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Farmington city council discusses storm

The City of Farmington has entered into a $67,600 contract with AgriCycle Inc. to grind brush, yard waste and wood waste at the city yard waste site. (Wayne Linnenbringer)

Kevin R. Jenkins,

A 15-minute meeting of the Farmington City Council held last Thursday at city hall centered almost exclusively on a discussion of citywide storm damage that resulted from a line of strong thunderstorms that moved through the area in the early morning hours of Aug. 3.

In his Public Safety report, Councilor Chris Morrison informed the council that at his committee’s last meeting held at the firehouse, the members heard from the city’s new emergency manager director, Josh McAtee.

“He got thrown into the fire — no pun intended — a little bit with that role,” Morrison said.

“So, during the storm last week, they said 911 had a few communication issues. They were able to address that at the firehouse. Some calls were coming in there, so they were able to figure that out.

“We did lose a police car, I think, during the storm. They had a sinkhole over by Harp’s — right there on Washington. They also had one over by Unico Bank. And then the tornado siren replacement is being pushed off. It was scheduled for last week — not a great time to do it. They pushed that off.”

Continuing his report, Morrison updated the council on the city police department, informing them that Police Chief Bullock told the committee that the city had lost its microwave tower.

“They were able to piece it back together, but they’re going to be talking,” Morrison said. “He’s talked to Greg a little bit about the potential replacement of that communication tower. When that happens, our police department has to switch over to the one that I think the rest of the county uses. We’ve been on our own channel. So, they’re going to get some bids for that to see about replacing it.”

Morrison mentioned that Chief Bullock wanted to thank Boyd Towing for its help during the storm.

“They came and followed some of the police officers, helping move some trees out of the way and just assisting the police department,” he said. “So, he just wanted to thank them for that. And then we have three officers in field training. We are down three officers, so I think he’s always hiring.

Morrison reported that a firefighter had resigned from the city fire department, and another had been hired.

“We had Lieutenant Matt Jackson resign, so we’re going to have an opening for a firefighter after promotions,” he said. “Tyler Goodman is the new firefighter. He started July 31st. We bought an F-450 a couple —I feel like a couple of years ago — maybe it was last year. It’s finally in. So, they’ve taken that in. And then the hazmat trailer should be arriving soon. And then the Fire Department had 64 storm-related calls last week. They did a great job along with the rest of the crews.”

In Councilor Harry Peterson’s Public Works report, he mentioned there had been several residents who attended the committee meeting to complain about stormwater issues. He added that one of the complainants was from the medical office at 555 West Pine St.

“They had a major flood because of the way it partly drains and is draining, which typically will go into the basin behind there from Lowe’s,” he said. “But because of the amount of water, it kind of went over it when it was coming down and went right into the building. So, they’re trying to see if there’s anything the city could do or what options they had, trying to help that. This happened twice, once in 2015 and then this year.

“And we had residents come in for stormwater [issues] on 1302 off KREI. I don’t know how many years back, we put a drainpipe in for them because they had a big pond. It wouldn’t drain out, so we helped them relieve that. But if it’s one of these major floods or rains, it’s going in close up to the house. We’re going to see if there’s anything we can do.”

Mayor Larry Forsythe asked, “Is that getting in the house?”

Farmington Mayor Larry Forsythe goes through a long list of thank yous to city departments and the public for their help during the storm that hit the city during the early morning hours of Aug. 3. (Kevin Jenkins)

Peterson replied, “It is touching the house. It’s touching the crawl space, but this time it did not get to the resident. But, you know, as a homeowner, I’m sure that’s something to worry about.”

Later in the meeting, Forsythe said, “All I’ve got to say is I want to thank every department that was out in the storm. I really want to thank the electric department. I want to thank everybody that was out there, and I want to thank the citizens for kind of being a little bit patient. We had 300 people on the list for things to do and things that needed to be done, and they were doing them.

“I want to thank [Development Services Director Tim Porter]. We had some people off at that time. It was a very convenient time to take a vacation, very, very convenient, but I want to thank Tim Porter for manning all that and taking all the phone calls and doing what needed to be done. I appreciate that.”

Asking for the mayor’s attention, Public Works Director Larry Lacy said, “And the street department and water and sewer department were very active in the work on that storm, as well as the electric department.”

Forsythe replied, “I know. I said all departments.”

The council also approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with AgriCycle Inc. for yard waste and site mulching.

“OK, this is for the yard waste plant,” Forsythe said. “If anybody’s never seen this thing, go out there and take pictures of it. It’s really interesting. I can see how much stuff this would take at one time.”

One of the councilors interjected, “Sixty-seven-thousand dollars’ worth,” the cost of hiring AgriCycle Inc. to do the job.

Forsythe replied, “Yeah. It’s very well-needed. This is something else that the city does for the residents of the city of Farmington.”

Other legislation approved during the meeting included a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with C&J Properties LLC for the purchase of real estate; and a resolution authorizing the city administrator to apply for funding through the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternative Program Grant for construction of a sidewalk on Highway H, from Old Fredericktown Road to the Avery Apartments, formerly known as Icon Apartments.

Several bills were approved during the meeting as well. They included bills establishing a procedure to disclose potential conflicts of interest and substantial interest for some municipal officials and a bill amending the city’s municipal code regarding the municipal court.

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