Members of the Cassville City Council addressed several issues at their meeting on Monday, including approval of an ordinance that lowers the cost of permit fees for construction or renovation of homes and businesses.
Based on the newly revised ordinance, residential building permits are required for any renovation, new construction or addition with a minimum fee of $20 for residential permits. Commercial building permit fees are $4 per $1,000 of total project costs up to $20.
Permit fees for projects not classified as new construction or remodeling are $25 each for either structural work, electric, mechanical or plumbing, not to exceed $50.
City Administrator Eugene Dilbeck was supportive of the change, which substantially lowers the permit fees charged.
"We used six different municipalities around us for a model," Dilbeck said. "These are very competitive rates."
One caveat to the proposal is that any addition to an existing structure would require the entire structure be brought up to code.
Fees are also required for demolition, mobile home placement, residential re-roofing, new or replacement driveways, heating and air conditioning units individually or combined, street and curb cuts, and moving of buildings or structures.
Contractors and home improvement enthusiasts are advised that work started prior to obtaining the required permits will be subject to triple the established fees.
Aldermen approved the ordinance by a vote of three to one with Alderman Terry Heinz presenting the only opposition.
In other business, council members approved an amendment of the ordinance permitting the sale of fireworks within the city limits.
Vendors would be required to have a permit and be subject to restrictions on the placement of temporary tents or buildings where flammable substances could be accidentally ignited.
Vendors would also be required to have proof of insurance of up to $1 million in coverage.
The discharge of fireworks by individuals is still prohibited within the city limits. Organizations are allowed to host a public display of fireworks as long as adequate safety measures are in place and permits for the events are granted.
The ordinance was approved by a vote of three to one with Heinz casting the only opposition to the measure.
Council members also approved an ordinance allowing Mayor Tracy Holle to enter into an agreement with the Missouri Highway and Transportation (MoDOT) Commission for to provide signage for the Cassville Aquatic Center.
Holle reported three of the four current signs were missing or severely damaged. The new indicator signs will be the traditional green with white lettering usually seen on highway signs. They will be located on Highways 76/86/112 and Farm Road 2182 and on Highway 37 and Farm Road 2182.
MoDOT will require the city to buy, install and maintain the signs according to its specifications.
Aldermen approved the ordinance, with Heinz offering the only opposing vote.
Cassville resident Nadine Davis, who takes a daily morning stroll around the city, brought her concerns to aldermen.
"The weather is getting warmer," Davis said, "and the dogs are roaming loose."
Davis reported seeing 10 dogs running at large in a pack in the neighborhood where she usually walks. Davis said she has also observed animals getting into trash near a new restaurant.
Particularly disturbing to Davis was the early morning discovery of a tub sitting by the side of the road in near-freezing temperatures near the Barry County Sheriffs Department.
"I walked by it and heard a noise," Davis said. "There were eight puppies inside, about two weeks old. One had been chewed on.
"Please do something about dogs running loose," she continued. "Many of those animals are dogs I would not like to encounter."
Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr agreed there were some issues with animal control.
"We don't have an animal control officer," she said, "and we really don't have a place to keep them."
Kammerlohr said she and the patrol officers generally tried to locate the owners of the animals, but the job was a difficult one.
In other business, aldermen approved a bid from Utility Services, headquartered in Perry, Ga., to perform maintenance and repairs to the city's five water towers for the next 10 years. Cost of the contract is $486,030, broken down to $48,603 annually.
The Utility Services contract will be presented at the next regular meeting of the city council scheduled for 6 p.m. on March 21 at City Hall.