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Board approves abatement

The City of Fredericktown’s Board of Aldermen held its regularly scheduled meeting, May 8. Prior to the meeting a hearing was held regarding property at 504 Albert St., which had been deemed a public nuisance.

City Attorney Mary Boner represented the City of Fredericktown during the hearing and called City Building Inspector Jeff Farmer as the sole witness.

The property owner, listed as Caring Neighbors LLC, was notified of the hearing by certified mail, as well as posted on the front door of the structure. The letter was returned to sender and no representative appeared at the hearing.

Farmer reviewed photos of the property one by one for the board. He described the structure as “unsafe” and “in danger of collapse.”

After review of the evidence the board voted to issue the order of abatement. The costs of abatement will be issued as a special tax bill and placed as a lien on the property.

During work session business the board revisited the topic of the social media policy of the city.

Alderman Kevin Jones requested the discussion, saying he would like to have comments turned on for the Fredericktown Fire Department’s posts. He said, the page is monitored by the department and feels comments should be allowed.

The board discussed many reasons not to turn on comments including challenges of monitoring comments and negativity. In the end, it was decided to allow comments but to decide on a page by page basis. The City of Fredericktown page will have comments turned off due to the lack of staff to monitor the page. All other departments such as the Fredericktown Police Department, Municipal Pool, and Fredericktown Fire Department will be allowed to decide.

The board directed Boner to write up a new social media policy for approval at a later date.

The board then heard a request for a special use permit for 129 N. Mine La Motte. The prospective new owners would like to divide the home using a portion for living space and a completely separate area for a tattoo, piercing parlor and art studio. 

In order for the business, and the purchase of the property, to go through either a special use permit would need to be issued or the ordinance regarding tattoo and piercing shops would need to be altered. The board chose to send both of these issues to the planning and zoning commission in order to move the process forward as quickly as possible.

The vote to send the request to planning and zoning was approved with Aldermen Kevin Jones, Eddie Shankle, Rick Polete, and Bill Long voting “yes,” Alderman Jim Miller voting “no,” and Paul Brown “absent.”

Next, the Madison County Chamber of Commerce made a request to hold an event downtown Aug. 19.

“The whole purpose of the event is to raise money for downtown revitalization,” MCCC Executive Director Tessa Rehkop said. “We’re hoping to create our own grant where we can grant some of our buildings in the historic districts money to revamp their facades, any kind of structural improvements or infrastructure improvements, even parking or anything like that. We just want to use this money to improve our downtown.”

Rehkop said, some of the streets downtown would need to be blocked off for the event which will include music, games and activities.

“We found an old post in the paper from 1915 where they had a similar event downtown just to celebrate the downtown, so we’re going to kind of mimic some of the events they had,” Rehkop said. “We thought it would be fun to have square dancing around the town square, stuff like that.”

The board approved the request. 

During regular session business, the board passed an ordinance which would require a commitment to the City of Fredericktown of two years for employees who have the expenses of obtaining a Class B Commercial Drivers License paid for by the city. 

In his mayor’s report, Travis Parker thanked everyone who was involved in making the Azalea Festival happen.

“My family spent a large amount of time down there,” Parker said. “It was really well put together. I want to thank Chief (Eric) Hovis and the officers for being very visibly present during the hours down there, both at the truck pulls and the craft area and the rides and up by the car show. It was just a really great event.”

The board went into closed session for one contract matter and one real estate matter.

The next meeting of the Fredericktown Board of Aldermen will immediately follow the 5:30 p.m. work session, May 22 at city hall.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at

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