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Council welcomes Crites to table

She comes to the council with more years of experience in city involvement than any council member sitting at the table. After a six year hiatus from city employment, Lynn Crites is back and ready to be brought up to speed and help the city move ahead into the future.

Crites took the oath of office from City Clerk Paula Cartee during Monday night’s monthly council session. She will complete the unfinished term in Ward II left vacant with the transfer of Stuart “Mit” Landrum from councilman to mayor following the April 7 election.

Landrum made the appointment of Crites to fill the council seat until the spring election of 2010, and the council gave unanimous approval.

Crites indicated she had considered running for office previously. But, she said, when good candidates ran for the position she decided to wait. When Landrum was elected mayor he asked her about filling the council seat vacancy, and she accepted the offer.

Once instilled and with the council back up to full staff, the group worked their way through a short agenda. A resolution was passed to move forward with construction of a new fire station.

Earlier in the evening, Fire Chief Todd Mecey gave a lengthy report outlining the proposed design of the new fire station. He said the architect had designed the building with five bays, but eventually the plan was downsized to only four bays because of cost constraints.

Mecey said the architect has indicated that with some other cost savings elsewhere in the design he can likely add the fifth bay back in and still not exceed the total cost of $4.2 million for the new fire station.

The price tag of $4.2 million includes $685,000 for purchase of the city lot, $206,000 for site work, $294,000 for architectural and engineering fees, $1,368,000 for construction of the new building and all other infrastructure and finish work.

The new building, when completed, will have housing quarters for male and female staff, office space and training areas, and drive-through bays for the fire apparatus.

Work will begin on the site by the fall of this year.

Council members also heard a report about a sidewalk grant of $110,000 the city recently received from the state. The funds will be spent to install or improve sidewalks along portions of North and South Main Street, Ste. Genevieve Avenue, Franklin and Dewey Streets and in Maple Valley Plaza.

The group also approved a bill allowing an agreement between the city and Tour of Missouri, Inc. In the agreement the city will follow through on a series of promises pertaining to cooperation with the statewide endurance bike race organizers. It was said the promises amount to about $25,000 in expense which will be raised through local sponsorships and donations. Past races in 2007 and 2008 have shown having the statewide race start or stop a leg of the race in a community can mean upward to $1 million or more in revenue influx for that city through retail sales on the day of the event and residual exposure after the event stemming from regional, national and international media coverage.

The council also:

• approved a low-cost lease of a former police car to the Juvenile Detention Center of the 24th Judicial Circuit;

• gave approval to an ordinance outlining recycling efforts at the city’s new recycling center;

• heard an update on the east wastewater treatment plant expansion. The project has been in the works for six weeks and is ahead of schedule and on budget at this time.

The council will meet next on May 14.

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