Posts Tagged ‘marble hill’

For Immediate Release:

July 15, 2009

Cherry-picking facts compromises paper’s objectivity” 

I would like to take the time to address the recent Banner Press article, “Marble Hill raises water, sewer rates”, published Wednesday July 15, 2009. 

In it Banner Press editor Linda Redeffer states: 

“The rates have not been doubled as Lacy predicted earlier”.  For starters, I would like to say I was wrong about the sewer rates having already been doubled. I was basing the figure off of the information given to me during the last regular Board of Aldermen meeting.  The information that I received can be read on my Alderman Lacy Blog found at the following web address:  

https://aldermanlacy.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/trash_water_sewer.jpg  

(Just click on the picture to enlarge the photo once it has finished loading). 

The second issue I would like to address is that the Banner Press quoted Mayor Masterson as saying that the city has applied for grant money before. Yet the Banner Press conveniently forgets to mention that when I pressed the Mayor and Assistant Administrator Shrum as to when the last time the City applied for grants for our water and sewer systems, Mr. Shrum said he believed it was three years ago. 

Assistant Administrator Shrum states that residents will only see a $4.83 increase per month in their minimum water and sewer bill. 

 I’m guessing a typical family of four uses about 3000 gallons per month.  Before the rates were raised last year a typical family of four, was paying approximately $31.07 for water, sewer and trash.

After last year’s rate increase a typical family of four was paying approximately $39.47 for trash service + 3000 gallons of water and sewer system use. 

According to my estimates a typical family of four can now look forward to paying $47.20 for water, sewer and trash service. 

Keep in mind that the City of Marble Hill paid for Smith and Company of Cape Girardeau last year to do a study of the City’s water and sewer systems. Smith and Company recommended that the City charge $16.75 for water (up to 2500 gallons) and $18.50 for sewer (up to 2500 gallons) 

I predict that next year the City will propose increasing your water rates by $1.75(per 2500 gallons) and increase the sewer rates by $2.50 cents (per 2500 gallons). Guess what happens if my prediction comes to pass?  The City will be charging exactly what Smith and Company recommended last year, which means that for a family of four, water and sewer rates will close to have doubled. 

I find it a little ironic that the City finds no problem paying for a study to raise your rates, but refuses to pay for a study to estimate the cost of replacing some of the City’s worst water and sewer lines. 

How do you cook a frog?  You turn the heat up a little at a time so the frog doesn’t notice; at least that’s how the old saying goes.  

I may not have been able to postpone these increased rates at this difficult time, for that I apologize.  However; it is my job to try and keep you informed about what is transpiring in your city government so you will notice what is transpiring there. 

By leaving out important information from last night’s meeting, Banner Press editor Linda Redeffer has compromised the paper’s objectivity and {inadvertently?} misinformed Marble Hill’s citizens.

Alderman Clint E. Lacy

Ward I, Marble Hill, Missouri

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Parade of Lights / Christmas in the Foothills Nov. 29th…

November 24, 2008

From the Southeast Missourian Newspaper…

Christmas in the Foothills Festival **An Invitation**
Friday, November 14, 2008
Carla Watt

“Hello Southeast Missouri! You are invited to attend the second Christmas in the Foothills Festival in Marble Hill Missouri on November 29th.

This festival will have craft and food vendors, fresh roasted chestnuts, eight fun and exciting “reindeer games” for the young and young at heart, a Santa’a workshop with crafts,hot chocolate & cookies for the kids and wonderful local voices raised up in celebration of the beginning of the Christmas season. The event starts at 11 a.m.and goes to 4 p.m. in Twin City Park in the center of Marble Hill……Oh but the best is always saved for the last.

At approximately 5:15 p.m. a dazzeling Christmas Parade of Lights will begin with the telling of the Christmas story by a live Nativity that will head up the parade! Floats, floats and more floats will light up Main Street much to the amazement of all who come to watch!

