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MAYOR’S REPORT FOR OCTOBER 2017
The La Plata Police Department continues to monitor property issues and during the October 10th meeting, the Board of Alderman upon the recommendation of Police Chief Jason Bunch and Building Inspector Stan (Rabbi) East voted to take action against five properties that are considered dangerous and hazardous properties: 318 W. Orrick owned by Bob Mense;  523 N. East owned by Marie Gladbach; 206 W. Davis owned by Gracie Roberts; 601 N. Brown and 214 N. Brown owned by Birney Belfield.                                                  

The surplus property items were sold at the September 23rd consignment auction at Christy’s Auction for a total of $3,001.00 - $450.15 commission for a net of  $2,550.85. The brush guard for the 2015 Ford F150 police truck that was traded in wasn’t sold and is still available. The only interest shown in the two tanks located out by the water tower was from Mike Cason and the Board of Alderman voted to allow Mike to take the tanks for there removal.

City employees expressed that a heavy duty hot water pressure washer would be very beneficial and cost effective for using to wash the city vehicles. Bids are being taken for a commercial power washer that will be centrally located in the former fire station and accessible to all city departments.

In keeping with a two year rotation of the utility vehicles which were originally purchased with USDA grant and low interest loans, bids were received from Bob McCosh of Columbia; Moberly Motors; and Kirksville Motor Company. During a special meeting of the Board of Alderman, they accepted the low bids of Kirksville Motor Company for two 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, 4x4, double cab work pickups. By keeping the low mileage warranty vehicles in our fleet, the City has had a tremendous savings from in the past when the older vehicles were in service and required several thousands of dollars of maintenance each year.

The La Plata Community Fire District officially was moved out of the downtown facility on October 16th and the Board of Alderman voted to only charge ½ months’ rent for October. On October 18th, the Board of Alderman met to tour the former fire station to decide which city department would acquire the facility. During a special meeting held later that afternoon, the Board voted to move the electric department to that building in order for them to combine electrical materials from two buildings and make it easier to work during a power outage. They also voted to move the street department to the current electric department buildings and to have the police department use the current street department building for storage of their fleet of vehicles in order to keep them off the streets and out of the weather.

On Wednesday, September 20th, the street department dug up the tube that collapsed during the Labor Day Parade just west of the La Plata Nursing Home on Old Stagecoach Road. During the project, a telephone line was accidently cut and Century Tel was called out to make the necessary repairs.

Greg brushhogged the area at the City Reservoir to be used by the FFA Chapter for trapshooting practice and on Friday, September 22nd, and the City of La Plata received a very nice thank you from the FFA students and sponsor.

Yard waste pick up was held on Tuesday, September 26th and October and November will be the last ones for 2017. Yard waste pickup will resume in April 2018 unless there is an emergency caused by an ice storm, etc. during the winter months.

The Macon County Health Department held the 1st City of La Plata drive thru Flu Vaccination Clinic on Wednesday, October 11th from 12 noon until 2 P.M. serving over 30 individuals. The La Plata R-II FCCLA students served as volunteer workers for the event.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will be holding a Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing on the east side of the La Plata City Park on Saturday and Sunday, November 11th and 12th.

The Friday night couples golf event started on Friday, July 14th and ended on Friday, September 14th. It was a huge success and they plan to start it again next spring so that the season is longer.

During the week of September 25th, the NEMO Seniors held an outing at the golf course on Monday; MSHSAA girl’s district golf was held on Tuesday, September 26th and the Hawkins-Harrison Insurance Golf Tournament was held on Thursday, September 28th. The City of La Plata appreciates the opportunity to serve all the golfers involved in that week of events.

Debbie Aldridge began her part-time status Monday, October 2nd and will be working 20 hours per week. Officer Martin Kelley has been filling in part-time since he left his full-time status and this has helped with the police department scheduling.

On Wednesday, September 13th, Donnie Yantis of Kirksville began removal of the debris from the burned residence at 116 West Sanders. On behalf of the City, I would like to thank Roger and Linda Crawford for their promptness in having the property cleaned up.

I attended a “wrap up” meeting of the La Plata Promotional Committee (LPC) on Tuesday, September 19th and I am so impressed with the organizational abilities that these young ladies have in planning the annual event. They had some substantial costs involving some of the entertainment this year but still ended with a comparable ending balance as they started. Sally and Tabitha will remain president and vice president and Libby Wood will serve as secretary and Tina Pape will serve as treasurer. All of the other members of the committee will remain active and Rhonda Tumlin joined the group to assist with the coming year’s activities. They are still investigating and discussing the carnival for next year. I sent out emails to several cities around our size and got several responses back that I am sharing with the LPC.

Plans for the “3rd Annual Trunk or Treat” are being made by the LPC and the event will be held on the city square at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 28th.

The LPC also has the large white tent that they have used the past few years for the event and it can be rented for a fee of $150.00. If help is needed in setting up the tent there is an additional fee for that service as well. For more information, contact Sally Moore or Tabitha Sawyer.

