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SWC Seeks Assistance For Police Car Purchase

by Megan Davis | July 16, 2020 at 10:17 a.m.

Following a brief public hearing on Tuesday evening, the Southwest City board of alderman instated Ordinance No. 623 which seeks to obtain financial assistance from the USDA for the purchase of a new police vehicle.

The previous vehicle, a 2014 Dodge Charger, has accrued $15,000 in repair and maintenance costs over 5 years, nearly exceeding its value. It is currently out of service with repairs estimated at $2,300.

"It's just not cost-effective," said Alderman Joe Carpenter.

Police Chief Bud Gow has selected a newer Dodge Charger priced at $21,750 including the application of decals and installation of equipment. If awarded the grant, the USDA would be responsible for 55% of the costs and the city would cover the remaining $11,250.

The council also instated Ordinance No. 621, adopting the 2018 International Building Code, and Ordinance No. 622, adopting the 2018 International Fire Code.

Unfinished Business

The dam at Honey Creek was again addressed and tabled. Clerk Austen said she spoke with Anderson Engineering and was told that it would cost $600 for engineering advice on the dam repairs.

Alderman Amber Killion asked if specifications have been determined to request new bids.

Alderman Carpenter asked about Mayor David Blake's plans for the northwest side of the dam, where water washes over the backside and then down below.

Mayor Blake said he imagines clay and rock compaction covered with concrete.

"Something that holds water and doesn't leak. Period," he said.

Because Mayor Blake, Alderman Carpenter and Alderman Scott each have backgrounds in bids and specs, the council agreed to table the item until the next meeting in order to allow the three to individually outline the specs.

Alderman Killion suggested the State of Emergency for the city be removed now that Missouri has been "fully reopened."

Alderman Carpenter pointed out that he had suggested removing the SOE when positive cases were in the 50s, while there are currently more than 100 positive cases.

Chief Clark reported that McDonald County's SOE and Pineville's SOE are still in place at the recommendation of Emergency Management Director Gregg Sweeten.

"I think we need to keep as much consistency in place as possible," said Alderman Scott. Scott said that he has been tested multiple times recently, with varying levels of frustration and ease.

"If there's potential we lose funding if [the SOE is] pulled, I think we should keep it in place," he said.

The council agreed to determine if redacting the SOE will affect federal funding assistance and revisit the item at the next meeting.

Departmental Reports

Fire Chief Shane Clark reported that, since the last meeting, the department has responded to two medical calls, four motor vehicle accidents and one traffic hazard, as well as extinguishing two grass fires and one vehicle fire.

Police Chief Gow is self-quarantining, so Clerk Austen reported on his behalf. Austen said, since the last meeting, the department has responded to one motor vehicle accident, assisted with one lock-out and taken two reports of theft.

Public Works Director Shane Clark said the street department is regularly mowing and preparing to patch additional streets. He said the water department has flushed hydrants on the north side of town and repaired a leak on Academy Street. Clark reported that sludge tests at the wastewater treatment plant are complete and sludge will be hauled soon. He said there have been issues with influent and list station pumps, but they are being resolved.

Alderman Carpenter inquired about holes in the sidewalk and roadway near Dave's, on Cherokee Street. Carpenter said a customer recently fell into one of the divots, making it a public safety issue.

"It is an issue and has been for a long time," Mayor Blake said.

The council agreed to seek bids for concrete repairs over the course of two weeks.

Clerk Austen updated the council on the progress of the water system project. She said the USDA is completing the necessary environmental reports to finalize the city's funding application. Austen noted that the interest rate for the project has been reduced as well.

Austen also spoke about bad water debt and possible writeoffs. She said that two residents have moved out of the city with outstanding debt on their water accounts. Between the two properties, close to $1,000 in debt remains unpaid. Police Chief Gow called in via phone to say he could possibly pursue warrants for the individuals in relation to charges of theft of service and the city could receive restitution through the courts.

In other business, the council:

• Received information for consideration about Fire Recovery USA, a company that collects payment for fires extinguished outside of city limits;

• Agreed Austen should pursue notary certification;

• Reviewed and approved the six-month financial report;

• Approved a quarterly transfer of $47,241.50 from the General Fund to the Police Department;

• Paid bills in the amount of $17,980.29.

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