We had a wonderful time last year and we know that it will be wonderful this year. A great place to bring the family and a special treat to end the Thanksgiving weekend.

The folks in Marble Hill want to share this experience with you. Hope to see you there!”

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Meeting Up in the Air…

November 15, 2008

Last Monday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting was canceled due to the lack of a quorum. It was rescheduled for Thursday November 13, following the Public Hearing and Special Meeting of the rezoning of an area of town so that Greg Peters could put in a retail business, (which I approve of by the way).

Before I begin, let me first state that I can not make all the meetings due to my work schedule, and most meetings I have to use vacation time to attend.

I could not get vacation time for the regular meeting or the public hearin and special meeting on Thursday.

On Monday, I received a phone call from the City Clerk asking if I was coming to the meeting, I informed her that there must have been a mix up because I had already informed the mayor that I would not be able to attend.

Later I received a phone call saying that the meeting had been rescheduled due to the lack of a quorum.

Today I learned that last night’s public hearing and meeting could not be conducted due to a lack of a quorum, so, if three council members are going to be available on Monday, the Public Hearing, the Special Meeting and the Regular Meeting will be held on Monday , November 17th, starting at 5:00 pm at City Hall.

If a quorum is not available on Monday then the meeting will be moved to Friday  , November 21’st starting at 5:00 pm at City Hall.

I encourage citizens to call City Hall on Monday morning at: 238-3622 to find out exactly when the meeting will take place.

Again I apologize to the citizens for not being able to make it, but as I stated before, my work schedule will not allow it this week, due to vacation coverage.

Thank You,

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman Ward I

Marble Hill

Special Meeting Thursday October 30th… 5:00 pm

October 29, 2008

There will be a special meeting Thursday October 30th, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. at the Marble Hill City Hall. The subject of the meeting will be the hiring of a new police officer.

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman Ward I

Marble Hill

Seeking Public Input….

October 20, 2008

As all of you know, trash is picked up on Monday’s now. In Ward I the trash truck comes very early, before 7:00 a.m.

I forgot to pull the trash out to the curb last night and awoke to the sound of the trash truck making its rounds. Looking out the window I realized that he had already picked the trash up on my street. 

A while later I was thinking, “I hope this isn’t an indication of what the rest of the week is going to be like”, when I saw the trash truck heading down Opossum Creek Road, so I stepped out and flagged it down. He backed the truck up and before I could say , “Thank You”, the guy starts yelling at me , “If you’re ever late again, I won’t back up for you!”

Fair enough.  After all I was late pulling it out, but then again it is the first time that I have ever been late pulling it out and even though I am an elected official , I am also a customer.

If the driver doesn’t want to back up and get my trash because I’m late, that’s fine, but if he does choose to back up, I don’t deserve to be screamed at.

So I’m wondering, are there any other citizens out there who have had similar experiences with Waste Management?

If so, leave a comment on the blog or email me at: mobushwhacker@yahoo.com

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman, Ward I, Marble Hill

Notes from October 13th, 2008 Board of Alderman Meeting

October 14, 2008

The Marble Hill Board of Alderman met on Monday , October 13th, 2008 at 6:00 pm at the City Hall.  First on the agenda was the approval of last months minutes.

Next City Attorney Stephen Gray spoke to the board about a title problem with the property owned by Connie Vance. It appears that the property used to be owned by the City and that the building was once used as the Lutesville Fire Department.

Ten feet of the building overlapped property owned by J.C. Cook and in 2000 Cook deeded the overlapping ten feet to the city.

The problem that is that in 2003 Cook deeded his property to the City through the FEMA flood buyout program. There was an error made in the title description during this buyout and now Connie Vance is having problems selling her property.

Gray said that in order to clear up the problem the city can issue a “quick claim” deed to Mrs. Vance so that she can sell the property. Grey then asked the council for approval to do so and it was granted.

