We have had several issues with Advanced Disposal during the past few months regarding trash not being picked up and our office receiving the complaints since the 800# goes to the main office into Chicago and not to the local office at Macon/Bevier. Trash at one residence was missed 4 weeks in a row and the reason given was because they are only supposed to pick up on one side of the road at a time and they failed to come back by their house. I have communicated several times with representatives of Advanced Disposal and General Manager Dan Buckley and I agreed that the best solution would be to change to a different curbside service date. Dan attended our July 11th meeting and issues were discussed and our curbside trash service date will be changed to Monday instead of Friday. Friday, July 28th will be the last day for Friday pickup and the trash will once again be picked up on the following Monday, July 31st. As a result of the meeting, an agreement was made that the trash trucks will drive in the middle of the streets except for those on state roadways such as Brown and Clark Streets within the city limits. Notices have been put on Facebook and customer postcards were mailed out by Advanced Disposal and received by our customers in the mail on Friday, July 21st.
Bobbie, Mike and I received correspondence from DNR and SKW regarding the Missouri State Operating Permit which if approved will save the City of La Plata considerable amount of money. In the past, when the lagoons have been discharging we have been required to take samples every day and take them to Edina Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On the weekends, we had to pay for a 2 hour call out for the sampling. The new permit reads that with unauthorized discharges sampling will be monitored daily for 5 consecutive days beginning within 6 hours of discovery and then only once per week until the discharging ceases. The report is posted for public review for 30 days and then receives the final review prior to approval.
We have received notification that the City had been issued the DNR Construction Permit for our wastewater relining project. Matt Belt and Danny Smithson have reviewed the lease agreements for their properties and they were sent on to City Attorney Sherry Darling for her review. We have also received the official letter of notification of release of our CDB block grant funding for the wastewater project. We are now waiting on USDA for the final approval before we begin the bidding process. The permit is only good for 24 months after the date of issuance.
We still have several property cleanup issues that the police department is working on to resolve. We have one property that was burned to the ground several months ago and the surety money was never received from the insurance company to guarantee cleanup. According to our ordinance, up to 25 percent of an insurance settlement check can be held by the City until the property is cleaned up satisfactorily.
Police Chief Bunch has made contact with the Moberly Motors salesman and they are finalizing the truck bid so they can get it ordered. On Saturday, June 17th, Officer Mark Henderson was returning from his routine patrol of the reservoir and hit a deer with the white explorer. I notified the insurance via email that weekend and it is currently awaiting repairs at Village Auto Body in La Plata.
The Electric and water/wastewater supervisors will begin compiling a bid information sheet for new pickups which are ready to be traded in this fall on there two-year rotation plan established in 2015. By purchasing new vehicles on state bid and trading them in every two years the city is saving the huge cost of maintenance and repairs on the older vehicles that had no warranty. They will be researching state bids for Ford, Dodge, and Chevrolet.
Bobbie submitted a DNR grant for recyclable picnic tables for the park and recreation areas prior to the deadline of May 19th.  On Monday, July 17th, I received official notification that Bobbie’s grant was awarded for ten 8’ picnic tables to be placed at the city reservoir on concrete slabs. The grant was awarded in the amount of  $7,690 and will coincide with the campsite expansion.
The Park and Recreation Board has been discussing the need to repair/replace the boat dock at the Santa Fe Lake, installation of the hose for the water slides, as well as their plans for the new campsites at the La Plata City Reservoir. At the regular meeting held on Wednesday, July 12th, they approved the purchase of a new boat dock for the Santa Fe Lake. Jessy Reuthendal, La Plata R-II FFA Sponsor met in June with the Board of Alderman regarding the trap shoot location at the City Reservoir just south of the dam on Leopard Avenue. Based on our inspection, discussion with MDC, and the school adding the City to their liability policy the project or the events was approved.
The Annual La Plata City Wide Yard Sales were held on the weekend of June 16th thru 18th with Saturday, June 17th as the biggest day for the event. The La Plata Promotional Committee chaired the event with Tabitha Sawyer as the chairman and Dena Hodges, Deputy City Clerk assisting. The event was a success with almost 70 city wide yard sales held.
City Clerk Jacques prepared the 2017 – 2018 budget for the Boards review and it was approved at the June 13th meeting with some revisions made at the July 11th meeting. During the preparation, she worked very closely with each department regarding their purchasing needs. Bobbie and I also reviewed the Employee Policies and Procedures handbook and the revised version was approved at the June meeting.
