Two Neosho residents went before the city council Tuesday evening to ask for additions and upgrades to the Neosho Skate Park, located near Coler Street in Morse Park.
Margaret Hukill, who said she was speaking as a concerned citizen and grandmother, asked the council to consider adding restrooms, a shelter, and a water fountain at the park.
"There is an urgent need for a water fountain and for restroom facilities within close proximity, shall we say convenient walking distance," Hukill said. "There is also a need for a shelter to which the skaters can go in the case of a severe storm or where they can wait to be picked up."
James Ely, who along with his wife, Rhonda, has been reaching out to the youth who spend time at the skate park, also spoke to the council, asking for the same improvements that Hukill requested.
Ely also asked for additional lighting at the skate park.
"Myself and other adults have taken the time to go meet these kids and understand what their needs are," Ely said. "They definitely need a restroom."
Hukill and Ely were also joined by a group of about 10 skate park regulars, who Ely said ranged in age from 10 to 24 years old, who sat in the audience at Tuesday's meeting.
Ely noted a Skate Park Outreach event that was recently held by several local churches at the Neosho Skate Park.
The event, held Aug. 26, featured a professional skate performance and drew more than 100 people, Ely said.
"We had to get porta-potties, we had to get two brought in for that," Ely said. "We had electricity, which was great, but the lighting was inadequate after dark."
Both Ely and Hukill asked the city to identify what they could do to help with the skate park.
"We're willing to go to whoever to ask 'what do we need to do? What can we do to help?'" Ely said. Ely said there are future events being planned for the skate park, and noted that events such as those benefit Neosho by bringing people to town.
He said with the closure of the Neosho Recreation Center in 2010, youth in Neosho do not have many places they can go.
"There's a lot of good kids, a lot of young adults, boys and girls, they're important to this community and they don't have a place to go," Ely said. "They used to have the Rec. Center. They've got nowhere. Now they rely on the skate park for a facility, for a place to go and have fun."
In other business:
• Council members voted Tuesday evening to approve three bids for equipment or repairs for the Public Works Department.
Page 2 of 2 - Council accepted a bid of $4,833 from Enviro Line Co. of Osawatomie, Kan., for the purchase of a replacement pump; council accepted a bid of $13,002 from Grand Truck Equipment Co., of Afton, Okla., for a new snow plow and salt spreader; and council voted to accept a bid of $11,938.16 from Mid-America Pump, of Kansas City, Kan., for emergency repair of a pump at the Shoal Creek Intake Structure.
• Council also voted to accept a bid of $8,507.91 per month from Windstream for an upgrade to the city's telephone and internet services. The cost will be split among the city's offices.
• Council members voted to approve a $6,322 annual service agreement with Advanced Public Safety for the Neosho Police Department's electronic ticketing system.
• Council members voted to approve a special use permit for the property located at 1221 Ridgewood Road. The property is zoned R-1, and the request comes because the resident wishes to operate a small beauty salon in her home. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended council approve the special use permit.
• Council members also voted to approve a request to allow a residence at 13336 Palm Road to connect to city water, in exchange for an irrevocable consent agreement. No extension is necessary for the water line, as it is in front of the property.
• Council members also voted, on final reading, to approve a lease purchase agreement with U.S. Bancorp to pay for a new fire truck for the Neosho Fire Department. The amount to be financed is $350,624 at 1.83 percent over a five-year period. The new truck will replace Engine 9, a 34-year-old pumper truck. Neosho Fire Chief Mike Eads said the department was scheduled to inspect the new truck on Wednesday and that the truck is expected to be ready at the end of the month, or first of November at the latest.
• Council members voted 4-1, with Councilman David Ruth dissenting, to give final approval to a year-end budget adjustment for the city's 2013 budget, which wrapped up Sept. 30.
• Council announced vacancies that exist on the airport industrial board, board of adjustments (zoning), economic development sales tax committee, enhanced enterprise board, parks, recreation and golf course board, senior citizen committee and the TIF commission.
If interested in serving on any of these boards contact Neosho City Clerk Nora Houdyshell at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 451-8050.