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Construction was the word for the night

FARMINGTON – Growth and expansion was a driving factor at Monday night’s Farmington City Council meeting. From streets to floor sills, construction seemed to be the phrase of the night.

Perhaps the action with the biggest impact during the evening was the group’s adoption of the 2003 nationally-standardized building codes. The changes approved will supersede the year 2000 codes the city had adopted in 2001. A new set of updated codes are released every three years. The city decided several years ago to operated under the standardized building system.

As a matter or clarification, all existing buildings within the city must not be constructed to the new standards. Homes and buildings built prior to the current codes are not affected. But any new construction, or remodeling done on an existing building, must be completed in accordance to the city’s codes … in this case the 2003 nationally-standardized codes.

Councilman Larry Forsythe explained the council’s focus isn’t to complicate the job of builders, but instead to assure that when a person buys a home or building in Farmington they can rest assured that the building is built to standards and is one of the safest-built homes in St. Francois County.

A few contractors were on hand at the meeting to hear discussion on the new codes before they were voted on and approved by the six council members present for the session.

From homes to roads, it was announced that with the opening of the new Maple Street overpass on Friday that the at-grade crossover lane of U.S. 67 at Liberty Street was now closed. A road crew removed the traffic signals Monday, with the crossover lane to be removed as early as today.

Another side note to the new overpass was that a meeting was held Monday between county officials, city officials and the Missouri Department of Transportation. The three are trying to come to an agreement to resurface Bray Road from Maple Street south to near Route W.

It was announced that painting of the Progress Drive water tower is nearly complete. After sitting coated in primer all winter, the tower has again been painted white and lettered with the city’s name. A final coat will be applied this week and the tower will be filled and put back in service. Because of problems associated with drawing condensation on the exterior, water towers must be drained before being repainted. The contractor has a set amount of time to complete the work, and then must pay the city a sizable fine for each day the tank is out of service beyond the contract completion date.

Acting City Administrator Jeff Blue said it will be nice to have the tower back in operation because dry weather conditions are starting to show an increase in water use in the city.

In a matter reaching back to a council meeting several months ago, a citizen offered an 18-page petition to the council asking for repeal of rezoning done in 2000 on a small tract of land at 818 Potosi Street.

The citizen, Pat Nappier, said a group of neighbors were opposed to the rezoning. Several residents including Nappier attended a meeting about five months ago after they learned the city was considering vacating an alleyway as part of a developer’s effort to construct a small apartment building there. By vacating the alleyway the developer could build his building with adequate rainwater retention on the lot per city codes.

At Monday’s meeting Nappier presented a written petition to the city and eluded to the fact that the group of citizens believes the rezoning of the property was not handled with legal accordance to city laws.

The council accepted the petition for review without taking any further action during the meeting.

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