The renovated City Park Pavilion has made a remarkable change in the appearance in the community. The materials were paid for by the La Plata Park & Recreation Board and labor was provided by Alderman Ron Robinson and city employees Cory Cook, Nathen See, Eric Smith, Mike Binder, and Greg Tuggle.  Libby Wood has been cleaning the bathrooms at the City Park and City Reservoir this summer and is doing an outstanding job. The Park & Recreation Board voted on Wednesday, July 12th, to start purchasing hand soap and paper products for the city park bathroom from Rick Scott of C.F.S. Rick will be furnishing the dispensers and we will be charged for the products. Hopefully this will save on waste and loss for the Park & Recreation Board. The officer on duty is locking the city park bathrooms around 10 p.m., Monday thru Thursday nights and on Sunday night in order to avoid vandalism and I am unlocking them on my way to work.
At the June meeting, Molly Safley was appointed to the Park & Recreation Board as a representative of the La Plata Promotional Committee for a one year term to replace Sally Moore. Park Board member Julie Lewis recently moved from the city limits and Sally Moore was reappointed at the July 11th meeting to fill her unexpired term.
Logan Smith, 2017 MSHSAA State Class 1A Golf Champion, was in attendance at the July 11th meeting and received a Mayor’s City Proclamation and State Senate Resolution recognizing his dedication and outstanding high school golf career.
Congratulations to 2017 LHS Track & Field athletes Tanner Smith, Elizabeth Larson, & Camrie Feinberg who qualified for state competition in Jefferson City. Only the top 5 finishers are recognized at State competition and Tanner and Elizabeth brought home 5th place awards. Camrie finished 14th in her events. Congratulations also to the 2017 LHS Baseball team on winning the District title, quarter finals, & 3rd place finish in MSHSAA Class I state competition.
The annual “Purple Loosestrife Eradication” agreement was received from MDC and signed and returned giving them permission to provide free spraying for purple loosestrife at the La Plata City Reservoir and Santa Fe Lake.
I was contacted by Allie Foster of Macon Electric Cooperative regarding a “Co-ops in Action” project being sponsored by Macon Electric Cooperative and Chariton Valley. They were taking applications for projects to assist communities and will provide 4 hours of labor and up to 6 employees depending upon the project. I had given the information to Judy Ross, President of the La Plata Library Board and she submitted an application which was actually the first one to be approved. They will be in town on Wednesday, July 26th to paint the front of the library building.
The official list of FY 2018 – 2020 MoDOT STIP projects was recently released and the BNSF Railroad Bridge located on Route D (Brown Street) in La Plata will be replaced during the FY 2020 at an estimated cost of $1.8 million. The 81 year old bridge has continued to deteriorate over the past several years and has been a safety concern.
George Hansen resigned his position with the La Plata Golf Course effective Tuesday, June 20th. An emergency was held on Wednesday, June 21st and Tom Phillips was contracted to assist with the operations of the golf course for the remainder of the season. On Wednesday, July 12th, George approached me about returning to his position and an emergency meeting was held on Thursday, July 13th to reinstate him as the La Plata Municipal Golf Course greenskeeper. Jan Travis is the Golf Course Clubhouse Manager and can be contacted at 660-332-4584 regarding memberships or special events. Events are kept updated on the La Plata Golf Club Facebook page. One new event is the Friday evening couple’s golf with different formats being played. Tee time is 6 p.m. and all members and non-members as well as singles are invited to participate. Anyone wanting to participate is asked to call the clubhouse by Thursday to sign up. A 2-Couple Scramble is scheduled for Sunday, August 27th and more information for that event may be obtained by contacting Jan at the clubhouse or seeing the poster on Facebook.
I would also like to remind all golfers to “stay 150’ away from running sprinklers” at the golf course when they are in operation. With the excessive heat, it is necessary to use the system during the day and has always been a policy which golfers have been made aware of in the past and have been very cooperative in playing around those areas. Thanks to everyone for your cooperation in assuring safety to all that visit the golf course.
The last street project of the season will be the intersection of Moore and Owensby which over the years has had severe deterioration. The street department is awaiting material to do the project and traffic will have to be detoured around that area as soon as the project begins. Kiley, Greg, and Jake are to be commended for the outstanding job they have done on the resurfacing of the streets this season.
