At the June meeting of the Desloge Board of Aldermen held Monday evening at city hall, board members discussed the viability of the city’s park board, passed three ordinances and approved a request made by a new city resident seeking permission for her pet pig to live within the city limits.
In the discussion held regarding the park board, City Administrator Greg Camp noted that the committee had attempted to hold about three meetings over the past eight years he has served as city administrator.
“They were typically comprised of me and one other person attending,” he said. “The park board is a carryover from a time when there was a tax or a fee associated with the parks. Not unlike some of the other committees the city used to have, I think a bulk of the work is handled through public works, myself, and obviously the mayor and the board.
“Ultimately the decision of whether or not to spend any money on the parks — whether Brightwell or city park, rests with you guys.”
Alderman Alvin Sutton interjected, “I was going to say the park board does a heck of a job because the park looks nice.”
Camp continued, “You can see how necessary the park board is because of the fact they haven’t had an actual meeting in the last seven years. Something for the board to consider is elimination of the park board.
“There are two people on there who would be better utilized on planning and zoning, board of adjustment, library board or one of the committees we still utilize on a regular basis. Having them on the park board really seems unfair to them and is not something the city has relied too heavily on certainly since I’ve been here.”
The board unanimously approved a motion to have an ordinance written up for the next regular session that would abolish the park board.
A proposed amendment to an ordinance spelling out a number of potential nuisance violations within the city limits of Desloge was unanimously approved.
Specific areas covered in the new ordinance include damaged or disabled vehicles, junk, debris and vehicles, both unlicensed and licensed. It states that “any damaged or disabled vehicle; any unlicensed vehicle; any part of an unlicensed, damaged or disabled vehicle; any junk which harbors tall grass, weeds or other vegetation, creates a fire hazard or affords a breeding place for mosquitoes, flies, rodents or other vermin; any junk allowed to remain unmoved from any highway, street or alley for a period of 48 hours; debris; and any junk which creates an attractive nuisance to children is hereby declared to be a public nuisance subject to the provisions of this chapter.”
Exemptions to the ordinance include vehicles or junk completely enclosed within a locked building; vehicles within any locked fenced area which are not visible from adjacent public or private property; vehicles on the property of a business licensed to engage in the sale, repair, towing or storage of such vehicles, or engaging in the business of maintaining a vehicle salvage or junk yard; and damaged or disabled vehicles for which the owner maintains a special permit.
The board approved an ordinance permitting Camp to enter into an agreement with Hurst Rosche Engineers, Inc. to draw up plans for the construction of an 800-foot section of sidewalk to replace an existing low water crossing with a bridge or box culvert structure on Walnut Street between Brim and Jackson streets.
A third ordinance approved by the board allows businesses licensed to sell liquor “in the original package at retail” to apply to the city for a special permit “to conduct wine, malt beverage and distilled spirit tastings on the licensed premises” at an annual fee of $37.50. The ordinance goes on to say that the special permit does not allow the licensee to “sell wine, malt beverages or distilled spirits for on-premises consumption.”
During public comment, Sandra Davis, who has recently moved to Desloge from Fredericktown, asked for a variance to city code allowing her 45-pound pet pig to live at her residence within a fenced area. After some discussion, the board approved Davis’ request, with Alderman Jim Jones voting against the motion.
“You can see how necessary the park board is because of the fact they haven’t had an actual meeting in the last seven years.” — City Administrator Greg Camp
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or email@example.com