Archive for January, 2009

Boil Water Order Ward II

January 30, 2009

From today’s Southeast Missourian Newspaper…

Friday, January 30, 2009

 

 

MARBLE HILL, Mo. – Residents of Ward 2 are under a boil water order until further notice. Marble Hill city collector Carla Watt said a mainline break on High Street occurred at 4 p.m. Thursday. City maintenance crews shut down the system later in the evening.

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman Ward I

Marble Hill

 

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Road Conditions Update…

January 29, 2009

Marble Hill residents:

If your road still has not been cleared call City Hall @ 238-3622 or 238-3517 you can also call the City Maintenance Dept. @ 238-3816.

The City has done a pretty good job of clearing most of the snow off of the streets, although a thick layer of ice still exists it is still VERY slick so excercise caution!

If you can make it to the Highways, 51 South is clear to Advance and Hwy 34 is clear to Jackson.

I have not traveled Hwy 51 North but you can call the Bollinger County Sheriff’s Department @ 238-2633 to get road condition reports.

Message for Ward I Residents…

January 28, 2009

Message for Ward I Residents…

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
 

Just called the Maintenance Department and asked if there were any snow plows runnng in Ward I and the gentleman I spoke to said they were having a difficult time because of cars stuck in the road that they couldn’t plow around. The gentleman also stated that they have gotten equipment stuck  in several areas.

Sure enough, I just looked out my window to see a Ford Escape being towed out of a ditch by a Chevy 2500 HD 4×4.

So far I’ve measured 7 inches of sleet and snow on my front sidewalk. Pictures and summary on my “From the Foothills” blog published on the SE Missourian website by CLICKING ON THIS LINK

Clint E. Lacy

Ward I, Alderman,

Marble Hill

 

Winter Weather Preparations…

January 27, 2009

Citizens,

I just called Mayor Masterson and enquired about the possibility of pre-treating the streets with salt, in preparation for the coming winter storm.

The mayor informed me that he has been monitoring the weather from every outlet available, Television, Radio and Internet, and it looks like Marble Hill, will be getting more snow than ice.

Stating that if it is snow, it will not help to pre-treat the streets with salt but assured me the City workers will be in force tomorrow, in response to the weather.

-Clint E. Lacy

Alderman, Ward I.

Latest News…

January 25, 2009

The City of Marble Hill recently purchased this 2005 Chevy Trailblazer from Lutesville Motor Company in Marble Hill for $8,150. During the January 12, 2009  Board of Alderman meeting  Officer Dettmer of the Marble Hill Police Department approached the Board seeking approval to buy a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer to replace the 1997 MH#4 police car, stating that the City sometimes has to assist the County on calls and that given the fact of the terrain of the City the Police Department needs a four wheel drive vehicle during inclement weather.

Notes from January 12, 2009 Public Hearing & Board Meeting…

The City of Marble Hill, Jan 12, Board of Aldermen Meeting began at 6:00 pm with Mayor Masterson wishing the Aldermen, Staff and Citizens a happy and productive new year. A roll call confirmed that all aldermen were present and the Board approved the previous months minutes.

Next Jim Eftink, CPA gave a presentation to the Board. Perhaps Mayor Masteron’s wish for “happy” and “productive” New Year might be coming true. According to Eftink, the City of Marble Hill’s revenue, (through sales and fuel taxes) have been increasing during a time when many communities are seeing a decline in revenue.

Next Catherine Walters from Rural Development approached the Board stating that recently the City had applied for a grant for a new tornado siren, however she found that the City is in a very unusual position, because according to median household income of the residents, the City qualifies for the grant, however; Walters stated that, “The City is doing very well financially compared to other cities in the area” and therefore did not qualify for the grant.

Walters stated that the City could form a non for profit organization and would qualify for a loan to purchase the new siren at an interest rate of 4.5%.

At 6:29 pm the Board of Aldermen went into closed session to discuss legal matters. Unfortunately, that is all I can say about this given the fact that State law forbids me from disclosing the details of the meeting.

Regular session reconvened at 7:27 pm and the Marble Hill Fire Department made a presentation to the Board of Alderman about purchasing a new fire engine. Representing the fire department were Jim Bollinger, Calvin Troxle, Darrell Schell and Kenny Simmons.

The Fire Department is seeking to replace Engine #1 which is a 1989 model and has been in service for 20 years. The Fire Department has stated that the engine is underpowered and no longer meets the department’s needs.

