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As a result of a heated discussion and a mixed vote at the regular meeting on Tuesday, the Southwest City Board of Alderman waived vendor fees for the annual Old Timer's Day (OTD) festivities.

At the last meeting on Jan. 28, the council voted to increase the vendor fee from $5 to $25 for one-day events, excluding the Farmer's Market. Mayor David Blake suggested that fees be waived on OTD as well, noting that the event -- held by the Commercial Club -- serves as a tourist attraction and generates local revenue.

Alderman Amber Killion asked why the council would waive fees for one event.

"If they aren't paying vendor fees, they have to pay sales tax. They can't get it for free," she said.

"To hell with sales tax," Blake replied. "They can on this day if that's how the Commercial Club set it up."

"Why are we catering to the Commercial Club? The city is a business," Killion asked.

Blake said that if the city charges a $25 vendor fee on OTD, many vendors won't return.

Killion asked that the council cease discussion and proceed to vote on the matter. The council voted to waive vendor fees on OTD; with Killion voting nay.

Departmental Reports

Fire Chief Shane Clark reported that, since the last meeting, the department has responded to four medical calls and one motor vehicle accident, extinguished one structure fire and provided mutual aid for a structure fire and a grass fire.

Police Chief Bud Gow reported, since the last meeting, the department has issued four tickets, assisted with three lock-outs, made one arrest, taken one report and provided mutual aid four times.

Gow also noted he has acquired three sets of portable, emergency LED lights valued at more than $3,000 through a Department of Defense grant.

Public Works Director Shane Clark reported the water department repaired the chlorine system at the north tower and repaired a leak on Bluebird Lane. He said the street department is working to smooth out rough areas in the roadways and cleaning and painting the inside of the fire station.

City Clerk Krystal Austen made a purchase request and a fund transfer request. Austen said the city is in need of an external hard-drive to back-up digital files and accounting information. She provided a quote of $89.99 for the purchase of a 4 terabyte external hard-drive. Austen also asked permission to transfer $938.36 from General Fund to Senior Center to cover the final expenses for the month of January. The council approved the purchase and transfer request.

Austen then provided additional information on Thoroughbred Accounting Software, per Alderman Joe Carpenter's request at the previous meeting. She noted the business has additional features that include Pet Manager and Tax Manager. Over five years, she said the city would save $1,400 annually by switching from gWorks Accounting.

Alderman Killion noted that Austen was just trained on gWorks at a cost of $2,566.34 and said there are not enough pets in the city to justify software to track them.

"Focus on the software we have right now," Killion said. "Instead of spending more money, more training and more time."

Alderman Carpenter said he would like to revisit the issue at the end of the year.

Austen then provided a cost break-down of new clerk training, per Alderman Carpenter's request at the previous meeting. She said the total cost of registration, lodging, mileage and per diem would be $586.44.

"If you'd benefit from it, we'd benefit from it," said Carpenter.

The council voted to approve Austen's training; with Killion voting nay.

In other business, the council:

• discussed repairs that need to be made to the Honey Creek dam;

• spoke with Ball Director Aaron Maxville regarding repairs need at the ballfield prior to ball season;

• approved the dispersal of donated funds as requested by donors;

• paid bills in the amount of $18,550.63.

General News on 02/13/2020

Print Headline: SWC Aldermen Waive Vendor Fees For Festival

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