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Farmington looks at tax holiday, baseball

During the Farmington City Council meeting Monday, council members took a hard look at leglislation aimed at a ‘tax holiday’ and heard a plea for support of a minor league baseball field.

Ward 3 Councilman Dennis Smith, filling in for Mayor Charles Rorex, conducted the meeting.

City Administrator Greg Beavers asked the council to begin thinking about whether they would prefer opting out of Senate Bill 11, which is the bill granting a sales tax holiday on school supplies purchased during a three-day period in August of 2004. When asked by council members what most other communities in the state are doing, Beavers shared that most are leaning to opting out.

“Other communities are not being ‘anti-consumer’, but rather ‘anti-state legislation’. They prefer that the Missouri State Legislature would not mess with city financing,” Beavers added.

Beavers asked that the board consider this matter for their September session.

Ursula Kthiri, executive director of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, addressed the council as a representative of both the chamber and F.A.S.T.BALL (Farmington Alliance to Support Tourism through Baseball). Complimenting the council on their “long-standing tradition of being forward-thinking”, Kthiri asked the board to continue that tradition by considering and supporting the construction of a 90 foot baseball practice field. Kthiri and others in the community are working toward a minor league baseball team for the city of Farmington.

Councilman Scott Semar also expressed the importance of this practice field being a part of the city’s budget to be approved in October.

“This practice field will have to be ready and maintained by May. Everybody is for a minor league team in this town,” he added.

Following a public hearing on the proposed tax rates to be set by the city, the council heard reports from the department heads. Bill Towler, director of the Farmington Water Park, reported that the extremely warm temperatures from this past weekend lead to a large number of individuals at the park trying to beat the heat.

“We had 1900 visitors in two days at the park this weekend,” he shared.

The council also learned that a new electric peak record was set at 3 p.m. on the afternoon of July 26th as well as a record number of gallons of water being pumped through the city’s water system.

“This past month, an all-time high 83 million gallons were pumped throughout the wells in the city of Farmington,” said Ed Hull of the light and water department.

It was also reported that improvement work on Old Fredericktown Road is set to begin on Aug. 25 and work is continuing on Wallace Road near Janey St. and the ambulance district offices.

Also during new business, a bill was passed to create a No Parking Zone on KREI Boulevard from Karsch Boulevard to Burks Road. After much discussion on whether the zone was to end at Pine Street or carry on the entire length, as this bill stated and was originally discussed, the billed passed with one “nay” vote from Councilman Larry Forsythe, whose ward contains this section of roadway.

The council also approved the appointment of Dale Wright to serve on the Police Board for the city.

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