There are seventeen (17) households within the City that have the water meter located inside the property.  Two of those property owners have inquired about having the meters moved to the outside of their property. The Board of Alderman voted to allow those wanting to move the meters outside to do so by reimbursing the City for the parts required in the amount of $350.00.

On Wednesday, September 20th, Curtis Franke contacted me about moving the propane tank from behind Tom Phillips building to behind our police department/library. Alderman Jones was in the office when he called and we met Curtis over at the site and determined that it needed to be moved in order for Tom to be able to have individuals come make repairs to his building. Curtis moved the LP tank and then went inside the library to relight the furnace.

Jessy Reuterdaul and the FFA chapter worked at the Santa Fe Lake during the week of September 18th painting and on Saturday, September 23rd she texted me that they were taking the picnic tables to the school shop to make repairs. This project is being funded through a grant that the FFA applied and received, “Living to Serve Grant”.

Kiley Harpster, Street Superintendent reported that the mix, oil, rock and culverts cost for the 2017 street repairs totaled $60,467.73. We realize that we have numerous streets in need of repair but unfortunately the budget will not allow the City complete them all at one time. Those streets that were done this year are a considerable improvement from previous conditions.

The La Plata Golf Course Advisory Board met on Thursday, September 21st and had a very productive meeting. They are to have a representative from the advisory board attend our regular board meetings to give us updates on recommendations and make requests as those become available. Debbie Dawdy has been serving as spokesperson for the group and there are currently 11 members divided into 3 categories – Finance: Matt Belt and Spencer Wrye; Building & Grounds – Mike Smith, Mike Austin, Josh Robinson, Rabbi East, and Randy Yos; and Clubhouse – Debbie Dawdy, Mary Tietsort, Laura Vose, and Nadine Hull. Anyone with ideas and suggestions is encouraged to contact one of these members.  

Stacey Hudson, President of the La Plata Park & Recreation Board is getting bids for the campground site expansion and preparing a proposal to request grant money from the newly formed IDA (Industrial Development Authority) committee. This group is now awarding grants from the Advanced Disposal landfill tipping fees that was previously done by the Macon County Economic Development board. Stacey will be meeting with the IDA on Wednesday evening,  November 8th regarding their proposal as well as attending our November 14th Board of Alderman meeting.

The title search on the golf course and lagoon which was requested by City Attorney Sherry Darling in order to prepare the necessary documentation requested of her by USDA regarding the sewer reline project was completed on September 25th by White Abstract & Title Co. Debbie Aldridge was very instrumental in helping the City obtain the necessary paperwork to keep out cost down for the title search. Bobbie spoke with Sherry on Wednesday and explained how important it was for us to have all the documents in our office by Friday, October 6th so that they could be forward on to Cheryl Elliott with USDA and our engineer Phillip Wilson. Dennis Stith of SKW met with Bobbie on Friday, October 6th to go over the parity tests required for the USDA loan for the sewer relining project. The land lease easements have been signed by Sheryl and Donna Smithson and Matt and Kayla Belt in order to provide those to the attorney for her to make her opinion which is required by USDA. Cheryl was in our office on Wednesday, October 18th to review the project and finalize the remaining document list needed prior to the project going out to bid. I would like to clarify that I realize it may seem that the project has been placed on delay for several months but some of those issues were beyond our control. During the project, two key employees for the funding agencies were either transferred or left their employment, the environmental study that was being worked on by one of the employees was delayed several months and had to be contracted out to another agency, the land application plans have had to be revised, documentation that wasn’t requested in a timely manner had to be obtained, etc. It is the intentions of SKW to have the project out for bid by the end of October. The bidding process takes 30 days before the Board of Alderman can accept a bid. Depending on the weather, some of the project progress may still be seen during 2017 and hopefully completed Spring of 2018.

The FCCLA Career Day “Careers on Wheels” was held on Tuesday, October 3rd on east side of the City Park with over 30 businesses/groups participating. Thanks to FCCLA members Brooklyn Weber, Faith Cook, and Bethany Jackson for sponsoring this “Star Event” which was enjoyed by all the “young and old” attending.

The annual early storm warning siren maintenance testing was performed by BVPS (Blue Valley Public Safety) personnel on September 13th with Emergency Management Director Stan East meeting the technician at the site for a silent test of the alarm system. I received a printed confirmation from the company on September 15th stating that the test showed that the siren was working properly and passed all the tests.

Mariah Lock, La Plata R-II Guidance Counselor, inquired about the possibility of reinstating a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) again. The Board of Alderman voted to have Police Chief Jason Bunch submit an application for enrollment in the September 2018 DARE training that is held in Jefferson City for 2 weeks. We will be soliciting for donations from the school, local organizations, and individuals to help with the cost of the training program.

Randy Snodgrass with Liberty Utilities called to inform me that they would be filing for a rate increase with the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Friday, September 29th. He just wanted to give us a heads up and did say that unlike the previous owners,  they were going to try and spread increases out over a ten year period with 3 year increments.
The next meeting of the La Plata Board of Alderman will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 14th. 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.