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After reviewing, revising and approving each department's proposed 2020 budgets, the Southwest City Board of Alderman made a compromise in order to keep the doors of the Senior Citizen's Center open.

Assistant City Clerk Lois Frye provided council members with a budget for the center during the Dec. 30 meeting. She said that the facility raises tentatively $11,800 by way of donations and fundraisers each year; leaving a $37,000 deficit in funding -- $27,952 of which is contributed to salary costs.

Board members from the Senior Center assured the council they could fund utility, insurance, and food costs.

"The issue is the salary though," Alderman Amber Killion said. "They can pay for bills, but not enough to cover the Director's salary."

Board member Bob Easter said, if the city can fund the salary for a year, he believes the center can secure sustainable funding.

Mayor David Blake suggested cashing a $26,000 CD previously ear-marked for the Senior Center to cover the salary costs.

"We'd be better off cashing the CD, handing it to the board and having them hire [Melissa] Lance," he said. "Then it would be a contract deal between [the board] and Melissa."

Alderman Joe Carpenter suggested the city fund water and sewer expenses at the center as well.

After much discussion, the council voted to cash out the ear-marked CD and distribute the money to the board in order for the board to take over the center's expenses. The council agreed to provide water and sewer to the building for one year, or as long as the facility is functioning.

The council also voted to finance the first month of the center's transition into independent operation.

Departmental Reports

Fire Chief Shane Clark reported that, since the last meeting, the department has responded to five medical calls, two motor vehicle accidents, two sounding fire alarms and one assault as well as provided mutual aid twice.

Clark announced that the department has received the newly-purchased fire engine and he is pleased with the performance.

"It sure is pretty," Mayor Blake said.

Police Chief Bud Gow reported, since the last meeting, the department has issued nine tickets, responded to one motor vehicle accident and three medical calls, assisted with one lock-out and provided mutual aid to one agency.

Gow said that officer Rafael Ramirez sustained a broken bone behind his ear during a recent altercation with a suspect. Gow suggested that Michael Akins and James Munday be employed as reserve officers during Ramirez's absence.

The council voted to approve Akins and Munday as reserves.

Alderman Carpenter inquired about utilizing the fire department's new dispatch system to page auxilliary volunteers in the event an officer is engaged with a suspect.

"Just to have numbers to respond to the scene and help," he said.

Gow said he will research the requirements for volunteers and liability aspects.

Public Works Director Shane Clark reported that the street departement repaired the salt spreader in preperation for incliment qeather and cold-patched a number of potholes on Liberty Road. Clark said the water department is in the process of repairing the water line that crosses Honey Creek and replacing a pump motor at the north water tower.

In other business, the council:

• approved all proposed 2020 budgets;

• paid bills in the amount of $13,248.19;

• instated Ordinance No. 613 which approves an agreement for legal services provided by William McCaffree of Nevada, Mo. relating to proposed water system improvements;

• instated Ordinance No. 614 which approves an agreement for engineering services provided by Anderson Engineering of Monett, Mo. relating to proposed water system improvements;

• voted to remove the second phone line at City Hall now that it is no longer needed;

• voted to replace the burnt-out EXIT signs at City Hall as required by insurance;

• voted to remove Lois Frye as a check signer;

• voted to create a custom template for water bills through Thoroughbred Billing System at a cost of $400 for the template and $125 for cardstock.

General News on 01/09/2020

Print Headline: SWC Board Decides To Help Fund Senior Center

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