Laurie hires Police officer
The board of aldermen approved Laurie Police Department, LPD, Police Chief Shane Edwards request to hire Rusty Mitchell at the Wednesday, Jan. 12 meeting. Mitchell was employed one-year as a Camden County Road Deputy, and three months as an Eldon Police officer. Mitchell will work during Laurie special events and as needed to cover for full-time officers. The city currently has two reserve officers and five full-time officers, including the Chief.
Morgan County dispatch fees going up
Rick Bias, Morgan County 9-1-1 Emergency Management Director, informed Edwards their emergency dispatch M.U.L.E.S. service fees for the LPD were going up $2,000 a year. Bias said the increase was due to; the rise in cost of equipment, insurance, training and the decrease in surcharge taxes, due to the decreasing of wire line phone services. LPD will pay $8,900.04 per year for the service. The increase began January 1, 2011.
Laurie shooting range may expand
The board tabled a request by Edwards to allow individuals that are not LPD personnel to fire weapons at the LPD range. Edwards said he would like to conduct live fire drills with outside agencies for the purpose of cross training and assisting other agencies in getting their officers qualified. A range officer from the LPD would be present for any live fire training. Edwards told the board a range flag would be placed at the sewer plant entrance, where the range is located, before live firing begins. The board asked for more information concerning liability insurance and definitions of who can actually use the range.
Two file to run for alderman
Ward I alderman Ken Zgiet and Ward II Alderman Clarence Hagar’s terms are expiring. Val Ites has filed to run for the Ward I office and Karen Dobbins for Ward II. The deadline to file to run for a municipal office is 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18. The municipal elections will be held Tuesday, April 5, 2011.
City attorney retainer contract tabled
The board tabled a decision to sign a general retainer contract with City Attorney Thomas Loraine for 2011 legal counsel. The contract would pay Loraine $16,000 in $1,333.33 monthly installments for court and normal city representation. This would include contacts from the mayor, the trustees and the department heads. For anything over normal city representation, such as law suits, Loraine would charge the city $125 per hour. “This rate is significantly lower than my best rate of $200 per hour,” said Loraine. The board asked the mayor to find a way to have a solid budget amount for the city attorney fees. Chorpening negotiated with Loraine for the contract. “This will cut the cities attorney costs in half,” said Chorpening. Aldermen Greg Lux asked the board to table the decision in order to look over the contract in more detail. The city and Loraine will have the option to terminate the contract at anytime. “The reason we put this on a retainer basis was to get away from hourly fees, and we wanted a set amount we could budget for,” said Chorpening. Loraine will continue to charge the city an hourly rate, pending contract negotiations.
Public hearing and Planning and Zoning meeting set
The board approved setting a public hearing 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 7 at city hall to give the public opportunity to become informed and voice their opinion concerning an ordinance covering zoning for the cities participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. The Laurie Planning and Zoning Commission will meet after the public hearing to review the ordinance for recommendation to the board.
NID bid award in February
The city has received the construction permit for the Osage Avenue Neighborhood Improvement District, NID, sewer project from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The easements have been recorded for the project. Advertising for the project with February bid opening is the next step. “A recommendation concerning bid awards should be able to be made at the 6 p.m., February 9 alderman meeting,” said Ed Young Public Works Director.
Communications tower on city property
The board tabled a decision to place a cell tower on city property. The Wireless Access Group, LLC leasehold is identified as an 80” by 80” area for the placement of a cellular communications tower near the wastewater treatment plant. The group erects and maintains towers renting space to wireless services. The group will lease the property from the city for $500 a month for one carrier. Adding additional carriers will increase the rent $200 month. Jim Petropolis with Lexar Solutions, asked the board if the tower would interfere with other frequencies. The group assured him they would not. Loraine was asked to check the contract language for insurance concerns and the contract will be brought before the board for a vote at the February meeting.
Utility Services Communications, Inc.
Eric Stechman with Utility Services Communications attended the meeting to answer questions about his request to place wireless internet antennae on the city water tower. Stechman told the board they already contract with several Missouri municipalities, including Versailles. The city would receive 70 percent of the rent fees with the group earning 30 percent. There is no out of pocket cost for the city to enter into the agreement. Utility Services placed antennae on the Versailles tower five years ago, and has yet to obtain a carrier. The board asked Loraine to review the contract and report his findings to the board at the next meeting.
City employee lawsuit is over
Loraine told the board he has received the release from Laurie Parks and Events Director Susan Huff’s attorney saying, “The lawsuit is over.” City Parks Director Susann Huff filed a federal lawsuit against the city for alleged violation of her rights after she was suspended for two weeks, without pay for attending a political activity for a mayoral candidate during the 2010 municipal election. Huff received payment of wages for the two weeks she was suspended and attorney fees. “It’s over and done with. I just want to go on and continue to work for the city,” said Huff.
The Laurie City Hall will be closed Monday, Jan. 17 in honor of Martin Luther King Junior Day. The next meeting of the Laurie Board of Alderman is scheduled 6 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 9 at the Laurie City Hall.