Wheaton mulls extending city limits

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Extension would allow annexation for some residents

Wheaton officials are hoping to slow drivers as they approach city limits, and have made a suggestion they hope will do so.

Officials are considering extending the city limits, allowing them to install speed limit signs so that people would have a chance to gradually slow down before entering the city.

However, by extending the city limits, residents would have the right to ask to be annexed into the city. At that point, the city would have to provide water and sewer for them.

According to Utilities Superintendent Jerry McBride, this would be costly because the geography outside the city limits has several hills. The lagoon sewer system works now because all the equipment is higher than the lagoon. McBride said by adding more land, the city would have to add a new lift station and new pumps to make the system work efficiently.

The city council considered the idea, but decided to table it to give time for more research.

After discussing the city limits suggestion, officials turned to Police Officer Clint Clark, who said he has been strictly enforcing the dog ordinance for the city.

He issues fines to anyone who does not follow the law of keeping dogs on a leash. The council said it's an ongoing process, but they feel like the stray dog issue is improving in Wheaton.

Officials are also accepting bids for a new riser pipe for the old water tower located behind city hall.

The pipe froze during the wintry weather recently. The section of the pipe to be replaced is about 70 feet from the ground to the top.

The tower was built in 1941 and still has the original pipes. It is currently out of service. The city uses other towers, and according to McBride, the city has plenty of storage and water without the tower's use. By repairing the pipe, the city will have an extra 20,000 gallons of water in storage.

Current bids are from McGuire Iron for $38,500 and Hydro Spect for $28,975.

The city is waiting for more bids before making a decision.

Other actions taken by Wheaton officials include:

* Selling its 1971 Ford, 1,000-gallon pump fire truck. According to Mayor David Shockley, the truck is in decent shape, but no longer needed by the city since the rural fire department became tax-based. The fire truck is now for sale for $6,000 or the best offer.

* Purchasing new guides and lights for the snow plow due to use. Officials said the they have not been updated since the plow was purchased five years ago.

* Placing rails along the new sidewalks along Highway 86, per MoDOT regulations.

* Scheduling City-Wide Garage Sale for May 3 and the City-Wide Clean-Up Day for May 17.

* Due to the cold weather, many residents are struggling to pay their natural gas bills on time. The city said they are doing what they can to work with residents, but encourages them to pay as soon as they can. Energy assistance is available through the state for those who are risk of being shut-off.

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