The Farmington City Council met for regular session on Sept. 11 in the recently remodeled council chambers and municipal court in the basement of Long Memorial Hall.
The council worked quickly through 11 legislative items and two resolutions on the evening’s agenda.
Among the items the council passed was awarding a contract to Brockmiller Construction, Inc. for renovations at the Farmington Police Department.
Brockmiller was the lone bid on the project, which came in at $1.3 million and includes renovations for the dispatch center, along with office and entry space on the main level.
The work is part of the one half-cent sales tax extension for capital improvement projects passed by voters last November.
City Administrator Greg Beavers told the council this bid – along with the $5.7 million for construction of the new library – comes in right at the targeted amount the city anticipated the projects would cost two years ago.
Beavers added he anticipates another $1.3 million to be available for projects at the Farmington Water Park, when the original amount was expected to be $1.2 million.
“All-in-all, if you look at what we programed two years ago, we’re getting a lot done close to the numbers we speculated,” he said.
The council also approved an agreement with Stetty Properties, LLC for property located at 19 and 23 E. Columbia St. in downtown Farmington. First Wok is located in one of the buildings. The other location is currently vacant.
The city purchased the properties for $29,000 in 2011 – an amount the city has recouped since that time through rent. The original agreement had the city turning over the building to Stetty Properties. For titling purposes, the company will purchase the building for $29,000.
The purchase price will be reimbursed to Stetty Properties by the city.
The buildings are eligible for $100,000 in downtown TIF incentive funds which would fill the gap between the historic value of the buildings to the community and the market viability of the property, according to Beavers.
There will be a 30-day inspection period before closing for the project.
The council approved three items relating to the Farmington Regional Airport.
The first item was a contract with Shannon and Wilson, Inc. to install two additional test wells for monitoring of the former location of fuel storage tanks near the old airport terminal. The cost for the wells will be $35,000, with the city to be reimbursed from 70 to 80 percent.
The other items included the grant reimbursement from MoDOT for properties located near the airport as well as for the cost of utility relocation.
The council also approved and heard reports on:
Second reading setting the property tax rate for the city at $.44 on each $100.
Second reading annex property located on the 1400 block of Maple Street. The property is the former location of the Episcopal Church. Chase Properties recently placed a sign near the location advertising a future retail space, but the proposal is no longer on the table.
Second reading on a Community Improvement District (CID) for the R.L. Jones Property shopping center located near Karsch Boulevard – a move which led Ward I Councilman Larry Forsythe to comment “was long overdue.”
A first reading was held on the 2014-15 budget, which shows a preliminary amount of $38 million in operating expenses and an estimated $8 million in capital projects, including the water park, library, police station renovations and work on Perrine Road and other road improvements.
Also up for a first reading was revisions in the junk nuisance ordinance and acceptance of a class-action lawsuit. City Counselor Scott Reid said he was reviewing the lawsuit, filed by a handful of Missouri communities against CenturyLink for past due charges. Reid said other cities have denied involvement, but he needed to research further.
Ward III Councilman Dennis Smith gave the public safety reported and stated signs will be placed on the parking lot near Centene Center commonly known as “junior lot” – for the use of high school student – regarding parking hours. Neighbors of the lot attended a meeting this summer, complaining of the noise and trash left by those using the lot late at night.
As a matter of record keeping, the council passed a resolution approving and accepting ownership and maintenance of water and sewer improvements made for the construction of Liberty Subdivision on Kinley Drive.
The council also approved a resolution endorsing the 911 Sales Tax Issue on the November ballot. 911 Director Alan Wells was in attendance to thank the council for their support.
During the Public Safety report, Farmington Fire Chief Todd Mecey told the council the department had been contacted by local businesses saying they were told by fire extinguisher companies the department was ordering an inspection.
Mecey said the department does require businesses to have yearly inspections of the fire extinguishers, with monthly check to make sure the device is operational.
“You are required to do it,” Mecey said. However, his concern is the tactics used by some companies stating the department sent the individuals to perform the inspection.
“We don’t hire private businesses to do that type of work for us,” Mecey explained.
Mayor Stuart “Mit” Landrum opened the meeting, recognizing the significance of Sept. 11 during the opening prayer.
The council will next meet in regular session on Sept. 22.