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Monday night, the Fredericktown City Council made decisions regarding the new sports complex and heard an update concerning a recent water main break.

City Engineer Tim Baer told the council progress is being made each day on the sports complex. He said to keep moving forward on schedule certain decisions will have to be made in order to obtain bids.

Baer then gave the council two options for the backstops. Option one is a masonry option which would include a concrete base with netting up the top for $75,000 with an option to add padding to the concrete for $8,000. Option two is a steel-framed base with wood paneling wrapped in vinyl and a netting on the top for $55,000 which includes the padding on the inside.

Baer said option two would allow for removable paneling to save on wear and tear in the winter months as well as allow for additional advertising options.

"The steel option gives us more choices when it comes to advertising and it's cheaper," Councilmen Paul Brown said.

Mayor Kelly Korokis then asked if the softball field backstops would be the same as the baseball field.

Baer said the plans for the softball are to have typical chain link fencing.

"I think it would be nice to have them all match," Korokis said. "I'd like all of our fields to be premiere fields. We need to remember that there are eventually going to be five fields out there and we need to look at the complex as a whole. I want the girls who play softball to have something as nice as the boys who play baseball. They need to look nice too."

Baer assured the council the panels in option two are used regularly by fields and he would be confident in the product.

"I'd go with option two and make all three fields the same," City Administrator James Settle said.

The council decided to go with option two for the baseball field and to bid the softball fields with the original chain link with alternate bid option for the steel base as well.

Baer then moved on to discuss the dugouts. Baer suggested a prefabricated system which consists of all metal with powder coating, a metal roof, bench and table top.

The council decided to go forward with bids but to leave out enclosing the dugouts with the hope of receiving volunteer labor to enclose them later.

Next the council discussed the three fields. Korokis noticed immediately the figures shown indicated a regulation softball field larger than the girls softball size.

"The field is bigger than a regulation high school girls softball field," Korokis said. "It was supposed to be designed for girls softball. It was submitted for youth leagues and girls softball. It was not submitted for men's league. This was supposed to be for the kids."

The council discussed the added expenses of making the fields larger and the need for portable fencing to make the fields versatile.

The council decided to proceed with bids to shorten one of the softball fields to the girls regulation size and to leave the other the same with the intent to have portable fencing for a possible softball tournament.

Settle said a water main break was detected Saturday evening sometime and the problem was location Sunday. He said a 10-inch line had broken for what he believe to be the fourth time.

"The line was so deep we had Bauman Construction come in to dig it for us and it was too deep. They couldn't reach it," Settle said. "We decided to eliminate that line and to feed it backwards from the other direction."

Settle said businesses effected included Walmart, O'Reilly's, McDonalds, Little Caesars, BMW Convenience and others in that area. He said no residential properties were without water.

"I think this is the fourth time this pipe has broken, so hopefully by eliminating it we have solved this issue," Settle said. "It's all doing the same thing but just going in reverse."

"We have the best workers," Korokis said. "For them to come together and come up with solutions, so those businesses weren't without water for very long and just working nonstop, they are amazing."

Police Chief Eric Hovis gave an update about the canine program.

Hovis reminded the council they had approved the purchase of a new canine around eight months ago but he had been waiting for the right timing to acquire one.

Hovis said the dogs are only brought into the country quarterly and the wait list can be long. The dogs are trained in bite work, tracking, sniffing and are used for multiple purposes.

The board verified Hovis still had its approval to go ahead with the purchase. He is set to go test the new canine sometime this week.

"If I like him, I will call you from there," Hovis said.

The council also approved the purchase of security cameras for various locations around the city.

"It's just the way of life," Councilman Rick Polete said. "They will save us more money than they will cost."

The city already has cameras in various locations around the city, but the council said these will have high quality images to protect city property for vandalism and to protect citizens from all types of crime.

The system will be expandable to include additional cameras if needed and the council decided to look into having panic buttons.

The council also approved a travel request for Settle and Airport Manager Joel Kemp to travel July 25-27 to the Lake of the Ozarks for the annual MIRMA Conference.

In regular session business, a resolution establishing signature changes at New Era Bank for authorized Municipal Court personnel was approved. The aldermen also approved a liquor license request from BMW Convenience.

"I appreciate the opportunity to do business here," BMW Convenience Owner Bryant Wolfin said as he introduced himself to the council.

The next meeting of the Fredericktown City Council will be June 25, following the 5:30 p.m. work session at city hall.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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