Friday, December 23, 2016

Grant City Awards Trash Bids; Prepares for Great Northwest Days

The City of Grant City awarded trash bids for the next five years to Porter Trash, which is their current provider. The city also received a bid from Advanced Trash, which is based in Mid-Missouri. Porter’s bid was $11.15 per month per resident. Advanced was $11.75 per month per resident with an increase of 2.5% per year along with a fuel surcharge.

Economic Developer and Emergency Management Director Gene Auten talked about preparations for Great Northwest Days, which will be held next year in Jefferson City. He reported that he has begun raising money; the Wool Shop will donate dusters to people. Points of emphasis for legislators will be declining population as well as transportation. Mayor Debbie Roach said one of the city’s main concerns was infrastructure; the city is looking at upgrading its wastewater system to comply with EPA and DNR regulations.

Auten said that there was a need for a rural policy office at the state level which would lobby legislators and the governor’s office year-round. “We need a full-time advocate for rural Missouri at the state level,” he said. For instance, he said there are some well-meaning programs that don’t help the area because their threshold is too high, such as the Mo Works program. While preparing for the event, Auten said he had discovered some interesting facts about the county, such as the fact that Worth County has the world’s largest vintage sled collection, located at Denver Sleigh Works. One of the first Pony Express riders is buried in Worth County.

Auten reported that he is talking with some people who are interested in starting new businesses in the county.

Auten reported that there were movements in other parts of the state to demolish old houses; cities and private citizens would put money in to form a non-profit, which would demolish old houses and sell the land, frequently to neighbors. One town in Missouri got rid of 13 old homes in a year this way. This process would not be as subject to DNR and EPA regulations, since the government can’t tell people what they can and can’t do with their property.

Auten reported that the Hazardous Mitigation meeting in Sheridan went well, with over 50 people present. He said that the goal was to identify critical infrastructure that FEMA can build up better than it was before in the event of a major disaster like a tornado. Grant City will be asked to take active steps to improve positioning in the event of a disaster. The last such plan was passed five years ago. There will be one more such meeting for the county. Attendance from concerned citizens at these meetings counts for in-kind donations for FEMA aid purposes.

Deputy Sheriff Scott Sherer attended the meeting and said that he would be open to enforcing city ordinances. The city would have to set up a municipal court system first. In previous years, the city had paid a monthly salary plus gas, a car, and a radio, but decided that it was not worth the money. Currently, sheriff’s officers can already enforce such things as domestic disturbances and DWI’s, since these are violations of state law.

In recent years, cities have come under fire from the state for collective excess revenues; this trend has accelerated since the Ferguson unrest of 2014. But councilman Bruce Downing said, “We’re not in it for the revenue; we just want people to clean up their properties.”

If the city were to set up a court system, they would have to have a separate clerk and have a separate entity. It would be up to an arresting officer to decide whether to arrest someone under city ordinances or state ordinances if a city court were established.

Public Works Director Carl Staton reported that city crews were tinkering with equipment, removed two gas lines, and fixed two leaks. He reported that the door on the south end of the city barn was deteriorating and needed replaced for a price tag of $1,900. The council authorized the expense.
The city received an inquiry about trailers in town. Trailers are only legal in the city if they meet zoning requirements and city specifications. On areas not zoned for trailers, people can stay there temporarily, but not permanently.

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