On the evening of Friday, July 21st, electrical service was lost in some areas of town due to the top of a tree falling on our power lines. The electric department monitors and trims trees out of our lines but in some cases such as this one the tree was in an obscured area in an alley. I urge citizens to please contact the City regarding trees that may be a hazard to our electrical lines during a wind or ice storm to try and prevent future outages from occurring. Thanks to all the city employees that stayed overtime to get the power restored within about an hour.
School will be starting soon and Wanda Dodd of the La Plata Christian Ministries is organizing a “Back to School Bash” on Friday afternoon, August 6th at the La Plata Baptist Church Recreational Center. ATSU dental students will be available for FREE dental checks from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Officer John Taylor and “Aron” of the La Plata Police Department will also be in attendance along with some other visitors for the children to meet. Donations of school supplies are currently being accepted at the La Plata Christian Ministries, La Plata City Hall, or any of the local churches. School supplies are very expensive and there are certainly many needy children in the community that will benefit from this project. An updated list of school supplies by grade for La Plata R-II Elementary students is posted on the city Facebook page.
I would like to remind residents that the La Plata Nursing Home serves as a cooling station or an electrical supply for residents needing oxygen during extreme heat or power outages. Special thanks to them for providing this community service.
Monthly yard waste pickup will continue the last Tuesday of the month from now thru November and resume again in April.
A public tax hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. prior to the Tuesday, August 8th Board of Alderman meeting. Each year, the state determines what our real estate and personal property tax rate will be and it must be approved by the Board.
The City of La Plata is now accepting credit/debit payments for all services EXCEPT for the 3M Cogent Fingerprinting. There is a 3 percent transaction fee to use this service as well as for paying online.
Summer is almost over but I would like to urge parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children to discuss “bike safety” with your children. I recently received a call from a concerned citizen and parent regarding young children riding their bikes across the north intersection of US Hwy 63. Motorists traveling on a four lane highway aren’t expecting to have a small children ride a bike across in front of them and most likely going at speeds that would make it difficult to stop. Please discuss “bike safety” with your children not only in that situation but anytime they are riding around town.
Recently, the Olive Gilbreth McLorn Historical Home announced that they will open their doors for visitors to stop by for a tour and share a glass of lemonade.  The weekly tours will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. each Thursday evening.
I would like to remind anyone that needs storm shelter protection during inclement weather that the United Methodist Church on North Gex Street and the La Plata Post Office are provided for our citizen’s safety. Please have a flashlight handy to take with you to the shelters in case of electrical power outage. I would also like to urge residents to either have a weather radio or a cellphone application that warns of approaching inclement weather while you are inside your residence, sleeping, or traveling in a motor vehicle. The early storm warning siren can be heard in some households but it was installed as an early storm warning siren to notifiy those that are outside that they need to seek immediate shelter.
La Plata Park & Recreation Board member Tyler Murray and his crew of T and T Tree Service LLC, spent Saturday morning, July 8th cutting down a couple dead trees in the La Plata City Park. Board Member Brennan Filkins and volunteers have spent a couple Saturdays at the Santa Fe Lake doing cleanup work. Thanks to everyone for your services. Last year, as well as this year, we had “honey bees” decide to make the Santa Fe Lake their home. The area had been secured with caution tape and we believe that at this time the bees have safely been transferred into a collection box and removed from the area.
There have been complaints of several dogs “running at large” and stricter enforcement will be taken. I would like to remind all dog owners that a $20 “lifetime dog license” is required for each dog owned by a resident living within the city limits. When you register your dog we obtain the rabies vaccination tag number that is on your dog’s collar. The police officer can search the database to determine the owner of the dog and safely return it home. However, after multiple warnings, a sitation for allowing a dog to run at large will be issued to the owner.
Congratulations to Ms. Jeana Noel of La Plata, daughter of Renita Noel and Frank Noel, for being crowned 2017 Miss Macon County. Jeana was sponsored by Drew Magers Construction and will be participating in the Missouri State Fair Queen Contest in Sedalia in August.
The La Plata Promotional Committee is hard at work preparing for the 65th Annual Soybean Festival event “I Hear The Train A Comin’!” which will be held September 1st thru 4th. Updates for activities can be accessed on their Facebook page at “La Plata Promotional Committee”.
The next meeting of the La Plata Board of Alderman will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8th and as always all meetings are open to the public. Anyone wishing to discuss a specific subject must contact City Clerk Bobbie Jacques 24 hours prior to the meeting in order to be placed on the agenda.