Mr. Clifton Trentham visited the meeting to express concern over an August 20th, 2008 Banner Press article in which Mayor “Bat” Masterson was quoted as saying that the city had been left with a mess to deal with in regards to the city’s sewer system.

Mr. Trentham stated that he installed most of the city’s sewer lines and felt that the mayor was referring to him in the previously cited statement.

The mayor and the city council assured Mr. Trentham that no one was questioning his work, and I stated that nothing lasts forever, and the mayor stated that the system is just getting old.

Assistant City Administrator Gary Shrum in his report stated that Boy-Com communications, which provides the city’s cable television services is refusing to pay franchise fee taxes, and the communications company is currently being sued by the City of Piedmont.

Shrum also stated that the city still does not have a collector’s deed for the old Webb Property.

He also stated that Crossroads Communciations has not paid rent and installation fees on any of their sites in Bollinger County. Cross Roads has a cell / wireless internet tower located at the #1 water tower in Marble Hill.

I asked Mr. Shrum when the residents along Central Ave. could expect work to begin on the stormwater drain project and he stated that he is still waiting on SMTP to mark the utility and gas lines before they begin.

Included in Mr. Shrums  report was the following information:

“I would like to call to your attention that Debi Ivey was quoted in the Banner PRess as saying that the new veteran’s memorial will be erected in Twin City Park. As far as I know neither I nor the Board was ever contacted in regards to this matter. I personally, am completely against this taking place. I can not see erecting such an expensive and important memorial in any park, it should be located right behind City Hall. If it were placed there many people will see it as they pass through town, it is a more secure location, and there is adequate space and the pavilion is there and the bathrooms can easily be finished and made handicap accessible”

In the meeting, Shrum went on to state, “Charles Freeman is trying to build a nice veterans memorial, why do we need the same names in two different locations in town?”

Mr. Shrum clairified that the proposal by Mrs. Ivey was not related to the work being done by the Bollinger County Veterans’ Memorial project, and that he was afraid any such project located at Twin Cities Park would suffer from flooding.

The Council also approved Amendment #7 which authorizes the City to spend $11, 500 for engineering services for the Hurricane Creek Bank Stabilization Project.

A revisiting of the Utility Vehicle ordinance was discussed since the State passed legislation legalizing the use of “utility vehicles” on state highways.

Also discussed was the need for more police patrols in residential areas, specifically Crown and Third streets.

I brought to the Board’s attention that we still have some bad potholes that needed to be fixed on Englehart St.

Last but not least, I thanked the Board for finally getting Mr. Bob Spencer’s culvert cleaned out.

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman, Ward I

Marble Hill

Marble Hill to Reconsider Utility Vehicles…

September 22, 2008

From the September 4th, 2008 Southeast Missourian Newspaper…

“Marble Hill to reconsider alternative vehicle ordinance

Thursday, September 4, 2008

On Aug. 28, a state law went into effect offering a cleaner definition of the term “utility vehicle,” and cleared any motorized vehicle manufactured and used exclusively for off-highway use, 63 inches or less wide, with a dry weight of 1,850 pounds or less, with four or six wheels, for use on state highways under “certain circumstances.”

The ordinance was discussed at a city council meeting Aug. 11, and an early draft would allow residents to license golf carts, all-terrain vehicles, four-wheelers and other motorized vehicles for the cost of $15 a license.

At a later meeting, however, council members opted to table the ordinance until specific requirements were outlined by the new state law, said Carolyn Surface, city clerk.

The state legislation was already in the works to address some of the same questions council members asked about the equipment guidelines for the licensing.

The council decided to wait until those matters were decided by the state law and revisit the ordinance later, Surface said.

Now that the law has been made official, city attorney Stephen Gray said the council has the option of taking a second look at the ordinance.

“It will be up to them whether they want to bring it up again,” Gray said.

Other matters discussed at the Aug. 11 meeting included whether the city’s ordinance would contain specific language requiring proof of insurance or use of turn signals to license a utility vehicle.

