Purdy City Council votes to buy new flags

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

City hall move planned for April 1

Purdy City Council members recently voted to buy a set of flags for display along Highway C and discussed plans to move city hall to the Purdy Community Building.

City Clerk Debbie Redshaw presented aldermen with quotes on buying U.S. flags for display on patriotic occasions on utility poles on Highway C. Prices from two vendors seemed comparable, the best deal coming from a vendor offering free shipping. Recalling the city has approximately 35 flag mountings and can use older flags for backups, aldermen voted unanimously to spent $764.40 for a complete set from U.S. Flag Store in Pennsylvania. Not enough flags remained in good condition for a full display, and the exact number of serviceable flags had not been determined.

Mayor Pro Tem Brian Bowers noted the high school FFA chapter, which stores the city's flags, has made flag holders that project the flags away from the utility poles so that the fabric does not catch on nails stuck in the poles over the years.

Lonnie Lowery, public works foreman, asked if aldermen would like to buy a larger flag pole for the Community Building, since a five-by-eight-foot flag might need a 30-foot pole. Lowery priced a larger pole at $1,850. Bowers suggested further research to find other options. A three-by—five foot flag has been flying on the smaller pole there.

Redshaw said she is planning for city hall to move from its location at Highway C and Commercial Street to the Community Building on April 1. Aldermen approved the purchase of carpet for the major office and meeting rooms for $3,801, coming from J&J Flooring in Monett with an installer's commitment on price. Approval was also give for a $4,566.75 purchase of vinyl plank flooring for the entryway, hallway and law enforcement office from Lowe’s, using the same installer.

Having heard nothing after several months from the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District about a offer aldermen made to lease the current city hall as an ambulance base, city officials began discussing other options, possibly putting the building up for sale.

In other business, aldermen voted to adopt an ordinance raising fees relating to the municipal court. Court clerk fees increased from $12 to $15. An additional fee of $7 per case was added to pay for automating the courts to the new Show-Me Courts computer network. Redshaw said even with the city's court transferring to Barry County Associate Circuit Court, the fees were needed to cover costs of the planned upgrade.

Aldermen had two bids to consider for mowing in 2020. Brian Ozbun, who has provided the service in recent years, raised his charge from $170 to $185 per session. The other bidder proposed $225 per service. County members agreed Ozbun still offered the best price and accepted his bid.

Spring clean-up was scheduled for May 4 to May 8.

The next council meeting was set for 6 p.m. on April 13 following the April 7 annual election. At that session, if council members choose to name Bowers as mayor, will open a one-year vacancy from the West Ward. Mayor Bo Prock created the vacancy after moving from the city limits. Aldermen formally accepted Prock's resignation in February.

During a special meeting on March 2, aldermen approved a contract with Rejis, a St. Louis-based law enforcement government entity providing technology software for reporting. The contract for a basic packed from Rejis would cost approximately $2,500. Council members approved acquiring software for the police department for use inside the new city hall.

In department reports, Police Chief Jackie Lowe recounted serving a search warrant at 302 Third St., where drug paraphernalia was found. Four of five persons identified at the scene are currently on supervised probation for a variety of crimes. One of the subjects taken into custody there had four warrants, three for felonies. Another subject who fled the scene had an outstanding felony warrant for possession of a controlled substance from Arkansas.

A traffic stop on Feb. 24 on a motorist for speeding and expired registration resulted in the arrest of the driver on warrants for eight counts of passing bad checks. A shoplifting incident at the Dollar General Store on Feb. 29 resulted in the arrest of a subject on an outstanding Newton County warrant. An individual found walking in front of traffic two days in a row, found to have been under the influence of drugs, was transported to Freeman Hospital in Joplin on a self-committed mental health hold for 96 hours.

It was noted the King Food Saver grocery store in Purdy closed on March 1 with no advance notice. Calls to the Pyramid Foods headquarters in Rogersville for comment have not been returned.

For the public works department, Lowery reported water efficiency presently stands at 66 percent, down from 75 percent the previous month. He reported the need to grind the asphalt on the former fire station across the street from the present city hall to divert stormwater from flowing under the doors. Lowery noted at present, water gets into the office with every rain.

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