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Council discusses revisions to YMCA contract

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Cassville City Council discussed revisions to the city's recreational services agreement with the Ozark Regional YMCA during the council's regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 3.

Eugene Dilbeck, city administrator, presented the aldermen with a letter that will be mailed to Gordon Brown, Cassville and Monett YMCA executive director.

"The agreement revisions reflect the city's concern for continually subsidizing the YMCA programing in Cassville," Dilbeck stated in the letter. "It is the city's desire to reduce its monetary commitment to the YMCA from the current amount to zero within three years. It is the position of the city that participation fees and sponsorships should cover the cost of all recreational programing."

In the letter, Dilbeck said that the revised agreement incorporates suggestions made by Brown during recent meetings and comments from the Cassville City Council.

"Gradually reducing the city's financial obligation to the YMCA over a three-year period will allow fundraising activities to be put in place," stated Dilbeck. "That will allow the community to support YMCA programs to a level commensurate with their interest and need."

The revisions to the contract include an immediate reduction in the amount of funding provided for gymnastics programs, which have been eliminated at the Cassville YMCA. Over the last five years, the city has paid the YMCA $15,000 per year to operate gymnastics programs. The Cassville Y has replaced its gymnastics program with a tumbling and cheerleading program.

Cassville also pays the Cassville YMCA $15,000 to operate the Aquatic Center and $25,000 to offer other recreational programs, including youth and adult spring, summer and fall sports leagues.

On Jan. 18, Brown will attend the council meeting to discuss the revisions to the contract with the aldermen.

John Hendricks, owner of Luck-E-Strike, addressed the council toward the end of the meeting. Hendricks complimented city staff members Jean Haddock, utility clerk, Steve Walensky, public works director, Larry Privett, public works maintenance, and Kenny Schieler, parks maintenance foreman, for assisting him with water and sewer issues.

Hendricks reported that he has received two notices for the disconnection of utility services. According to Hendricks, one notice was made after his water payment was short $2 or $3, and another notice was given because he was short $56 on his sewer payment.

"I was told that the city was going to turn my water off," said Hendricks. "I have had a business in this town for nearly 30 years. It was frightening to learn that my 70 employees might lose their jobs, because the city was going to shut my water off."

Hendricks said that he was also recently notified that he was not being charged for his sewer services.

"When I built that facility, the fathers of this city were proud of what I was doing and they decided to let my sewer bill slide," said Hendricks. "I had forgotten that I was not being charged for sewer, but when I was told that I would start being charged for sewer, I said I was fine with that."

Hendricks said over the last two months he received bills for $140 and $200 for sewer services. Public works employees found one leak at his business, and he was told that his bill would be adjusted due to the leak.

Hendricks said that he attempted to work with the city administration in order to resolve the billing issue. When he was charged a $25 penalty on his bill, Hendricks said he attempted to appeal the fee but received no assistance from city leaders.

"I don't feel I should be charged a $25 penalty when I didn't even know what I owed the city," said Hendricks. "I haven't had a sewer bill in 30 years and now I have had two and a notice that my services will be turned off because I didn't pay a $25 penalty.

"I think this should have been handled without me coming down here," said Hendricks. "I'm busy, and I know you are busy. I just want you, as aldermen, to understand what is going on in your city. You are antagonizing the people who have business in your city.

"Revenues are down, and people are not moving here," said Hendricks. "You need business here, and you need to keep people like me here. I think the city administration needs to sit down with the Industrial Development Corporation and business leaders and decide what is important."

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Approved a resolution that will allow several city employees to participate in a group annuity contract through ING Financial Advisors, LLC.

* Heard that Casey's General Store is scheduled to open in early April.

* Tabled an ordinance that would change the employee sick leave policy.

* Heard that Tractor Supply Company will hold a job fair for 14 positions in four job classifications at the Crowder College Cassville Campus today (Wednesday).

* Discussed changing the city's employee retirement plan, which is administered by LAGERS, from a 1 percent plan to a 1.5 percent plan. The change would cost the city $4,067 per year.

* Heard that Lynette Dilbeck, economic development director, has been working with the Barry County Museum and the Cassville Main Street Association to provide historical photos to Missouri DREAM consultants PGAV. The photos will be used to develop building and streetscape designs and renovation suggestions for downtown Cassville.

* Directed Eugene Dilbeck to develop a resolution in support of the one-eighth of a cent sales tax increase that the Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board has placed on the Feb. 7 ballot. If the issue fails, the city will be required to pay for dispatching services currently provided by the county 911 system.

* Heard that the Cassville Police Department will host a prescription take back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28.



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