Purdy annexation request appears to cross final hurdle

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

City council approves public works equipment purchase

The annexation issue requested by the Purdy City Council appears near resolution.

Mayor Bo Prock reported to the Purdy City Council last week that he received a call from the Barry County Commission that questions raised about the city's request to annex the right-of-way to Highway 37 and Farm Road 1080 had been answered.

Prock delivered documentation to the commissioners from City Attorney Darlene Parrigon in response to questions raised the by county commissioners. Parrigon explained the legal differences between real property and roads, including legal precedents. In addition to documentation from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), explaining its process, Prock provided the list of criteria required by the state, proof that each step had been completed and on what date.

Under the previous city administration, the city began efforts to annex the state right-of-way to 1.5 miles of Farm Road 1080. The addition of all the right-of-ways would give a football-shaped outline to the city east of the railroad tracks. As in other communities, the Missouri Department of Transportation is now open to municipal annexation of its highway right-of-way.

“This has nothing to do with the complaints made [in opposition to the annexation],” Prock said. “We're not annexing homes.”

Northern County Commissioner Gary Schad asked Prock to produce proof supporting the city's interpretation of state law on the subject. Four landowners, according to Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren, objected to the annexation, raising concerns about a city move toward their property. Prock consistently argued the proposal impacts no individual property owner, other than providing the opportunity to voluntarily annex into the city limits if interested.

Several landowners support the annexation. The business Eagle Logistics is seeking city police protection. Several residents would like access to water service.

Prock said he now expects to receive a letter from the county commissioners authorizing annexation of the right-of-way to Highway 37, already approved by MoDOT, and the county road. He planned to call to pursue the issue if he did not receive the document this week.

In other business:

• Council members approved spending up to $5,000 for equipment for the public works department. Lonnie Lowery presented a list of needed materials and prices. Prock said this was the first time in three years the department asked for supplies, and the purchase was “a long time coming.”

Lowery said the department lacked supplies as basic as a good ladder. Clerk Debbie Redshaw said employees had been going home and getting their own ladders for jobs rather than pursue purchase.

Needed supplies included a wheelbarrow for use at the dog pound, four pairs of Kevlar gloves in different sizes for both police and public works staff in apprehending loose dogs, three five-foot folding catch poles for police cars and the city truck for capturing dogs, a two-wheel dolly for moving supplies, insulator wader boots for working on water leaks, a tool box to replace the wood box tools have been kept in, and a full set of tools to be stored in the public works building, all needed for working on water and sewer projects.

Included in the purchase were two scales to each hold 500-pound barrels of chlorine for the chlorination process. With the scales, Lowery said, the city could track its use of the cleansing chemical by weight. Each scale cost $451.96 each.

Lowery turned in catalogues with pricing for the needed supplies. Alderman Scott Redshaw also provided a list of tools with pricing that he found needed in the municipality where he works.

“If we spend this, I want this dog deal under control,” Prock said. “I don't want to see a bunch of dogs running around Purdy.”

• Aldermen approved setting spring clean-up for April 16. City crews will move from the west end of town to the east. Lowery said crews would likely pick up basic debris and leave large items, such as furniture or mattresses, for a second pass, resulting in two times crews would cross town.

Prock asked to have a letter sent out, notifying the public of the date, particularly those prone to creating maintenance issues, stressing the clean-up was free and an easy way to dispose of items. Lowery offered to distribute letters door-to-door, if necessary.

Limb collection will resume on April 30, after the clean-up.

• With contracts awarded for building the sewer pipeline from Purdy to Monett, Prock said the project came in approximately $700,000 under original budget estimates. Consequently, he had been talking to engineer Chris Erisman with Allgeier, Martin and Associates about what to do with the remaining money.

Grant stipulations set up a “use it or lose it” scenario. He said the city would seek related upgrades where the money could enhance the city's system. Funding arrangements required the city to spend all of its bond money, then could tap into its grants.

Prock anticipated holding a pre-construction meeting around the second week in April. He advised all of the council members to attend so that no questions were left answered as work got underway.

• At the request of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program, Clerk Redshaw, wearing her city manager hat for tracking the sewer construction project, asked council members to set up a separate bank account for handling federal money for the project. Signatories were also named for the checking account for money from the Community Development Block Grant, also funding the sewer project.

• Lowery reported that repairing recently discovered water leaks had raised the efficiency rate back to 48 percent, up from a round 30 percent last year.

The water tower fed by well no. 1 overflowed recently, indicating problems with the automatic system. The city's supply had run off well no. 1 for a month. Lowery wanted to test the system to see if there were problems with the no. 3 well and to determine if the meter on the no. 1 well would detect backflow, something it was not designed to do.

Lowery added he had talked with engineers for the school district's FEMA shelter, informing them specifications for the project called for a much more expensive water meter than the facility needed. He felt he could save the district over a thousand dollars by opting for a better sized meter.

• Police continue to track thieves who broke into the school construction site on Feb. 2 and stole a generator, surveying equipment and hand tools. Chief Jackie Lowe also reported odd graffiti had been sprayed around town and in Butterfield. He was talking to Monett police in an effort to determine what the graffiti meant.

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