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Holidays added, generators discussed, rezoning planned

The Desloge board of alderman met in regular session Monday night to discuss holiday schedules, rezoning, and the purchase of emergency generators for some city buildings. 

The Desloge Board of Alderman met for its regular monthly session on Monday night. Among topics discussed were the addition of holidays for city employees.

The board voted unanimously to approve the addition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Columbus Day, and Good Friday to the city’s holiday schedule.

City Administrator Dan Bryan stated that these days fall on banking holidays and are also county and state holidays which make it difficult for the city to conduct normal business on these days.

“Our goal is for our city holidays to more mirror the federal, state, and county holidays so that we aren’t futilely conducting business when everyone else is closed,” said Bryan.

In addition to the holiday schedule, Bryan gave an update on the Desloge Drive project. He said things are going extremely well and are on schedule.

“The contractor is taking advantage of every good day we have and pouring any concrete they can,” said Bryan.

Bryan also stated that a new storm water drain the contractor had installed proved to be insufficient during recent wet weather and the contractor will make adjustments to the drain at no additional cost to the city.

The board entertained some bids regarding installing generators at the police department, fire department, and city hall. The plan is for these generators to run on natural gas and kick in automatically when power is lost to the buildings. Bryan said the city hall generator will be used for the purpose of making the building an emergency shelter in the event of extreme cold or natural disaster.

Fire Chief Larry Gremminger said when there is no power his firefighters are going into a pitch black firehouse, having to pull pins, and manually lift doors.

“This extra time could be critical in saving a life or putting out a house fire,” said Gremminger.

The generators will be discussed again in the next budget session when the board will be able to make adjustments to the budget to assist with the cost. In addition, Bryan stated that if Prop P passes in April that money would cover generators for the firehouse and police department as that sales tax increase is for public safety.

The major issue of the night was discussion of the re-zoning of land where Grey Eagle Distributing, formerly Soaring Eagle Distributors, now sits. The transition of hands occurred on Aug. 20.

According to city officials, Richard Layne, who owned Soaring Eagle, has his house on the property next to the distribution center. Over the years, as the distributor grew, the building grew onto Layne’s residential property which posed no concern until the property was to be sold. As it sits now, a part of the State Street distributor sits on Layne’s residential lot.

Layne’s attorney was present at the meeting and stated that Layne has agreed to include that section of property in the transfer. However, according to Bryan, there are some city zoning hoops that have to be jumped through.

The board of alderman unanimously approved that the section of land could be consolidated to Grey Eagle property. The next issue is that since that land was residential, it must be rezoned for commercial and manufacturing use.

Rezoning requires a public notice for planning and zoning meeting. In addition to the Grey Eagle property, a request has been made for rezoning a property at 102 South Lincoln. Desloge City Clerk Stephanie Daffron has posted the public notices.

The Desloge Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 4 in the Municipal Building at 300 North Lincoln Street to hear testimony for a property rezoning request.  Owner D& D Distributors, LLP requests all of Lots 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and part of lot 2 of Daisy Acres be rezoned from General Commercial District, C-2, to Manufacture District M-1. 

The Desloge Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. March 4 in the Municipal Building at 300 North Lincoln Street to hear testimony regarding a request from David Chance Jr. for a conditional use permit to operate a club, civic or fraternal organization at 102 South Lincoln Street.

Anyone wishing to make his or her comments known may do so verbally or in writing.  Please contact City Hall one day before the meeting if accommodations are needed for persons with disabilities who wish to attend.

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Matt McFarland is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616, or at mmcfarland@dailyjournalonline.com.

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