Troxle stated that the Fire Department has found a 1995 fire engine located in Springfield , Va. That can be purchased for $79,900 and that they would like to finance the engine through People’s Bank for $87,000, the extra money being used to make some moderate upgrades to the new engine such as lettering, new headsets and additional fire hoses.

Troxle added that the new engine included a fully enclosed , belted cab which would be a safety feature for fire department members as well as a 20% increase in pumping capacity and a diesel generator.

The yearly payment on the old engine is $12,320 and will be paid off in July. The yearly payment on the new engine would be $19,918, however; the Fire Department plans to sell the old engine for $50,000, reapply that money to refinance the loan on the new engine which would bring the new payment down to an estimated $10,000 per year.

The Fire Department then sought the approval to travel to Springfield, Va, to look at the engine, and purchase it if it meets their approval. Pictures show that it is in excellent condition, but the members wanted to inspect it in person, asking only to be reimbursed for the fuel it takes them to travel there and back.

Darrell Shell stated that the Fire Department $1,500 per month from the County and the MHFD has an obligation to protect the County’s citizens. He also said he wanted to show the County that the department is being responsible with the money it receives from them.

Alderman Sear made a motion to approve the trip and purchase of the engine and Alderman Lacy seconded.

A vote was taken and the measure was unanimously approved.

Officer Dettmer of the Marble Hill Police Department approached the Board seeking approval to buy a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer to replace the 1997 MH#4 police car, stating that the City sometimes has to assist the County on calls and that given the fact of the terrain of the City the Police Department needs a four wheel drive vehicle during inclement weather.

In addition the MH #4 car would be used as a City Vehicle for the City Hall staff which currently uses their personal vehicles to run City errands.

Dettmer said that Lutesvill Ford is asking $9,900 for the vehicle, but he thinks that the dealership will work with the City and come down on the price considerably. Dettmer also emphasized the importance of buying locally, which given some though, I would have to agree with him, (perhaps that is one reason that the City of Marble Hill is doing better financially than other communities in the area?)

The Board gave their permission for Officer Dettmer to negotiate on the price for the dealer, but not before I raised what I feel is a very valid point stating that, “We have just given approval for the purchase of an $87,000 fire engine, and we are discussing approving the purchase of a four wheel drive vehicle for the Police Department , which I am not opposed to. However; there are still several areas in which City Maintenance projects are not getting completed in a timely manner, for instance at 709 Third Street there is a fire hydrant that has been leaking for six months. Then there’s the storm water project on Central Ave. The pipes are stacked next to the road, but the project still isn’t finished, things need to start being fixed around here in a timely manner”

I added that last year we approved a 7% raise for the maintenance department and if the public doesn’t start seeing some progress they’re not going to be so supportive of these purchases.

At this point a spirited debate began between myself and Alderman McCain, at which point I informed Alderman McCain that I was elected to represent citizens in Ward I and when a citizen has a complaint it is my job to bring it to City Hall.

McCain responded by stating, “Yes and it is also your job to make the citizens understand why the have to wait longer than they want to, in order to get problems fixed”.

I responded by stating, “They shouldn’t have to wait six months”.

A discussion soon ensued by the Board members and it was agreed that as soon as the weather warms up, the hydrant would be replaced on Third Street, and gave approval for overtime pay to make sure the job gets done.

Assistant Administrator Shrum again made a presentation to the Board stating that somehow the City did not renew their FCC license and that the maintenance workers are having trouble communicating because the frequency was assigned to the City of Scott City.

Shrum stated that in order to apply for a new FCC license, the City would be assigned a new “narrow band” frequency and unfortunately the City maintenance department’s hand held radios are too old to pick up the new narrow bands, so in addition to renewing the City’s FCC license , the City will have to purchase new radios.

Shrum then stated that he has received numerous complaints about barking dogs and the ordinance needs to be revisited {again}.

I stated that if the City worried half as much about our water and sewer lines as it does about barking dogs, maybe our water and sewer lines would be replaced by now.

Assistant Administrator Shrum discussed was the request that Mr. Kenney Brown made about cutting down three trees that borders his property and one of the City’s streets. The Board was informed that the trees are very large and if they were to ever fall on the streets, it would do major damage to the street as well as a water line that runs under it. Shrum said that Mr. Brown was concerned given last year’s ice storms and requested that the City pay half the costs of removing the trees. The Board agreed with the stipulation that the contractor had to be licensed and bonded.

