(Willow Springs) – Willow Springs Aldermen Danny Bradley and Bill Myers, and Mayor Jay Waggoner and Police Chief/City Marshal Dan Dunn were sworn in to their positions again at the most recent Willow Springs City Council meeting Monday evening.
All four were reelected to their positions after the April 2 municipal election.
COUPLE BRINGS PROPOSED FIREWORKS BUSINESS BEFORE COUNCIL
The council also heard from Jimmy and Cathy Pike, who are wanting the open a year-round fireworks stand at a location, but were curious about restrictions regarding the zoning of some property they recently purchased on Route Z.
After a discussion, Mayor Jay Waggoner asked that the council do more research on creating a permanent selling and storage facility, and for City Administrator Bob Pollard to review the ordinances of other cities as to how they handle a similar situation. He also asked for an opinion from the Missouri Fire Marshal and the Missouri Municipal League.
Waggoner also recommended that they discuss the possible changing of the zoning with the Planning and Zoning commission.
COUNCIL APPROVES ORDINANCE REVISION, CONTRACT
In existing business, the council discussed and approved a revision to an animal control ordinance, which included stipulations for sending any stray animals to a shelter and to set fees for animals running loose, and approved the allowing of Mayor Waggoner to sign a haying contract with Stoney Creek Ranch $1350 annually for five years.
City Administrator Bob Pollard also told the council that the 10th Street improvement project is out to bid and is on track for its completion date.
DISCUSSION ON COMMUNITY CENTER GETS HEATED
The council also heard an update from Mayor Waggoner on a proposed community center. Waggoner said that he and other city officials met with architects in Springfield on plans for the proposed community center and toured some facilities in Springfield. The architect group submitted a bid to develop a plan for $1800, and Waggoner recommended the council accept the project.
Alderwoman Susan Rackley brought up concerns, saying that the city has attempted projects before and lost money because after spending money on plan development, the city couldn’t afford the project. Waggoner says the first phase would cost roughly $1 million to build a building, and any changes to the building past that would be done in phases. Waggoner says he would also look at a number of avenues for funding, including a possible quarter-cent sales tax on parks, tax credits, and pursue Community Development Block Grants for funding the building. Waggoner also discussed possibly pursing alumni for fundraising efforts.
Alderman Myers told Waggoner that he feels the city should wait on the project until after the college issue is resolved with the former MoDOT District 9 building and get more businesses into the town.
“I would love to see it, I just don’t think we can afford it right now…this may be what the city needs, but is this what the citizens want?”
Mayor Waggoner and Alderman Myers got into a brief heated discussion about plans and the timing.
“That’s part of the problem with our community: we don’t want to take a risk and move forward,” Waggoner told Myers.
Alderman Bradley said he wants to see a community center, but shares Myers’ sentiments that the council shouldn’t burden the city with something that costs the city money every month. Waggoner stressed that the city wasn’t buying a building outright, but getting a price estimate and plans drawn up.
“I can easily get the $1800 for the plans to be drawn up. If I get someone to donate the $1800, can we get the damn thing started?”
No action was taken by the council.
COLLEGES CONTINUE TO DISCUSS USE OF MODOT BUILDING
City Adminstrator Bob Pollard says that Three Rivers Community College and Missouri State University are still talking and discussing what classes each college will offer, and will hold another meeting with the city May 3.
Pollard also talked about the economic development cororation meeting, where he reports the corporation offered to help fund any economic development projects the city could offer. Another meeting with the ED corporation is scheduled for May 6 at 5:30 PM at the council chambers.
10-YEAR PLAN COMING ALONG FINE
Pollard also gave an update on the 10-year plan, saying the water project will be done this year, with the electric projects scheduled to continue. Street projects are on-schedule for completion within the 10-year plan, and city crews may finish this year’s projects before schedule.
COUNCIL MULLS CITY WATER METER REPLACEMENT
In new business, Pollard and City Treasurer Beverly Hicks discussed the city’s electronic water meters. The meters have a 10-year warranty, and a Pollard says the majority of them are on their seventh year, with roughly 70 not working on the system. The city can still manually read them and the meters still read correctly, but not read them via radio technology.
City Treasurer Beverly Hicks says they have talked with a company to supply new meters. Pollard says that the software with the new company’s meters are extremely helpful and offers a number of options that the city currently doesn’t have for reading. The company offered a package with the software for around $23,000, plus 60 meters valued at roughly $11,000. Pollard says more talks are scheduled for the future, and that he will get more information to the council on the meters.
The next council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 23 at 7 PM.