The Rock Port Board of Aldermen met Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. with Mayor Chris Chamberlain presiding. Board members present were Ron Deatz, Lisa Farmer, Lavon Paukert, and Todd Stevens (via Zoom). Also present were Chief of Police Shannon Sherwood, Street Superintendent Trevor Hale, and City Clerk Emily Schulte. Visitors were Sherry Volker, general manager of Graybill Tire & Repair.
Mayor Chris Chamberlain called the meeting to order.
The meeting agenda and the minutes of the June 17, 2020, meeting were approved.
Superintendent Hale was asked to refresh everyone’s memories as to why a handicap ramp was not put in at Do It Best when those sidewalks were redone three years ago. At that time, the engineer on the project could not find a way to make an ADA compliant ramp in either direction because of regulations for landing and sidewalk sizes as well as ramp grade. A south facing ramp would be too steep and a north facing ramp would potentially cover a portion of the windows on the neighboring business. Hale and Schulte were also getting conflicting recommendations from MIRMA, so it was suggested the board consider waiting on that response prior to further decision making. Discussion of the handicap accessible ramp was tabled.
Sherry Volker was in attendance to discuss the condition of a parking lot leading to Graybill Tire & Repair. The size of the potholes has caused significant damage to several of their customers’ vehicles, one in particular in excess of $2,000. Chief Sherwood mentioned that he has sustained damage to his patrol car as well while responding to a call in that lot. Volker also noted the amount of trash and weeds on the property.
Chief Sherwood will investigate the issue of trash and weeds on the property, however the parking lot potholes would be a civil issue. It was suggested to contact the courthouse to inquire if they have any type of easement or possibly see if all the businesses would consider working together to find a solution.
Aldermen voted to approve the city financial statements, accounts payables, tax report, delinquent tax list, and all board and departmental reports. They also voted to approve 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.
Chief of Police Shannon Sherwood reported that Office Chandler submitted his resignation effective July 31. Sherwood plans to keep him on as a reserve officer. An ad for a full-time officer was posted.
Sherwood inquired if the board was okay with the press releases the police department puts out. It was claimed that he has received some negative responses to the department posts. No changes were requested.
City Clerk Emily Schulte stated that some applications have been received for the Court Clerk position posted on Facebook. It will also be ran in the paper. It was inquired if the board could give input at the next meeting for hour and pay recommendations.
Superintendent Trevor Hale reported that H.K. Scholz has the switch gear upgrade agreement ready to sign. Smoke testing for sub basin no. 1 will be taking place the first week of August, depending on rain. Concrete projects are currently underway. Cass is half done, however the other half won’t be completed until the seeping water line located under the old street can be replaced. An outside company will be coming to assist with a few projects including the replacement of five fire hydrants and four water line projects.
Superintendent Hale then stated that he had been with the city for several years, and as of this month they are reporting an all-time low water loss of 17%. Board members expressed their gratitude for all the work Hale and his crew have done with their tracking and repair of water leaks.
Alderwoman Lavon Paukert wanted to thank Sherwood and Hale for both doing a wonderful job. Paukert mentioned the first responder dinner that would be taking place the next evening at the Memorial Building. There has also been an inquiry from the Red Cross trying to organize a small gathering with the Culp family and the first responders present for their house fire.
Alderman Todd Stevens noted having a couple of residents contact him regarding the lack of activities held on the 4th of July at the park. He did let them know that the city did not prevent anyone from having their events; the individuals and groups which host those events decided themselves to hold off this year.
Stevens then stated that while everyone has the right to support their candidates, please be mindful of political social media posts now that election season is upon us.
Paukert reluctantly moved to accept Jon Chandler’s resignation as a full-time officer, but keeping him on as a reserve. Farmer seconded. All votes aye.
Mayor Chris Chamberlain reported Chief Sherwood has been selected to receive the Missouri Service of Valor while Officers Chandler and Morriss are receiving Life Saving Awards from the Police Department for their individual roles in recent calls. Sherwood will be attending an award ceremony in Jefferson City later this year.
Chamberlain mentioned receiving a replacement flag to present to the Nutrition Center as a donation.
Several complaints have been received regarding speed issues around town. A pilot speed bump program might require consideration.