The City of Fairfax Board of Aldermen met in regular session August 10, 2016. The meeting was called to order by Ryan Kingery, board president, at 6:00 p.m. Also in attendance were: Beth Graves, Michael Oswald, and Kristi Duering, Aldermen; Melissa Gilpin, City Clerk; John Brown, Water Superintendent; Danny Kemerling, City Treasurer; Taryn Henry, City Attorney; and Jacob Bradbury, citizen. Alva Stoner, mayor, arrived at 6:36 p.m.
A public hearing was held to discuss annual property tax rates. There was a brief discussion as to how the rates are set. Michael Oswald asked if it would be possible to reduce the tax rate. It is possible but research would need to be done in order to find out how.
The Aggregate Assessed Valuations were submitted by Susette M. Taylor, County Clerk of Atchison County.
The aldermen voted on Bill #2016-06, titled “An ordinance providing for the rate of taxation for general and special purposes within the City of Fairfax, Missouri for the Calendar Year 2016.” Kingery, Duering, and Graves voted aye. Oswald voted nay. Bill #2016-06 was assigned Ordinance #2016-02-1535.
John Brown reported that there is still an issue with the testing results at the lagoons, but that it seems to be a widespread issue due to the early wet spring and continuing weather related issues. A lot of towns are having the same issue. The city continues to monitor, treat and test more often.
The power has been restored to the park. There has been discussion of reducing the number of electric meters at the park to save money. Reducing the four meters to one meter would cost approximately $1,000. It would save the city approximately $678 in the first year, almost paying for itself. Council members agreed it would be a good idea and after a finance and budget discussion decided to attempt to budget the project for next year.
There was discussion as to items still needing repaired. They are waiting on all the bills to come in and see what the insurance covers, then will present another budget resolution to cover the costs of the storm damage. The debris has all been removed from the Main Street spot to the county barn and is in the process of being burned. The county brush pile location is now closed.
John also reported that the finish mower is broken. It is 35 years old and parts to fix it can no longer be found. The city has been borrowing Marion Oswald’s until a decision can be made. Upon research there are a few used ones in Mound City for approximately $2,500. A new mower would be between $3,400 and $3,700. After cautioning to be careful with spending, Mike Oswald moved to purchase the 2012 used Frontier mower. Kristi Duering seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Danny Kemerling stated that all accounts are in balance.
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Melissa read a thank you card from the Mound City Mission team.
Budget information is being transferred into QuickBooks and should be done by next month’s meeting. More accurate reports can be pulled directly from QuickBooks and it will cut down on the possibility of data entry errors. This project has been delayed due to the storm and fair but everything is starting to return to normal so there should be more progress soon.
Alva Stoner, Mayor, praised the city employees for their hard work and dedication. Storm clean-up and fair preparations have gone very well.
Taryn Henry, city attorney, gave a court update. Multiple letters have been sent out regarding property clean-up.
Melissa Gilpin also presented a request for an extension on a water bill. After a discussion of what the ordinance states regarding this and the reasoning for the ordinance, the council stated that no arrangements will be made for late payments after shut offs.
Jacob Bradbury requested that the alley that runs behind his house be closed. He would like to use it as a driveway and parking area. The alley only leads to a ditch. Taryn Henry suggested he submit a written application for closure along with written approval from the neighbors. Once the paperwork is submitted the council will take it under advisement.
The aldermen voted to approve the minutes of the July 13 regular meeting, and the minutes of the special/emergency meetings July 10 and 18.
The city has received complaints regarding the types of fencing being allowed to be installed, due to a property dispute. The city does not have an ordinance regulating the type of material used in fencing. There was discussion as to the complications of regulating properties. Taryn Henry, attorney, reminded the council that personal opinion cannot be part of government regulation.
There have also been complaints regarding chickens being allowed to roam. Taryn Henry pointed out that the containment issue could be handled under Chapter 205.150. Melissa Gilpin will send a letter.
The aldermen voted to approve Accounts Payable/Financial Statement.
The next meeting is scheduled for September 14, 2016.
(The unapproved minutes were submitted by Melissa Gilpin, City Clerk).