Local organizations are doing their part to contribute to the construction of a new flagpole in one community.
On Oct. 22, during the Farmington City Council meeting, City Administrator Greg Beavers explained that following the Daily Journal story about the deterioration and needed removal of the flag pole near the entrance to the city, businesses and civic groups have come forward to help with putting a new pole in place.
“I had a call after the article that Politte Ready Mix would like to donate materials and some work effort for the new pole,” Beavers said. “Bud Davis with the VFW and I have been in contact about them participating financially at some levels. Of course, we would involve all those veterans groups in the re-dedication of that pole.”
Beavers said it was an effort 25 years ago from the late Bob Silvey that got the wheels in motion for the first flag pole. At that time, the land the pole was on was owned by developers Chip Peterson and the late Joe Burgess – who donated the property.
Since that time, the land was sold for the construction of Applebee’s and the city was asked to take over maintenance of the flag pole.
Deterioration and wind-load on the pole due to the size of the flag led to the necessity to remove the flag while city officials looked for a new location.
Beavers noted there are commitments for easements along Karsch Boulevard for a couple of possible locations to install the pole. The cost of the new pole is $9,000.
“We’re going to order and install it as quickly as possible,” Beavers said.
Farmington Public Works Director Larry Lacy gave a report on the detailed electric system study performed by Toth and Associates of Springfield, Missouri.
City Administrator Greg Beavers explained after the meeting the city contracts out a study every eight to 10 years for a long-range system analysis.
“They are our consultant of choice and has been for a number of years, because they know our system and understand our growth patterns,” Beavers said. “They look at all the load data for a 12-month period on all our circuits in town and then they recommend to us, based on future growth in certain zones, where we need to increase those lines in circuits.”
The firm presented the city with what would amount to a $3 million in capital improvement plan for a 10-year period.
“It sounds like a lot of money,” Beavers said, “but, distributed over 10 years in the electric utility, it really isn’t an incredible expense.”
The most significant cost in the study is the construction of a new substation in the area of Burks Road in the northeast part of town. Beavers noted this project has been in the planning for a couple of years.
The property for the a new substation has not yet been identified, he said, but a new substation will handle growth in that area – among which would include the construction of a new housing development off Pine Street on property once owned by the Farmington Children’s Home.
Other notables from the study was the upgrade of individual circuits around town to carry more loads.
All-in-all, Beavers said, the study showed what the city planners were anticipating after the previous studies.
“Our system is well-built and had the right amount of capital improvements throughout the years to ensure it stays well-built and maintained,” he said. “We’re happy with it and we’ve got a plan we think will work for us.”
Finance Director Michelle Daniel in her report told the council the forecasted electric rates for the city came in lower.
“Typically, they will come in a little lower because we’ve gotten pretty good at forecasting what they will be,” Beavers said after the meeting. “This year, the electric rates have come in lower month over month average.”
Because of that, the per kilowatt hour charged to customers will be lower on upcoming billing cycles.
In other business, legislative items approved by the council included an ordinance to allow a special use permit at 71 Black Knight Dr. for telecommunications facility;
The city administrator explained the new facility will handle the density of cell phone traffic in that area due to the location of the high school, civic center and Parkland Health Center.
“They feel like they need a dedicated tower to pick up a lot of the load,” Beavers said. “I think it will fill that need. Broadband access on cell phones and hard line, whether it be on your fiber or however you’re getting it, is an important part of life, so we have to stay current.”
The council also approved the designation of 28 E. Columbia St. as historic property; an agreement with MoDOT for installation of roadside flashers at Route H and Walter Street; as well as amending the municipal code under Building Code, Chapter 505 – Dangerous Buildings.
There were a number of resolutions approved under consent agenda. Those resolutions included The items include a resolution stating the city’s intent to submit a grant application for proposed Maple Street sidewalk project; and the appointment of Ward II Councilman John Crouch to Mineral Area Community Improvement District Board of Directors.
Other resolutions include appointment of Ashlee Harris-Brauer as building commissioner for the city; first amendment to an architectural preservation grant agreement for property at 1 N. Jefferson St.; an Architectural Grant Agreement for property at 28 E. Columbia St. in the Karsch Boulevard/Downtown Tax Increment Financing District; approving and adopting the post offer and return to work policy; approving and adopting procurement card policy; approve and accept proposals from Visu-Sewer for rehab work at the north side life state and 2019 work in the Smith Subdivision; and a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into and execute a restrictive covenant.
The council also approved the appointment of Greg Hampton to fill the Ward III seat held by Darrel Holdman for more than a decade. Holdman recently moved from the ward. Hampton is to fill the seat until April, when the seat is up for re-election.
“He’s been a great councilman,” Beavers said. “(Holdman) was (a councilman) for 12-plus years … which is a long time. A lot of effort for the community, so we’re sure going to miss him.”
The unexpired one-year term will be up in the April 2019 election.
The council next meets in regular session on Nov. 8.