Skip to content

Fredericktown aldermen to place sale of electric utility on November ballot

Public budget meeting to be held September 6 at the library staring at 9:00 A.M

The Fredericktown City Council held its bi-weekly work session and Full Council Monday evening. A moment of silence was called for by Mayor Danny Kemp at the start of the Full Council meeting for Ward II Alderman Sie Merriman Sr. and his family for the passing of Merriman’s wife over the weekend. Merriman was not present at the meetings.

The aldermen passed an ordinance calling for the question to be placed on the November ballot concerning the sale of the Fredericktown Electric Utility Department to Black River Electric Co-Op. (The public may recall a similar question regarding the sale on the April ballot this past spring, however, that vote was non-binding.) The citizens will have the opportunity to casts their votes on the sale as required by state law according to the council. However, some contract issues are still pending, even with a affirmative vote by the public. In one instance, the deal my still fall through if the city considering joining the MoPEP pool fails to join. Council has said they have a Letter of Intent from St. James, Missouri, but no actual contracts have been signed, sealed and delivered. St. James’ aldermen could possibly change their minds, and it would be too late for any other possible negotiations. If the proposed contract with St. James does fail, then the Fredericktown aldermen would have to take the question off the November ballot by September 30. If the ballot is changed after it has been printed (about two weeks from Tuesday, August 26), the costs of printing the new ballots (about $3,000) would then fall to the City of Fredericktown according to the attorney. The aldermen have weighed the benefits and consequences of their actions very carefully and chose to continue with the sale as of the Full Council meeting.  The work session adjourned.

At the work session, Interim City Administrator James Dismuke asked the aldermen what they would want to do with the funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank. He said $15,000 was given to the city to spend anyway the Cityy sees fit. Dismuke suggested another Vista worker be hired with a portion of the funds ($3,000) and to extend the current  Vista worker’s contract, which expires in February, 2009. Other suggestions included getting a volunteer coordinator to assist in providing volunteers for places like the Civil War Museum, the hospital and others in need of volunteers in Fredericktown. The general consensus was to get another Vista worker along with the current Vista worker as the program has provided good economic opportunities for Fredericktown.

(The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Capital Community Awards reflects the vibrancy and creativity of a few of the many remarkable rural communities in the Bank’s five-state district, including: Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota. Capital Communities are those communities where people step up as leaders, take innovative ideas, work together and accomplish great things. Through vision, planning and teamwork, these communities have met the challenge of sustaining or revitalizing their local economies).

Ward II Alderman Rick Polete asked for clarification of the authority of the Park Board. He talked about programs involving the parks. He asked if the Board of Aldermen is required to accept any recommendations the Park Board presents to the council, or can the recommendations be rejected. City Attorney Kim Moore called the Park Board a unique part of the city as the Park Board receives tax money to fund their work. They do have certain statutory authority, however, the city controls the “purse strings”. It was made clear that any disagreements  the public may have with   Park Board decisions can then be addressed at City Council meetings, should the need arise.

Mayor Kemp opened the public hearing meeting at 6 PM and closed it at 6:25 PM having received no comments.

A discussion on the wording of the pool ordinance was held between the council and building inspector Robert Sullivan. A change in the wording of the ordinance is pending regarding fencing around pools. Sullivan said the change (barrier requirements) would bring the ordinance in line with the building code.

In other actions at Full Council  actions;

Ward I Alderman Brandon Hale complimented City Clerk Barbara Stevens on her work with the preparation of the Minutes of the Special Meetings.   

The new 911 Emergency Dispatch Administrator Steven Perkins introduced himself to the council. He spoke about his previous career cover 31 years in the Department of Corrections.  Perkins told city administrators they could call him day or night with any concerns they may have. He said he was at the new job for only two weeks and plans at taking a closer look at things further down the road.  Ward III Alderman Mark Tripp then asked about two occurrences he had heard about regarding the 911 dispatchers last Saturday. In a follow up call, Perkins said weekend dispatchers were not available Tuesday (at press time) to respond to the inquiries. Kemp said if there is anything his (Perkins) department needs from the City, he should call.   

Gregg Shinn, CPA, has been hired by the city as a financial consultant. He gave a report to the Council emphasizing no fraud has been detected in the most recent review of city accounts. However, better controls should be implemented to help maintain any possible loss of funds.

The aldermen are having a  meeting on September 6 concerning the city’s budget. The public is invited to share their thoughts and concerns. The meeting starts at 9 a.m., at the Ozark Regional Library-Fredericktown in the conference room. The aldermen hope to have a final budget by September 22.   

The FHS football homecoming parade is planned beginning at 4 P.M. on Friday, September 19, 2008 .

Aldermen passed by motion and vote, an ordinance authorizing the payment of $150,000 by September 30, 2008 to Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust Redevelopment Agreement. (TIF District payment for certain public improvements paid by Wal-Mart). The original agreement was dated July 26, 2004. The South entrance drive constructed by Wal-Mart and was to be dedicated to the City by the seller of Wal-Mart’s property has not been dedicated to the City; and remains a private drive accordance to the ordinance. The City will not be maintaining the road.

The aldermen passed an ordinance to execute and amendment (#1) to the agreement between the City  and MoDOT relative to the airport project. The amendment approves a 5 percent match in the project’s funding the City must provide or $15,789.  Total cost is $315,789.

The request for a temporary permit to allow beer sales at St. Michael’s Octoberfest was approved with one nay vote heard from Ward III Alderman Mark Tripp.  The Octoberfest is scheduled for October 5 according to the agenda.

Council placed their names on the re-vitalized committees of Budget, Finance and Personnel (BFP) and Planning, Development and Ordinances (PDO);

Wright, Hale and Tripp on BFP and Fritch, Merriman and Polete on PDO.

The Council agreed to make the final payment to Fronaberger Construction regarding the Town Square Project in downtown Fredericktown.

Ward I Alderman Paul Fritch  reminded the public of the first FHS football game of the season this Friday at August 29 at home against Sikeston.   

Ward I Alderman Brandon Hale complimented Madison Medical Center staff on their treatment of his father during a recent emergency.

There will be no movie in the park this coming Saturday, August 30, however a movie is in the planning stages for September 6.

The aldermen said they miss Ward II Alderman Sie Merriman Sr. and their thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

Closed session followed.                                 

Leave a Comment