The Neosho City Council voted on first reading Tuesday evening to approve a change in ordinance, allowing the Parks, Recreation and Golf Course board to be cut down from a nine to a seven member board.
Richard Davidson, Neosho mayor, said the board had been having difficulty filling the last two vacant seats, as well as reaching a quorum at meetings.
“We’ve had trouble getting people to fill that board and get a complete board,” Davidson said. “Because the nine is laid out in the ordinance they need five as a quorum. The request came back that we lower that from nine to seven.”
The Parks, Recreation and Golf Course Board, which acts as an advisory board to the council, will now have five seats to be held by Neosho residents and two for Newton County residents.
The two committees were merged after the Parks and Recreation committee struggled to fill most of its seats.
The responsibilities of the board include: assisting the city in development of rules and regulations applicable to parks and recreation and golf course activities, as well as assisting the city in developing and recommending plans for growth and improvement to city parks and recreation facilities and the golf course.
The council is expected to vote on the change in final reading in their Dec. 18 council meeting.
The next Parks, Recreation and Golf course board meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Neosho Municipal Golf Course building.
Council members also voted on Tuesday to approve an $8,500 agreement with Franklin’s Flying Circus to provide a twilight air show at the 2013 Celebrate Neosho event.
The cost of the agreement also includes 50 gallons of smoke oil and 100 gallons of 100 octane or LL fuel, payable out of the hotel/motel tax.
Last year, the city’s celebration featured a twilight performance from Matt Younkin, of Younkin Air Shows, and drew, at the least, approximately 5,000 visitors.
Local pilot Kyle Franklin, of Franklin’s Flying Circus, will present a new show, debuting in 2013.
Charles Collinsworth, councilman, said based on the draw last year’s air show was, the addition is beneficial for the Neosho community.
“People came, I know they flocked all over from Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas, from points north, points east, and I think it’s ours to lose,” Collinsworth said. “I think we should stay ambitious and do a great show and I will tell you, there were a lot of dollars spent in Neosho that day between restaurant and retail.”
Celebrate Neosho is scheduled for June 29, 2013.
In other business, council members:
• Approved a change order for Swift Construction, in regards to the recent paving project on Highway 59. The project included the resurfacing of about a half-mile section of Highway 59 from U.S. Highway 60 to Malcolm Mosby Drive, as well as repair and overlay of Clemons Drive from Highway 59 to Lusk Drive, tearing up and overlay of Lusk Drive from U.S. Highway 60 to Clemons Drive and repair and overlay of Lusk Drive from Clemons Drive west to the Walmart Supercenter. The project was originally expected to cost $543,385.82, however, the total project cost came to $477,137.93, a $66,247.89 savings.
Page 2 of 3 - • Approved a change order with Branco Enterprises for the Peak Flow EQ Basin and Pump Station. A 150-foot section of the basin’s wall gave way under heavy rains on March 22. The change order covers an additional $31,663.83 in project costs, however, that amount has been reimbursed to the city by HDR Archer Engineering, the firm that designed the 10 million gallon wastewater overflow basin.
• Approved a contract with the Newton County Central Dispatch Center, for $7,103.26 monthly, or $85,239.12 annually, for dispatch services. The total charges will increase by 2 percent from 2012, based on the amount of usage. The City of Neosho has contracted with the Newton County Central Dispatch Center for dispatch services since 1995. Dave McCracken, Neosho Police Chief, told council members that in 1994, prior to contracting with the county, the city’s budget for dispatching was $150,000.
• Voted to award the Public Works Department’s recommended bid of $24,878, from Stafford Fencing, for the construction of a chain link fence at the new Public Works facility, located on Nelson Drive. The 1,400-foot by six-foot fence is intended to serve as a security measure for items stored at the location.
• Were updated by Wes Franklin, the city’s new public relations/events coordinator, on the city’s text messaging service. Franklin said to sign up, Neosho residents can visit the City of Neosho’s web page, at www.neoshomo.org, and click on the Nixle link on the left side of the page. The city will use the service to send out alerts to residents. He said the service had been used in the past, though it went for some time without being utilized. The city has recently begun using the text service again.
• Voted to move the two January council meetings to the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, to accommodate for the New Year’s holiday. Those meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 8 and Jan. 22 at City Hall Council Chambers.
• Voted to approve a maintenance agreement with Ozark Business System, to perform routine maintenance on the city’s fax machines, copiers and scanners. Nora Houdyshell, city clerk, said the agreement had already been entered into by the city’s former finance director. The council did not have knowledge previously of the agreement, which is required to go before them for approval.
• Announced vacancies that exist on the airport industrial development board; board of adjustments-zoning; board of appeals; economic development sales tax committee; historic district commission; and the planning and zoning commission. If interested in serving on any of these advisory boards, contact city clerk Nora Houdyshell at 451-8050.
• Though a closed session meeting was on the agenda, Davidson said the council did not have any matters to discuss Tuesday night, and that executive session was not held.
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