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Council discusses sewer work

The Farmington City Council held three public hearings and discussed a number of matters during Thursday’s meeting.

Five resolutions were approved under the consent agenda during regular session. Among those items was a contract with Visu-Sewer of Missouri, LLC for cast-in-place-pipe work in Smith Subdivision, located in the southeast portion of the city. The contract is in the amount of $265,078.

“This is a continuation of our sewer main lining program that we are doing,” City Administrator Greg Beavers said. “We’ve contracted thus far this year for about a million-and-a-half dollars’ worth of lining of our old clay tile sewer mains – which is pretty extensive.”

The subdivision – constructed 40 to 45 years ago – contains clay tile sewer mains which, according to the city administrator, develops leaks through time.

“We’re going to line all the mains in that subdivision as well as the connection point for the laterals where they come from the home,” he said. “It should be impactful for the folks that live there and experience those sewer back-ups and sewer stoppages.”

Beavers said a number of the service lines in the neighborhood contribute to the infiltration and inflow possibly to a larger extent than the sewer mains “but, we’ll kind of cross that bridge after we make sure the other sewer system is tightened.”

Mayor Larry Forsythe addressed the residents of the subdivision during the meeting, stating the city and council understands the issues regarding sewer and water for the area and is working to address the problems.

The city administrator also discussed a leasing of Wilson-Rozier ballfields to the Farmington R-7 School District for the four months of baseball season during his report.

The matter was discussed during a Public Services meeting and will go before the school board at their Oct. 17 meeting.

The lease would be a token amount of $1. The high school ball teams would have exclusive rights to the field during that time, as well as be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep – something normally taken care of by city crews.

“It has been home for the Farmington Knights to have their baseball program at Wilson-Rozier Park ever since there’s been a Farmington baseball team, I assume,” he said. “But, it’s always been a city field, so they’re dependent upon the city to do all the maintenance on it. We’re responsible to them to maintain a fantastic field. It’s a really unique experience to play on.”

He noted there are certain controls set by the city when the teams are using the field.

If approved by the school board, the district will take over the maintenance and operation for the four months during the baseball season.

“The exchange is, by giving (the district) exclusive use of that field, then we will give priority of scheduling for the parochial school to the Randy Ragsdale field (in Engler Park),” Beavers said. “We think this is probably, at least at this point in time, probably the best place to make everything fit together.

Among the legislative items was a first reading for an ordinance amending the municipal code regarding restricted parking during certain hours.

The ordinance is in response to the congregation of vehicles at the Farmington Sports Complex.

“All our parks close from 11 at night until 6 in the morning anyway,” Beavers said. “What we are stating in the ordinance is parking in those parking lots is only for patrons or users of the park – excluding just parking there to congregate.”

He said there are issues occurring periodically with large groups of typically younger people, whose behavior “escalates to a level of irresponsibility that we can’t tolerate.”

“We need to make sure the ordinance gives the police officers the ability to use their discretion and just tell folks ‘it’s time to leave the park’ other than that 11 (a.m.) to 6 (p.m.) time – or, we can charge them with illegal trespassing.”

He added the ordinance, if approved, will be posted.

The city administrator said there is the understanding of the need of a safe place for young people to congregate and socialize.

“But, we also need to make sure we have measures in place to ensure that their behavior is appropriate and respectful of the property and respectful of adjacent property owners and respectful of other park users.”

The matter was up for a first reading only, with council action taken later this month.

In other business, public hearings were held on proposed amendments to land uses in zoning districts, an application for a special use permit at 110 N. Carleton to allow for storage buildings and an application for an amendment to the Planned Unit Development at Butterfield Gardens.

A first reading by title only during legislative action for the first two public hearings was held in regular session, with a first and second reading and council approval for the third hearing.

Also among the legislative items was a first and second reading for an agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for the installation of roadside flashers on North Washington Street near Country Mart. The matter received unanimous approval.

Other resolutions approved under the consent agenda included a sign location lease with Lamar Companies, contract for sale of real estate to Wolk Holdings, LLC, resolution for city to enter into and execute an interconnection and operating agreement with First State Community Bank, and a resolution to accept an easement for storm water detention basin area at Westmeyer Meadows Subdivision.

Council was reminded of the auction scheduled for 10 a.m. on Nov. 4 at the maintenance shop located at Liberty and Middle Streets. There will be a number of vehicles, bicycles, office equipment and even a jukebox up for auction.

The dedication ceremony for the AME Memorial Park is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Nov. 4.

Council next meets in regular session on Oct. 23.

Tim Porter, director of Development Services for Farmington, asks local developers Don Hardy and Bret Burgess about an amendment for a lot set-back in Butterfield Gardens during a public hearing on Thursday. The set-back will allow for a new home to be in line with neighboring homes. The Farmington City Council approved the request in regular session.

Tim Porter, director of Development Services for Farmington, asks local developers Don Hardy and Bret Burgess about an amendment for a lot set-back in Butterfield Gardens during a public hearing on Thursday. The set-back will allow for a new home to be in line with neighboring homes. The Farmington City Council approved the request in regular session.

Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker discusses the strict guidelines used by the department when hiring new officers during the Farmington City Council meeting on Thursday. There is an opening for an officer and dispatcher with the department. Several of the council members thanked Baker for the high standards he sets when hiring.

Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker discusses the strict guidelines used by the department when hiring new officers during the Farmington City Council meeting on Thursday. There is an opening for an officer and dispatcher with the department. Several of the council members thanked Baker for the high standards he sets when hiring.

Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or srobinson@farmingtonpressonline.com

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