The Rock Port Board of Aldermen met Wednesday, June 16, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. with Mayor Chris Chamberlain presiding. Board members present were Ron Deatz, Lavon Paukert, and Todd Stevens. Also present were City Attorney Emily Bauman, Chief of Police Shannon Sherwood, and City Clerk Emily Schulte. Visitors were Charlie Zitnik of D.A. Davidson via Zoom, Greg Young, Lisa Farmer, and Jody VanSickle.

Mayor Chris Chamberlain called the meeting to order then led the meeting in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Clerk Schulte swore in newly re-elected official North Ward Alderman Todd Stevens.

The meeting agenda was approved.

The aldermen voted unanimously to approve Mayor Chamberlain’s appointment of Lisa Farmer as South Ward Alderwoman.

Clerk Schulte swore in newly appointed South Ward Alderwoman Lisa Farmer.

Minutes of the May 20 and May 27, 2020, meetings were approved.

Board members also voted unanimously to appointTodd Stevens as Mayor Pro Tem (Board President).

Greg Young spoke about a beautification project for Rock Port. Following the ice storm a few years back, the city lost several trees. Young would like to offer the opportunity for citizens to purchase from a variety of blossoming trees either for their property or as a donation to another location in town. The varieties being looked at included dogwood, flowering pear, and weeping cherry. Mayor Chamberlain mentioned being cognizant of utilities and sidewalks. There were no objections to Young exploring the project further.

Jody VanSickle was in attendance to sign a lease agreement between the City of Rock Port and Double M Towing for a parcel of city property adjoining the old water plant at $1 per year for 10 years. Before signing the agreement, VanSickle inquired what the plans were for the small well house located at the property as well as questioned if the parcel could be brush hogged by the city all the way to the highway an additional time. Chamberlain indicated the utility would be asked about the plans for the well house and stated that the city would brush hog the property a final time. Mayor Chamberlain, Clerk Schulte, and Jody VanSickle signed the contract.

Charlie Zitnik, D.A. Davidson, updated newly appointed Alderwoman Farmer on the current outstanding debt which the city is looking to consolidate and refinance.

Zitnik presented via Zoom the lease consolidation and refinancing for the Series 2010, Series 2014, Series 2014B, and Series 2017 issues. A 3.35% interest rate was obtained for the consolidation and refinance. This refinancing will save the city an estimated $300,000 over the life of the remaining loans.

Bill #1206, an ordinance authorizing the city to enter into a lease purchase transaction for the purpose of refunding certain outstanding certificates of participation of the city, paying the costs of delivery; and authorizing and approving certain other documents and actions in connection with the execution and delivery of said refunding certificates of participation, was read by Deatz. The first reading was approved. Bill #1206 was read by Paukert, and the second reading was approved. Mayor Chamberlain declared Bill #1206, Ordinance #1206.

The aldermen voted to approve the city financial statements, accounts payables, tax report, delinquent tax list, and all board and departmental reports.

They also approved the utility financial statements, accounts payables, purchased power and water statements, take or pay water use report, water loss reports, Utility Clerk report and City Superintendent report.

The aldermen approved the mayor’s board appointments. The appointments and term endings are: Board of Adjustment – Steve Proctor (April 2025); Health Board – Melissa Masonbrink (April 2022), and Steve Proctor (April 2022); Park Board –  Clint Dougherty (April 2023), Jennifer Geib (April 2023), Tisha Jackson (April 2023); Planning Commission – W.C. Farmer (April 2023), and Clint Dougherty (April 2023); Tourism Board – Mike Farmer (April 2021), and Chris Shimmel (April 2021).

Board liaison appointments were: Farmer – Board of Adjustment (April 2021), Stevens – Park Board (April 2021), and Paukert –  Tourism Board (April 2021).

Boards with current vacancies are the Board of Adjustment (1), Health Board (1), Planning Commission (2), Tourism Board (1).

Chief Sherwood inquired about being added to the Health Board.

Mayor Chamberlain initiated awarding a Certificate of Service to outgoing Alderman Tim Taylor along with a gift card expressing the city’s appreciation for his service. The aldermen voted to approve a $75 gift card be awarded with Alderman Taylor’s Certificate of Service.

Aldermen Stevens discussed a longevity initiative which would award employees for continued years of service, especially in the two- to five-year range.  The aldermen votedd to approve implementing Option 2 – Board Suggestion of the Longevity AAI 2020-02.

Alderman Stevens asked that everyone turn to the cost sheet within the water tower re-coating packet. The project estimate given was for slightly under $300,000. Stevens recommended budgeting $380,000 to assist the utility in covering any unexpected costs that might arise during the project. Whether or not a new city logo could be added to the re-coated water tower was also discussed. The aldermen voted to approve the city moving forward with the water tower re-coating project at Superintendent Hale’s discretion.

The Park Board has reopened the city park with social distancing recommendations in place. Fireworks are still planned for the evening of the 4th of July, however the volleyball and softball tournaments along with pool games will not be held.

Alderman Stevens discussed Jeff Arp of MIRMA attending the last Park Board meeting, per their request. Good conversations were held regarding the playground.

Chief Sherwood informed the board he has sent out 33 nuisance letters so far this year regarding yards and vehicles. The yards of residences residing between Skyline Drive and Charles Street were discussed. Complaints have been received from residents wanting the bank on the Charles Street side cleaned up and maintained. The owners of these properties have expressed maintenance concerns because of the steep grade of the bank.

The difference between MoDOT and city right-of-ways were discussed per multiple inquiries. MoDOT right-of-ways are owned by MoDOT and will be maintained on their schedule. City right-of-ways still belong to the property owners, who are responsible for their maintenance.

It was finally discussed that some properties, like those between Skyline Drive and Charles Street, with certain circumstances have been given more leniency in the past because of their situation. With all the incoming nuisance complaints, the board agreed that all properties should hereby be treated in the same manner in regard to nuisances, despite the circumstances.

Clerk Schulte discussed the need to hire a court clerk for handling the municipal court. She was asked to begin running ads and gather interest. More hiring details would be decided by the board at a later time.

The aldermen approved a liquor license for Iguanas Baja, contingent on receipt of a State of Missouri liquor license, to be effective July 1.

Chief Sherwood reported an offer currently running through FirstNet, a wireless network provider for first responders. The department would like to move towards electronic tickets within the next year and the free tablet offer along with coverage assurance would assist in that endeavor. Sherwood was advised to obtain a bid and bring it back for further discussion and review.

City Clerk Schulte reported plexiglass has been installed in the office for both the utility and city desks.

Alderwoman Paukert commented on the success of the new Heads or Tails Flea Market that took place last weekend at the old campground. It was noted that it would be occurring monthly. It was then asked if they are required to have a business license to operate.

Mayor Chamberlain noted being questioned about fireworks this upcoming football season.

Do It Best inquired about putting a handicap spot in front of their store front. They have contacted Burke & Sons Lumber Co. regarding the work and materials and believe the city should pay these costs.

The aldermen approved giving Mayor Chamberlain the authority to proceed with this agreement given the costs are under $1,500.

Several compliments have been received on behalf of the police department. One of these was in regards to the assistance of a resident’s relative in which the officer went “above and beyond” to assist.

As a final note with the 4th of July approaching, the fireworks ordinance was reiterated. “It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot or detonate fireworks of any nature within the City limits except on the first through the fifth days of July from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. each day.”