Last on Shrum’s presentation was a request by the Bank of Missouri , located at the intersections of Hwy’s 34 & 51 for a street light. Shrum stated that Black River Electric Cooperative would install the light, but needed the Board’s approval to do so.

The Board agreed it would be a good idea because it would also help light the intersection that the bank is located next to.

Alderman Jimmy Sear made the motion to approve the measure which was seconded by Alderman Southwick and approved unanimously.

In new business, Mayor Masterson stated that he has contacted the County Commission about assistance with the City dog pound but didn’t think the County would be able to help out given their current financial situation.

Alderman Sear stated that he was concerned about the lack of police coverage in the City on Saturday’s stating that the City does not have any coverage on this day until 3:00pm. Alderman Southwick stated that during this time the County provided coverage. A discussion soon ensued between the Board members with a general consensus being that the lack of Saturday coverage was the result of reserve officers not fulfilling their obligations.

I then brought up a bill that was in my information packet regarding a resident who was charged $800 (in 2004) when his street was paved. I was informed that the citizens on that street were asked before the paving was approved and I stated that I had talked to the individual and he states that he was never informed of the project and that he was told he had to pay the bill, eventually making a verbal agreement to pay $25 per month. According to the citizen , Rick Jones ( who was Mayor) at the time of this dispute dismissed the bill, however Assistant City Administrator Shrum and City Clerk Carolyn Surface did not agree.I found out that no written signatures were obtained prior to the project and that permission was obtained verbally, a practice which I described as “wreckless”, however despite my objections, the Mayor and the other Board members did not want to revisit this issue, the consensus being that if a majority of the residents agreed to paving the street , all residents on that street were responsible for the paving. Assistant Administrator Shrum suggested putting a “tax lean” on the property if the resident who objected to paying the bill does not pay off the approximate $400.00 remaining on the bill.

I next presented the Board with a proposal to enter into a contract with the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri to take the City’s unwanted stray dogs to. While I emphasized that the validity of revisiting the problem of barking dogs is debatable, stray animals running at large presents a hazard to the community and puts a strain on City resources by having to take care of them.

I stated that I had talked to Cheryle Dillon of the Humane Society of Southeast Missouri and she had stated that the Humane Society would enter into a contract with the City of Marble Hill with the stipulation that we adopt, (as part of our dog ordinance) the following section from the City of Cape Girardeau Ord. No. 3523, art. 2,7-18-05 , Sec. 6-29 : Impoundment of animals running at large; fees; disposition if unclaimed by owner.

This reads:

“Any animal found within the city running at large, not tied or led by a line or leash, contrary to the provisions of this article, shall be taken up and impounded in a suitable place, as designated by the city. The animal shall be held for five (5) days and will be micro-chipped for identification prior to final release. The animal may be claimed at any time by the owner by paying the cost of micro-chipping and the cost of impounding and feeding the animal. If the owner, or some person for him, does not claim the animal within the five (5) days after it is impounded, ownership of the animal shall transfer to the impoundment facility and the animal may be placed for adoption or euthanized. If any animal is impounded more than once due to violations of this chapter, such animal will not be finally released from the second impoundment unless the animal has been spayed or neutered. If the owner cannot provide written confirmation by a licensed veterinarian that the animal has been previously spayed or neutered, the impoundment facility will have a licensed veterinarian conduct the sterilization procedure on the animal before relinquishing custody of the animal. The owner of the animal shall be required to pay the costs of the sterilization of the animal prior to the animal’s release.”

Mrs. Dillon also ads that:

“We do not charge for the microchip that is implanted the first time an animal comes in. When we tell the owner it is free it kind of takes some of the sting away. When they claim the animal they sign a Return to Owner form that states the next time the animal comes in it will be spay or neutered before being released to them.”

The Board members agreed that this was a good idea and that it would greatly reduce the time, money and resources associated with the current pound and the proposition would be sent to City Attorney Stephen Gray so that the ordinance could be amended to include these stipulations.

Alderman Sear then made a motion to adjourn the meeting which was seconded by Alderman McCain, bringing the meeting to a close at approximately 9:35 pm. Clint E. Lacy 

 

Ward I Alderman,

 

City of Marble Hill

 

City of Marble Hill

City of Marble Hill

 

 

 

Questions about Proposed Flood Buy Out

January 2, 2009

QueProposed Flood Buy Outstions about Marble Hill’s

From the Southeast Missourian:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

 

(Photo)

On January 12, 2009 the City of Marble Hill, Missouri will hold a Public Hearing about a proposed flood buy-out for 6 properties adjacent to the creek and one that lies within its flood plain.

