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A couple interested in halting the condemnation process on two properties in Goodman got the go-ahead on Tuesday night when city aldermen voted to dissolve the current situation under specific conditions.

John and Misty Farmer are interested in renovating properties at 119 S. First Street and 108 W. Williams Street. City council members had voted, in a previous meeting, to place the condemnation process on hold for 90 days. The Farmers, however, are concerned that they could pour money into the properties and begin a great deal of work, only to have the condemnation process continue to move forward.

Council members voted specifically on the Williams property since the Farmers said they would work on that house first. Aldermen voted that, if the inspector signs off on the improvements made and the deed is transferred to the Farmers' name, the city will dissolve the condemnation process.

In another construction discussion, a representative from Branco presented drawings to the council for the new elementary school in Goodman. Construction on the school, which will take place on the former property, will begin Monday.

The school was destroyed after an EF-2 tornado ripped through the town last year. Now, officials plan to rebuild the school in its former location, complete with a FEMA-approved shelter in the school. In addition, all the kindergarten rooms are FEMA-approved as shelters during a tornado. Construction on the school should be complete on July 17, 2019, officials said.

Cars will be sequestered to School Street, while bus traffic will travel on Whitmore Street.

Playground equipment from a middle school will replace the playground equipment that officials tried to salvage after the tornado. However, the playground equipment was recently inspected and officials determined the equipment will have to be scrapped. Youngsters will be able to utilize a new basketball court, which will be built, officials said.

In other business, Police Chief Curt Drake asked the council to consider a $2 an hour raise for Officer Joe David, bringing his salary more in line with pay in other McDonald County towns. Drake said he didn't want to lose David because of low pay. He mentioned that Goodman is the third largest town in the county and that the department is making some "great changes." Mayor Greg Richmond said the council will consider reviewing all salaries of all city employees.

"We will have to look at the numbers and have to look at all positions, citywide," Richmond said. "We will need to look at the whole wage structure for the city. I think that's the only fair way to do it. We'll see what we can afford."

Aldermen also:

• Passed on its first reading an ordinance increasing the tax rate for 2018 taxes at $.0686 per $100 assessed valuation, up from $0.6671 in 2017. Aldermen are expected to approve the ordinance on its second reading at the next city council meeting on Aug. 21.

• Accepted a report from certified public accountant Nick Myers, who recently finished the annual audit. He said the city's net position is $2.85 million, that the city has a "clean report on internal controls" and that the city is in a "pretty good financial position."

• Heard a proposal from a representative of Kelly Miller Circus, who wants to put on two shows in town in October. The circus no longer features animals due, in part, to concerns voiced by animal rights activists. "We still boast a great show," said Eddie Figueroa, representing the circus. Richmond said the council will discuss the matter in coming weeks.

General News on 08/09/2018

Print Headline: Residents, Council Hopeful For Condemnation Halt

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