said traffic in and out of the fair went as planned for the most part despite the closure of W. Main Cross Street.
He said a truck was inadvertently diverted out of the fair down a wrong street and got hung up when trying to make a corner.
Mayor Adrian also told the council of a report of problems with ATVs during the fair, and indicated it was something that would need to be fixed before next year’s fair.
Street Commissioner Austin Dornburger reported on progress of the W. Main Cross/ Bradley street bridge project, and noted that concrete was being poured for the new Bradley St. culvert.
“We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on that project,” he said, indicating the project is still expected to be completed by October.
Two council members reported they received complaints about side-street traffic visibility problems along Main Street downtown.
Bogue told the council he and Dornburger had devised a plan to try to solve the problem, but the council had not acted on it.
It was decided to consider the plan at the next meeting this Thursday.
Kuhns also provided some new information for the city to use in the effort to establish a Community Improvement District.