The Rock Port Board of Aldermen met on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. with Mayor Amy Thomas presiding. Board members present were Ron Deatz, Lisa Farmer, Kelly Herron and Kory Paris. Also present were Superintendent Brentlee Thomas, Utility Office Manager Terri McGuire, and City Clerk Emily Schulte. Visitors were Officers Morriss and Seiter, W.C. Farmer, Mike Klosek, Sr., Mike Klosek, Jr., and Mike Klosek, III.
Mayor Amy Thomas called the meeting to order then led the meeting in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
The meeting agenda was approved.
The aldermen voted to approve the minutes of the meeting May 18, 2022.
Special Event Permits 4th of July
The beer garden for the 4th of July has been cancelled. As a result, the softball and volleyball tournaments are requesting special event permits. The aldermen voted to approve the special event permits for the 4th of July Softball Tournament and Volleyball Tournament.
The city financial statements, accounts payables, tax report, delinquent tax list, the City Clerk, Chief of Police, all board reports were approved. The aldermen also approved the utility financial statements, accounts payables, purchased power and water statements, take or pay water use report, water loss reports, Utility Office Manager report and City Superintendent report.
Bill #1217 – Solid Waste Disposal Contract
The Kloseks were present to discuss the solid waste disposal contract with the city. The current agreement was transferred from American Recycling to Klosek’s at the November 17, 2021, meeting with all parties in verbal agreeance and any changes to terms to be renegotiated prior to renewal at the end of June. It was noted that a rate increase was implemented prior to the contract’s expiration and without city consent. Klosek did not believe they had a contract with the city, but apologized for the confusion.
The terms for the new contract were then discussed as the latest draft from their attorney, Dan Smith, was presented. A rate increase to offset the rising costs of fuel and other business expenses was requested with a monthly increase to $13.74 per customer. Another clause was added to the proposal giving Klosek’s the ability to add an additional monthly fee on a quarterly basis, determined by the national average of diesel being over $4.00 per gallon. The monthly rate would increase cent-for-cent alongside the national average over that $4.00 a gallon. Similarly, if diesel prices were to decrease, so would that fee.
The service to all city, fire, and park receptacles was also considered. Klosek stated they could no longer sustain the free service at an estimated $617 monthly loss to the city. Different options were discussed; however, it was decided that Klosek’s would submit their recommendations for city consideration.
It was discussed to move forward with voting on Bill #1217 as it simply gives the mayor authorization to execute a contract, not specifically the one submitted this evening. Once a submission is received it will be sent out to the board and city attorney for review.
Bill #1217 – Solid Waste Disposal Contract – was read and the first reading was approved. Bill #1217 – Solid Waste Disposal Contract was read for a second time and approved unanimously. Mayor Thomas declared Bill #1217, Ordinance #1217.
Klosek then asked about a $5,000 tow bill they recently received to pull one of their trucks out of an undermined city street. Superintendent Thomas stated the road became undermined due to NuTech’s boring for Midwest Data Center. They have called Midwest Data Center but haven’t heard anything back. Klosek asked that the city contact NuTech and also inform MIRMA to potentially file a claim.
The Kloseks thanked the board and exited the meeting at 6:45 p.m.
Bill #1218 – Super 8 Land Lease
The Super 8 land lease was presented with the board’s most recent suggested edits implemented.
Bill #1218 – Super 8 Land Lease – was read and approved.Bill #1218 – Super 8 Land Lease was read for a second time and approved unanimously. Mayor Thomas declared Bill #1218, Ordinance # 1218.
AAI: 2022-04 Tree Trimming
Utility Office Manager McGuire requested approval of $20,000 to hire H. L. Sinkhorn & Sons for tree trimming. Outages are starting to occur semi-regularly with overgrown trees and high winds from storms. Since the utility pays other entities within MPUA to come assist on larger outages, this expenditure should pay for itself quickly.
The aldermen approved AAI: 2022-04 Tree Trimming.
Liquor License Application
The liquor license application from El Rey Papi’s was presented. It was unanimously approved.
Resolution #2022-06 – Authority of Mayor to Sign Service Agreement with MPUA
A service agreement with MPUA was presented. The City of Rock Port is already a member of MPUA and utilizes MPUA when necessary. This contract is an extension of that service. There are no additional charges other than what is paid when utilizing their services.
Resolution #2022-06 – Authority of Mayor to Sign Service Agreement with MPUA was approved.
Nuisance Complaints and Ordinances
A letter from a citizen was received regarding a nuisance property bordering theirs. Alderman Paris mentioned he too has noticed mounting nuisances around town. Ways to manage nuisances and also educate residents of nuisance ordinances they might not be aware of were discussed.
