Former Cassville mayor remembered

Thursday, May 5, 2011
Bill LeCompte

On Monday, the Cassville City Council offered condolences to the family of Bill LeCompte, who died on April 30. LeCompte served as Cassville mayor for 18 years and was a city alderman for two years.

"This weekend, we lost a patriot of our city," said Mayor Tracy Holle. "Bill served the city in many, many ways, and he had a special place in the hearts of many people."

LeCompte served as the voice of the Wildcat football team from the early 1970s through 1984. He also owned and operated LeCompte's Building Center in Cassville for over 60 years.

"There were many times that I would go into his establishment, and he would give me just the right thing to fix a problem or tell me who to go to for help," said Holle. "He was a kind man to all who knew him. He was very giving, caring, and he loved his community and his city."

Aldermen Terry Heinz and Bill Hill also recalled fond memories of LeCompte.

"I enjoyed Bill's sense of humor," said Heinz. "He had a wonderful sense of humor."

"When I had the lumber yard he was the most pleasant competition I had," said Hill. "If I was out of something, he would help me out until I could get it in. He was a super businessman, a wonderful person and good for our community."

LeCompte was a member of the Cassville United Methodist Church for more than 80 years. He was also a member of the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine and Pythagoras Lodge #383, the Cassville Rotary Club, the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Corporation.

"He will be sorely missed, not only by his family and friends, but by all who came to know him," said Holle. "We owe him a debt of gratitude for what he did for this city."

LeCompte held the position of Cassville mayor longer than any other individual. He served in the position from 1967 through 1985.

The City of Cassville and the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce have encouraged all Cassville businesses to close from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 5. LeCompte's funeral service will be held at the Cassville United Methodist Church at 11 a.m.

The city and chamber will also honor LeCompte by flying flags at half mast on Thursday.

LeCompte's complete obituary is printed on page 22 of this week's newspaper.

During Monday night's meeting, Eugene Dilbeck, city administrator, also updated the council on damages caused by the severe flooding that occurred in the city on April 25.

"Around 2,900 to 3,000 feet of the Greenway Trail was washed out," said Dilbeck. "We are going to need around $3,000 in gravel to fix it back. We are going to use the gravel we can salvage, but the trail was washed out to the dirt from Rocky Edmondson Park to Highway 112."

Dilbeck reported that a large amount of dirt that had been placed on the baseball field also washed away. Dirt will need to be hauled to Cassville from Fayetteville, Ark., to repair the fields. Several Cassville Little League members have volunteered to haul the dirt and help place it on the fields.

"How does this compare to other floods?" asked Dilbeck. "I have been told that this is pretty much the same thing that the city deals with each time and that this is the expense the city sees every time."

Dilbeck plans to look for grant money that could be used to place concrete along the Greenway Trail where flood damage routinely occurs.

"That would be the only permanent fix to that issue," said Dilbeck. "As far as the baseball fields are concerned, it is a reality that those are located in a flood area, and unless they are moved, we will need to step up and fix what needs to be fixed each time."

Work completed last year that corrected erosion issues along the Greenway Trail between the city park and Fair Street allowed Flat Creek to flow through the area and decreased much of the flooding threat to houses located on Fair Street, said Dilbeck.

Over the last week, city employees have been working to clean out culverts and drain ditches to allow water to flow through other areas of the city more smoothly.

"It had been a while since we had a flood like that, so there was a lot of debris that came through, which caused waters to rise in different areas," said Dilbeck. "Overall, the city stood up well though."

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Approved the purchase of property located at 9773 Farm Road 2160 from Jeffrey and Judith Mouser at a cost of $109,909.32. The land was purchased for an airport expansion.

* Heard that the city has received preliminary water rate study information from Wichita State University. Additional information will be provided by the Missouri Rural Water Association.

* Approved a $8,500 bid from Reavis Water Wells and Construction, Inc., for a roof replacement project at the city well facility located at the intersection of Eighth and Mill streets. The city also received a $10,500 bid from Hewitt-Messenger and a $10,800 bid from Drill It Well, Inc.

* Appointed Hill to serve as mayor pro tem.

* Approved a supplemental agreement with Olsson Associations for a stormwater, flood and inflow abatement alternatives analysis of Town Branch. The city has received a $10,000 grant through the DREAM Initiative to help pay for the $25,600 study.

* Appointed Alderman Jeff Parsons to the airport advisory board, Alderman Darrell Ledenham to the park board and Heinz to the planning and zoning commission.

* Approved a special use permit for a LED sign that will be placed at the Commerce Bank branch located at 89 South Main St.

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