Cassville Council reviews departmental reports

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Cassville City Council reviewed departmental reports during its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 13. The reports included information on the city's finances, police department and public works.

Noelle Harmon, city clerk, reported that progress continues on preparing the 2013 budget. Harmon asked all department heads to submit lists of capital needs to her by Aug. 31. She said the lists will be limited to actual needs for the 2013 budget year.

Harmon's report also included a timeline for budget planning. From September through December, the council will complete several steps during the regular council meetings.

In September, departmental heads will present the council with their capital needs for 2013. The aldermen will be responsible for prioritizing the needs.

During the October council meeting, aldermen will receive a draft budget. The council will make necessary changes to the draft.

The final draft budget will be presented in November, and the 2013 budget will be adopted in December.

Public works

Steve Walensky, public works director, added a drought status to his monthly report.

"We began, last month, to routinely perform a well health check or a drawdown test on our wells," Walensky said in his report. "These tests have been typically performed only annually."

Due to the ongoing drought, Walensky has directed the public works team to complete the tests at least once a month. The tests determine the number of feet of water over the top of the pump motor after the motor runs for 30 minutes.

"Best practices recommend at least 50 feet as the measurement," said Walensky. "We are currently running 150 feet or more on our wells. If we begin to approach the 50-foot level we will recommend to council a drop of the motor to prevent damage to the well pump."

Walensky has gathered information from the Missouri Rural Water Association and other cities and states regarding methods used to assist in the management of water systems during shortfalls. He has also obtained draft documentation on ordinance language that could be used if Cassville is forced to implement water management strategies.

The parks department is rebuilding two unsafe dugouts, has repaired a spring toy at the park and unsafe boards on the Greenway Trail walkways. Staff members have also replaced the practice board at the tennis courts with lumber left over from previous projects and replaced the wooden picnic tables near the tennis courts with metal tables, which has decreased vandalism to the basketball court timer.

Public works employees are also in the process of repairing parts for a lift at the Cassville Aquatic Center. After the lift is repaired, city staff members will be training YMCA staff members in the operation of the lift. The change will bring the aquatic facility into compliance with new Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Collection system team members televised and cleaned 12,439 feet of the city's sewer system. The team has also cleaned storm drains and whistles along the creeks in town during the dry conditions.

Police department

Cassville Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr reported that the city police department received 591 calls for service through central dispatch in July. A total of 321 report numbers were generated during the month.

Kammerlohr also reported that area police chiefs and county law enforcement administrative officers will begin meeting once a month to share information. Southwest Missouri Drug Task Force Board members will also meet once a month at the Cassville Police Department.

The police department conducted 59 traffic stops last month. The following citations were issued: four speeding violations; 11 license violations; three signal violations; two equipment violations; three lane violations; and two moving violations.

Finance department

Darelyn Cooper, city finance officer, reported that the city has spent $104,044.44 on its bypass elimination and stormwater plan. An additional $7,955.56 has been earmarked for the project. Funding has been provided by COP (certificates of participation) bonds and a DREAM grant.

A total of $41,071.75 has been spent on the meter replacement project, which is also being funded using COP bond monies. The city must use the remaining portion of the COP funding by Aug. 13, 2013. Aldermen have earmarked $302,242.93 for the remainder of the meter replacement project.

Cooper also reported that the city has received $56,736 in reimbursements on the airport sealing project from the Missouri Department of Transportation FAA, $3,140.68 from Mediacom for the second quarter cable franchise fee and $18,258.84 from Missouri Gas Energy for semi-annual gas franchise fees.

Sales taxes increased 2.2 percent in July, but dropped 7.4 percent in August. Currently, the city's sales tax is up 4.3 percent compared to sales tax received from January 2011 to August 2011.

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