The City of Fredericktown’s Board of Aldermen held its regularly scheduled meeting, July 24.
Prior to the start of work session business, the aldermen held a public hearing regarding the annexation of real estate located on the northwest corner of Hwy 72 and Hwy 67 into the city of Fredericktown. There were no members of the community in attendance to speak for or against the annexation.
During work session business the board revisited a discussion regarding parking downtown. City Administrator James Settle suggested working with building owners to improve areas behind downtown buildings as a way to add additional parking.
Settle said, after asking around he discovered this is something Farmington does to help with the parking struggles. He said, they lease areas from the building owners for as low as $1 and then improve the paving and stripe lines.
The general consensus from the board was there are numerous places downtown which could accommodate more vehicles if proper striping was in place.
Settle said, one example is the parking lot next to Madison County Service Coordination (MCSC). Dennis Siders, MCSC director, was approached and said he is already planning to resurface the lot.
Settle said, if the MCSC parking lot was able to be striped and used for parking, it would be a substantial source of much-needed parking.
The board agreed these would be great options to combat the parking issue and directed Settle to continue down this avenue as a possible solution.
In other business, the board approved a request by Settle to purchase loader tires from Purcell Tire in the amount of $7,801.18.
Settle said, he had hoped the tires would hold off until next year, but one of them just fell apart last week and the purchase could not wait.
Next, the aldermen approved a partial payment in the amount of $38,015.51. This is a payment to the city for a claim on water damage to the new police department building.
Furever Paws and Claws made a request to have the Chili Cook-off around the Court Square, Oct. 21. Charlet Pense said, the response from last year’s event was very positive and she received several requests to hold the event annually instead of every other year. The board approved the request for street closures.
The aldermen approved a request from Bobby Spain with the Madison County Fair Board to hold the Madison County Fair Oct. 6-7, in Azalea Park. Spain said, setup would be Oct. 5 and breakdown would be Oct. 8.
There was a brief discussion regarding opening the Azalea Park bathrooms for the fair. Settle said, if the facilities are not watched carefully, they would be stopped up within an hour.
To prevent issues of this nature, Spain said, he would just order additional portable toilets.
Next, Police Chief Eric Hovis made a request to purchase and install a light bar to a patrol car in the amount of $2,259. He said, the current setup is in extreme need of replacement. Hovis thanked the board for approving the request and let them know Public Safety Upfitters, the company doing the work, is currently 60 days out.
In other business, two public hearings were set.
The first, was set for 5:15 p.m., Aug. 14, regarding the planning and zoning commission’s recommendation to approve plans for a minor subdivision at 506, 508, and 510 Newberry to build duplexes on the property.
The second, was set for 5:15 p.m., Aug. 28, regarding another recommendation from the planning and zoning commission to approve a request to zone property northwest of Hwy 67 and Hwy 72 for the Loves project as C-2.
During regular session business, Debbie Johns with Van De Ven, LLC presented the 9/30/21 fiscal year audit report.
Johns gave a detailed overview of the audit which did not show any irregularities. The report gave the city a clear report with no findings.
One note made by Johns reflected the city received 75% of its sales tax revenue from seven businesses and 90% of its electric sales revenue from six customers. She said, these numbers are good, having seven large businesses contributing so substantially, and something she does not often see in other small towns.
Johns praised the city staff for doing an excellent job of providing information quickly and efficiently and thanked the city for its business.
During his administrator’s report, Settle said, one of the current city employees will be trained to help with the animal control issue. He said, after the duty of checking meters, the particular employee had some extra time and would now be able to help in this area without the city needing to bring in a new hire.
The board went into closed session for two personnel matters and one litigation matter.
The next meeting of the City of Fredericktown’s Board of Aldermen will immediately follow the 5:30 p.m. work session, Aug. 14 at city hall.
Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org