Several representatives from the First Baptist Church of Purdy appeared at the regular March meeting of the Purdy City Council to discuss concerns regarding parking on Commercial Street.
Jeff Brattin, spokesperson for the group, asked the city for assurance that there would be public parking available on the street. Concerns were raised when Ed Mareth, owner of Mareth Park, completed building and landscaping on the property before it had been surveyed. According to Brattin, the church property encompasses approximately one-third of the gazebo that has been built on the site.
"The original agreement was that we would trade [part of the property] when [Mareth] had closed and signed off on the purchase of the old post office," Brattin said. "That hasn't happened yet, and we don't know when it will. In the meantime, there is no parking for the church over there."
Aldermen discussed the possibilities of making angle parking available alongside Commercial Street from Highway C to Washington Street as long as it did not impede two-way traffic.
"We would like some kind of assurance that it will remain parking," Brattin said. "We are just trying to make everything right."
Mayor Ron Dutra said he would speak with city attorney Darlene Parrigon about the parking ordinances.
In other business, aldermen reviewed fencing bids obtained by Ted McIntire, public works department, for the city's water tower property. Aldermen chose Carnahan-White Fence Company, in Springfield, at a cost of $9,989. The project includes 583 feet of 16-gauge fencing and two walk-throughs.
McIntire reported a large leak was located and repaired. The leak lowered the water system efficiency rating to 51 percent for the month of February.
Workers also serviced the department's machinery in preparation of the upcoming maintenance season.
In his report to the board, Police Chief Jackie Lowe said it had been a busy month for officers.
A total of 15 dog complaints were answered in February and 14 verbal warnings issued for speeding violations.
Lowe also reported that he had attended a meeting at the Barry County Central Dispatch Center in Cassville with other city officials. The topic of the meeting was replacing or upgrading municipal storm sirens to meet the federally mandated narrow-banding radio frequency requirements.
Most municipalities have sirens that can be activated by the Barry County 911 Center. Purdy's storm siren must be activated manually.
"Right now, we have to have someone go in and turn the siren on when there is a storm," Lowe said. "I don't want someone to die if they go into that metal building to set off the siren.
"Dave Compton, [Barry County Emergency Management Director], recommended the city buy a new siren that can be activated from the 911 Dispatch Center."
Dutra discussed his findings on the cost of a new storm siren, which can start at $15,000.
"That includes the pole, wiring and everything," Dutra said.
The siren would have a dedicated frequency for the City of Purdy and be activated only when the city was in imminent danger from severe weather.
Lowe said that representatives from Blue Valley Public Safety, of Grain Valley, will attend an upcoming meeting at the Barry County Central Dispatch Center to discuss upgrades and options.
"We need to find someone who can find some grant money for this," said Alderman Wayne Rupp. "There's money out there, you just have to know how to ask for it."
Dutra said he would make contact with some individuals who might be interested in writing and administering the grant.
The council then discussed several properties in town that are in need of abatement due to nuisance or dangerous building code violations. The aldermen reached a concensus to take action on those properties in violation.
Mike Pace, of Office Concepts, addressed aldermen concerning a new multi-function machine for the Purdy City Hall. The unit will scan, print and fax copies at a speed of up to 35 pages per minute. The cost of the unit will remain the same as the city's current lease payment of $151 per month.
The aldermen approved the contract.
In final business, Dutra appointed McIntire as a representative to the Southwest Missouri Solid Waste Management District Council. David Gatewood was selected as an alternate.
The next regular meeting of the Purdy City Council will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 9 at City Hall.