On December 19th, 2008 the Southeast Missourian published an online article that I submitted which stated (in part) that:

“The City of Marble Hill will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 12, 2009at 5:30pm at City Hall to discuss the City’s submission of an Emergency application for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. In order to qualify as an emergency under regulations of the State of Missouri, the project will be evaluated using each of the following criteria: Seriousness, Immediacy,Uniqueness, Lack of Sufficient Local Funds. As part of the hearing process, citizens will be asked to comment on the propsed project. The City needs as much local participation as possible in order to reflect the true desires of the community as a whole, as well as the comments relating to the proposed project application.

The City is proposing to apply for grant funding to be used as the 25% local match required by SEMA for the flood buyout of 6 local properties. The City is applying for approximately $80,000 in CDBG funds.

For more information on the proposed project, contact Gary Shrum, Administrative Assistant Gary Shrum at: 573-238-3622″

I called Administrative Assistant Shrum this afternoon and said that through the CDBG the City will be able to purchase 5 properties on the old Lutesville side of the creek , and along mainstreet, as well as an additional property located on Plutarch St., to be develped for recreational use.”

Since the article’s publication I have been asked many questions in regards to the project.

Examples include:

” Why aren’t the businesses in the flood plain included in the proposed project?”

“Why aren’t the mobile homes located next to the proposed buyout property being included?”

and

“What restrictions will be placed on the property once it is purchased”.

I found answers to the questions at the SEMA website located at the following internet address:

http://sema.dps.mo.gov/FREQUENTLY%20ASKED%20QUESTIONS%20April%202008.pdf

For starters according to SEMA:

“It is called a “Voluntary” flood buyout program because participants (i.e., the Federal Government, the State Government, the Local Government and the Property Owner) must voluntarily participate in the program. The Federal Government cannot force the State Government to participate and vice versa. Likewise, the State Government cannot force the Local Government to participate, etc. Moreover, the City or County cannot use the community’s power of eminent domain to purchase property with federal funds; these must be strictly voluntary acquisitions of the property.”

SEMA lists the following requirements for properties to eligible in the FEMA flood buy-out program:

“In Missouri, due to the lack of any federal or state recognized Indian tribe, the eligible applicants for these voluntary flood buyouts includes only communities (i.e., a City or County) that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), unless the City or County has not yet been mapped. Limited funding, the current widespread need for flood buyouts in multiple communities across the state, and competing interests for other mitigation projects such as school tornado safe rooms, community owned bridge and low water crossing replacements, and most importantly, the need to assign a higher priority to residential structures in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the residents who are at risk and have nowhere else to live precludes SEMA from funding the acquisition of commercial and other types of non-residential properties at this time (i.e., vacation homes, etc.)”

On the subject of mobile homes SEMA states:

“Mobile homes are considered personal property, and as such the type of offer is determined on a case by case basis. Factors to be considered include, but may not be limited to whether the owner of the mobile home also owns the land and other factors such as whether the mobile home owner wishes to retain the mobile home and relocate it in lieu of demolition.”

Also according to the SEMA website…

“Communities must accept responsibility for monitoring and enforcing the proper use of acquired property as “Open Space.” Generally, allowable open space uses for acquired property include, but are not limited to, recreation; preservation; cultivation; grazing; camping (if adequate warning and evacuation time is available); non-commercial, temporary, open storage of vehicles that are easily moveable (such as recreational vehicles); and unimproved permeable parking lots. See Phase IV for more detail on allowable use of acquired property. Conservation easements (Note: Simply defined, an easement is a right of passage over someone else’s land. However, an easement can be used to prevent the owner from doing certain things) may also be eligible.

FEMA flood buyout program acquired property must be dedicated and maintained in perpetuity for uses compatible with open space, recreational, or wetlands management practices. No new structure(s) can be built on the property except for a public facility open on all sides and functionally related to a designated open space or recreational use; A public rest room that is wet floodproofed; or A structure compatible with open space, recreational, or wetlands management use and proper floodplain management policies and practices, which FEMA’s Administrator approves in writing before construction of the structure begins.”

 

I encourage those that are interested or affected by the proposed flood buy out to call City Hall @ 573-238-3622, you will also want to make plans to attend the meeting on January 12, 2009 at City Hall, 5:30 pm.

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman Ward I,

Marble Hill, Missouri