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Desloge aldermen turn down rezoning request

DESLOGE — There will not be a new cafe located at 209 N. Grant Street in Desloge. The board of aldermen turned down a rezoning request Monday night citing spot zoning concerns.

Keith and Laura McGrael made the request to have the property rezoned from R-1, single family residential, to C-1, light commercial district. The request went before the planning and zoning commission on Nov. 16. The commission rejected the request. Several concerns were raised about parking and traffic and how neighbors to the proposed business feel about the request.

The minutes from the commission meeting stated, “although commission members liked the idea of a cafe in the city, they were concerned that the rezoning does not conform to the city’s comprehensive plan or zoning map.

Laura McGrael addressed the board of aldermen on Monday during the public comment portion of the meeting. She presented a document signed by eight neighbors who were in favor of the cafe.

“Most people were excited,” McGrael said. “Some even wanted jobs.”

She explained to the board that she and her husband planned to use the existing house on the property and would renovate it.

After Mayor David Kater gave a first reading of the proposed rezoning request, there was at first silence amongst the aldermen. Following the second reading, there was silence again.

Alderman Alvin Sutton eventually said, “Part of the concern from planning and zoning was the congestion and traffic. The other part is setting a precedent by opening up the door to what can happen to other properties.”

Alderman J.D. Hodge made a motion to deny the request and it was seconded by Alderman Jim Jones. The motion passed unanimously, with the exception of Chris Gremminger who was absent.

City Administrator Greg Camp discussed the water tower project with the board. He said the refurbishment project on the tank has been idled until spring because of cold temperatures.

“It has to stay above 40 degrees consistently for Classic Protective Coatings to finish painting the tank,” Camp said. “The inside is done and the outside only needs the final coat and the lettering.”

The city agreed to idle the project with Classic Protective Coatings so the firm will not have to pay a penalty because it didn’t meet its Dec. 17 deadline. In exchange for the delay, the city will receive an additional year of warranty for the work.

The city hired Classic Protective Coatings to repaint the water tank next to U.S. Tool. In addition to painting the tank, the work includes welding and upgrades where necessary. Classic Protective Coatings’ bid was for $340,100.

The board received the city’s audit presented by Lori Crump of Maloney, Wright and Robbins. She said there were no deficiencies in the field work that was conducted and that the city was overall in a lot better financial condition than it was last year. She commented that there was a lot of change this year because of the water fund and construction.

The board passed a new ordinance concerning the redemption of animals impounded. The new ordinance allows the city to charge the owner of a pet $10 per day for the time it is confined in the pound, up to five days. After that the pet is available for adoption.

An ordinance pertaining to the control of debris and weeds was also passed. Camp said the previous ordinance just mentioned weeds. The new ordinance includes other nuisances.

Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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