Council discusses city addressing issues

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Leash law ordinance was also on the agenda

By Lindsay Reed

The Cassville City Council discussed possible updates to standards for city addresses at its regularly scheduled meeting on May 13.

Josie Bock, of Great River Associates, spoke to the council regarding several issues with the residential and business addresses located in the Cassville city limits. Bock was invited to the meeting by Alderman Ann Hennigan, who has been serving on a committee responsible for developing addressing standards for the city.

"There is a standard that Cassville has tried to follow and you can kind of see some relic of that, but the city has not followed it completely," said Bock. "The state put together a format for addressing standards that cities and counties can follow, which includes: even numbers on the east; odd numbers on the west; odd numbers on the north; even numbers on the south."

Bock said the state's suggested standards also gives tips for naming streets, when to use court in a street name and when to give a road a new name.

"There are all kinds of conventions out there, but it is helpful to have standards in place," said Bock. "When you have issues, it causes citizens to have address changes, which does not make them happy. We are all well aware of the issues this can cause citizens and businesses. It takes a lot of money to reprint letterheads and envelopes."

Bock said that the city has several areas where the odd and even numbering standards have not been used. There are also locations in the city where two or more streets have the same names.

"This has been like this for years," said Alderman Terry Heinz. "What does it hurt?"

"It does make it hard for delivery services like FedEx to find an address, and emergency vehicles in a hurry can have trouble finding an address," said Bock. "It can cause delays and confusion."

The council discussed requiring citizens to place their house number on their home using numbers that are a contrasting color. Bock said some cities also require plaques be placed on the bottom of mailboxes to show house numbers.

"There is also an issue with how addresses come in outside the city when the road changes," said Bock. "Some of this could be corrected with a database clean-up or by moving a citizen to a city address when they live this close to the city boundary. They would not be required to annex. It would just be an address change to make things easier.

"You have to have guidelines to follow, but it is more about developing a standard that you feel best fits your city," continued Bock. "There is nobody out there saying that you have to do this. It is just here to help with the overall addressing of your town."

The council discussed grandfathering in all of the existing addresses and then developing a standard for new addresses, such as new subdivisions. If new addresses are added where old addresses have been grandfathered in, the city could add suite numbers to ensure that addresses remain consistent with existing addresses.

Hennigan was directed to continue working with the citizen committee to develop an addressing standard for the city.

The aldermen were also addressed by Nadean Davis, who requested a leash law, a mandatory recycling program and an ordinance to govern the placement and removal of garage sale signs. The council indicated that there is an ordinance in place requiring garage sale signs be removed 24 to 48 hours after a sale.

"I went into the old police reports," said Hennigan. "In October of 2012, there were 10 dog complaints and two dog bites. In November of 2012, there were 10 complaints and one bite. In January, there were 13 complaints, and in February, there were nine complaints and two bites. In March, there were five complaints, and this month, there were 11 complaints and one bite. It is not getting any better."

Alderman Darrell Ledenham, who works at the Cassville Post Office, indicated that the local office has lost two door-to-door mail routes due to dog bites.

"Once the postal service quits a route, it can never go back to walking in that neighborhood again," said Ledenham. "It is permanently lost."

Mail carriers now deliver to mailboxes in those two neighborhoods within the city.

Hennigan suggested the city ask dog owners to license pets with the city. Heinz suggested passing a leash law. The council decided to form a citizens committee to develop a leash law proposal. Hennigan will serve on the committee with Davis and other interested residents.

The council heard that the bathrooms at the city park were vandalized during the last month.

"We had some folks go in, lock the doors, plug the drains and turn the water on so that the bathrooms were flooded," said Steve Walensky, public works director. "They also damaged the drain pipes on the sinks, broke the women's lavoratory and painted on the walls."

In order to stop this type of incident occurring in the future, the city has replaced the lock system previously used on the bathrooms with padlocks that the police department is required to lock at 10 p.m. each night.

Walensky said that some of the picnic tables in the park have also been vandalized. The tables were relocated in an attempt to minimize vandalism in the future.

"The police have done great work with tracking down who these people are," said Walensky. "We also want to announce that the first time someone vandalizes facilities in the park they will not be welcome in the park for six months. On the second offense, we don't want them back in the park again."

The city is also prosecuting individuals who vandalize park facilities. When possible, community service options are used for repairs after vandalism incidents.

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Received a clean audit report from Marshall Decker, of Decker and DeGood.

* Approved a $11,080 purchase order to Fraizier Oil Company, of Gower, for 2,000 gallons of airport fuel.

* Discussed making changes to the payment plans offered by the municipal court. Heinz suggested Mayor Bill Shiveley meet with Jennifer Privett, court clerk, and the municipal court judge to discuss the issue of unpaid court fines.

* Heard that invasive tree roots caused four sewer backup issues last month. Only one of the issues was on one of the city's main lines.

* Discussed a computer services rental and lease maintenance agreement with MDC. The aldermen directed Walensky to request an enterprise agreement, which should lower the city's costs due to contracting with the company for all computer services.

* Reviewed the revenue sales tax report, which showed that sales tax was up 3 percent in May. The city's sales tax revenues are down less than half of a percent for the year.

* Approved a $25 bid from Rod and Tracy Tucker for cutting and removing hay from the Cassville Industrial Park.

* Voted to dispose of a 2008 Ford Crown Victoria Interceptor police vehicle at Rebel Recycling, which has indicated that scrap value will be between $340 and $400.

* Discussed the city's ordinance regarding mobile homes with Dora Stevens, who would like to move her trailer into the city limits. Stevens' trailer is more than 10 years of age, therefore it would need to be placed on property owned by Stevens and meet the requirements of a permanent home. She would also be required to obtain a variance from the planning and zoning commission.

* Heard that Matt Snyder, wastewater treatment plant employee, has resigned to accept a job out of state. The city will be hiring one new public works employee.

* Approved the second reading of ordinances that annex property owned by Bob and Sue Mitchell and a portion of the Cassville Aquatic Park.

* Heard that one of the city's backhoes is no longer in operation. The equipment will need to be replaced, and Walensky is working on proposals that will be presented to the council at next month's meeting.

* Received proposed changes for the city's peddler's ordinance. Hennigan and Alderman Jan Anthony will continue to work on the ordinance with the city attorney.

* Approved an amended ordinance related to fireworks regulations and authorized a fireworks sales permit for TRT, LLC.

* Approved a contract for Lead's Online, which will provide the Cassville Police Department with information for theft investigations.

* Amended the city's purchasing policy to include a statement that professional services can be bid at the discretion of the city staff.

* Voted to release a portion of the city's sidewalk survey information to the Missouri Department of Transportation. The information could be used by the Cassville Main Street Association if grant funding becomes available for sidewalk improvements in the future.

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