A nuisance tracker was created to document complaints and follow-up for issue properties. All city staff will assist in reporting issue properties while the police department will send out correspondences and citations. The police department was also asked to maintain communication with Prosecutor Bauman to ensure she has everything necessary to prosecute these cases. It is the hope of the board that the number of repeat offenders can be reduced.
Additionally, it was decided to send out an informative letter to all city residents regarding the ordinances most recently and frequently being addressed. It is the city’s hope that this information could reduce the amount of warning letters and citation that will potentially need sent.
As the police department currently has a spare patrol vehicle, it was inquired if it could be utilized for upcoming trainings in the water department to reduce on fuel costs. The training will consist of 14 trips to Cameron, Missouri. It was asked that staff place an inquiry with MIRMA regarding the liability.
The aldermen voted to approve employees using the unmarked police car for water trainings contingent on MIRMA’s consent and the removal of any weapons.
The police department’s non-working cell phones were discussed. As the city has continued to pay the monthly bill, it was asked that the officers go purchase working phones. McGuire stated that the office currently has one phone purchased for a previous employee that Seiter could utilize and a new one could be purchased for Morriss.
It was also stated that officers should look in to getting both Active911 and eDispatch on those phones. If these programs are free they should go ahead with getting access added. If there is a cost associated officers should bring a quote to the next meeting for approval.
The aldermen approved the purchase of a new iPhone from NorthwestCell for the police department.
Delinquent Tax List
Rock Port Convenience was informed of their delinquent tax status. The remaining properties on the list were then discussed. Schulte inquired if the board would be interested in inquiring with the county whether publishing an annual delinquent tax list together could be an option.
The aldermen unanimously approved annually publishing the delinquent tax list, beginning with the current list, and inquiring if the city can partner with the county on future publications.
Approval of Citations
Officers Seiter and Morriss can submit their own citations to Prosecutor Bauman during the Chief’s absence.
AAI: 2022-02 – Police Department On-Call Policy
Attorney Rottgers interprets the police department’s on-call policy as officers should receive compensation regardless of hours physically worked.
This was tabled until further notice.
AAI: 2022-03 – RPPD Policy Manual
This was tabled until further notice.
The board thanked Officers Morriss and Seiter for working so many hours while short staffed, especially when assisting during recent power outages and helping to address nuisances. It is appreciated.
City Clerk Emily Schulte
The logo competition is winding down and Schulte asked the city officials and staff present to vote on the submissions narrowed down by the Tourism Board. Votes were gathered and the top three submissions were noted.
Per a call from the Department of Public Safety and their recommendation, an officer was removed from the city’s police department roster as a result of them losing their post certification.
The 4th of July Committee is working to finalize activities for the celebration. The city is looking for volunteers to man the bounce houses before they can be a feature at the celebration. Officer Morriss asked if the police department’s presence was still being requested all day at the park since there will no longer be a beer garden. The board thought an on and off presence would suffice.
Schulte inquired what she was to do moving forward with the solid waste disposal contract. As additional changes were made by Kloseks during the meeting, she would feel most comfortable having their attorney resubmit a new draft for the city attorney then the council reviewing prior to signing. An additional meeting might be needed for discussion. Board members also showed interest in the removal of the fuel stipulation.
W.C. Farmer left the meeting at 8:01 p.m.
Superintendent Brentlee Thomas
Thomas appreciates all his staff has been doing both while he was gone to a conference and while being short staffed. During a recent power outage, Chillicothe came to assist with getting power restored. The city is working with NuTech to repair all the recent sinkholes appearing as a result of the rain and the boring for fiber installation. The new Burke Circle lift station pumps arrived and were installed. The old pump has been sent off for repair. The new streetlights for Main Street and the interstate were ordered.
Alderman Kelley Herron
Ag Choice expressed gratitude for the city responding to a sewer call after hours. He appreciates everyone stepping up while shorthanded. The flags being up look nice and the citizens seem to enjoy seeing them. The Rock Port Cabins’ nuisance issues need to again be addressed.
Alderman Kory Paris
Alderman Paris noted the farmer’s market requesting to close the street again for their next events on July 2 and August 6. The aldermen voted to approve the closure of a portion of East Clay Street for the July 2 and August 6 farmer’s markets.
Mayor Amy Thomas
Mayor Thomas wanted to thank McGuire for all the additional assistance she’s given the outside plant recently and all the office staff for gathering information for projects she is working on.
Thomas also inquired if while the city is short staffed the city could ask 911 to dispatch the Sheriff’s Office when city officers are not out. Board members discussed and agreed Mayor Thomas had the authority to do so as their supervisor.
ARPA Work Session
A work session to discuss the utilization of ARPA funds took place and spending options were discussed.
The meeting adjourned at 9:16 p.m.