Previously, the state law forbid such vehicles on streets and highways unless they were used for government or agricultural use, but allowed a city or county to issue special permits authorizing use within that jurisdiction.

Gray said previously that he believes the ordinance targets both taxpayers concerned about the rising costs of gasoline and people who, having invested several thousand dollars in the purchase and maintenance of utility vehicles, wish to drive them in town.

 

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245″

I plan on bringing this issue up at the October 13th, 2008 City Council Meeting. I know this might be another “touchy” issue, but I don’t see the harm in it PROVIDED SAFETY MEASURES ARE PUT  INTO THE ORDINANCE  , such as slow moving vehicle signs or flags, as well as break lights signals, along with a city permit that shows the vehicle has been inspected by one of our police officers.

Who knows, if they become popular enough perhaps it would inspire a local entrepreneur to open a utility vehicle or golf cart dealer ship?

I’m always looking for ways to help the citizens and stimulate businesses.

I appreciate your views on this subject, so please feel free to email me at:

mobushwhacker@yahoo.com

Thank You,

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman, Ward I

Marble Hill

 

Water rates are going up…

September 9, 2008

Well folks, your water rates will soon be going up. Tonight I lost my long hard fought battle against the measure, but when it is three against one, chances are you are not going to win.

I did a little informal study of my own today and found that compared to 3 other towns in the Southeast Missouri area, which are relatively the same size as Marble Hill, our water rates were actually on the “high” end already.

When the mayor called for discussion of the measure, I shared the results of the study which I am posting below:

Marble Hill: 

Water minimum charge: $9.18 for first 2,500 gallons, then .20 cents for each additional 100 gallons. 

Sewer minimum charge: $9.09 for first 2,500 gallons, then .24 cents for each additional 100 gallons. 

Trash: $10.60 

Advance:  

Water minimum charge: $8.00  / then 20 cents per 100 gals used.

Sewer minimum charge: $ 4.06/ then 2.47 cents per 1000 gals used

Trash: $8.64 

Benton:    

Water: $6.30 for first 2000 gallons

           $2.70 for next 1000 gallons

           $1.35 For everything over 3000 gallons

Sewer rates match water rates

Trash: $9.25 

Oran: 

Water: $9.20 for 0-2000 gallons used

           $10.45 for 2000-3000 gallons used

           .50 cents per 1000 gallons over 3000 

Sewer: .84 cents per 1000 gallons

Trash: $7.75 

If a family uses an average of 3000 gallons per month they would pay the following rates for water and sewer and trash (before taxes) The first total is the combined water and sewer usage fees , the second is the addition of trash pick up fees and the final total is a combination of water, sewer and trash : 

Advance: $25.47 + 8.64 for trash = $34.11

Marble Hill: $20.47+10.60 for trash = $31.07 

Benton:   $19.45 + 9.25 for trash = $28.70 

In Oran:  $12.97 + 7.75 for trash = $20.72

What this means…

Since the ordinance was passed as written it means that 3000 gallons of water and sewer, with trash pick-up will increase from $31.07 to 39.47 per month.

The vote was as follows:

Alderman Sears:        Yes

Alderman Lacy:         No

Alderman McCain:     Yes

Alderman Southwick: Yes

The good news is that we continue to see citizens attending monthly meetings. We had about 12 citizens visit tonight.

After the vote was made, one citizen asked, ” I realized that you all have already raised the water rates, but what are we going to get for our increase?”

To which I replied (in all seriousness), “Probably water bubbling out of your street”.

Alderman McCain addressed the citizen by saying , “This will help us get grants to fix the water and sewer lines. In the past we’ve been denied water and sewer grants because our water and sewer system has been operating in the red”

Perhaps if Alderman McCain had been present at the August 18th, public hearing or had read the August 20th, 2008 Banner Press coverage of it, he would know that when asked when was the last time the city applied for water or sewage grants, Assistant City Administrator Shrum stated, “I think it was in 2002 but I can’t be sure”.

My point was this: If the City is not applying for grants to improveour water and sewer system, the raise my coleagues just approved of really isn’t going to do any good.

Money will continually be spent towards “patchwork” fixes, and not improvements, so the only residents will most likely see from the rate hikes is “water bubbling out of your street”.

As a side note, while Alderman McCain missed the public hearing on such issues as water rates, and caterer’s liquor liscences, take comfort in knowing that brought up the city’s dog ordinance laws, indicating that he thinks they need to be revised. If he is successful, then it will be the third time in two years. Remember that next time you have air in your water line.

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman, Ward I.

Agenda for Monday’s City Council Meeting

September 7, 2008

The following is the Agenda for tomorrow night’s City Council meeting held at City Hall, 6:00 pm.  Remember the best way to make sure your voice is heard is to attend the meeting, and invite a friend to go with you!

Regular Board Meeting

Monday, September 8th, 2008

6:00 p.m.

AGENDA:

  1. Call to Order by Mayor Masterson
  2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
  3. Roll Call
  4. Approval of Minutes

          Regular Board Meeting  08-11-08

          Public Hearings            08-18-08

          Special Board Meeting  08-18-08

         Special Board Meeting   08-22-08

         City Expenditures

   5.  Presentation to the Board:

        Jeff Eftink-CPA

       Stacey Long- Speed Limits

       Jack Watt – Christmas in the Foothills

  6.  Presentations to the Board:

      City Attorney – Stephen Grey

      Ordinance- Utility Rates

 7:  Staff Reports:

      City Collector – Carla Watt

      City Clerk -Carolyn M. Surfact

      Fire Department – Jim Bollinger

      Police Department – Dennis Willis

      Admin. Assistant – Gary Shrum

  8.  New Business:

  9.  Mayor Report

       Board of Alderman Report

       Next Regular Board Meeting October 13, 2008

 10. Adjournment

The Board of Alderman of the City of Marble Hill, Missouri , may as part of a study session or regular or special Board Meeting, hold a closed session to discuss legal actions, causes of legal action or litigation, leasing, purchasing or sale of real estate, hiring, firing, disciplining, promotion of personnel or employee labor relations.

Pay pecial attention to item #6 on the agenda which is labeled as an “Ordinance” for “Utility” rates. This ordinance specifically deals with water and sewer rates increasing. You can view this ordinance by CLICKING ON THIS LINK .

Please be patient as it might take a while to load, it is a direct scan of my meeting packet that I receive prior to each City Council meeting, which means that it is public record.

Thank You,

Alderman Clint E. Lacy

Ward I, Marble Hill

What the ??? !!!

August 30, 2008

I never really paid attention to the spelling at Kelly’s Korner Kupboard, a salvage grocery store in Marble Hill until this morning.

Kelly’s moved to a new location in town a couple of months ago, but the building that used to house the store, still carries its name.

I was returning from Cape Girardeau this afternoon and noticed that “certain letters” of the store name had been high-lighted. I’m guessing it took place sometime late last night or early this morning.

I called City Hall and asked the employee that answered who owned the property and then asked if they had driven past it today.

“Yes” the employee answered and then asked, “why?”

I stated that there might be a problem and asked, “You didn’t notice that the “K’s” had been highlighted in white?”

The employee stated that they would contact the police A.S.A.P.

I’m guessing they must have contacted the property owner A.S.A.P. as well, for within an hour of contacting City Hall, the “K’s” had been painted over to match the other letters.

In fact, apparently when I snapped this picture, workers were already preparing to “un do” the vandalism, (note the ladder by the store awning).

What amazes me is that no one else noticed the work of last night’s artist (s?).  At least I can say that this is one problem the city worked quickly to resolve!

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman Ward I

Marble Hill, Missouri