The Neosho City Council voted Tuesday night to upgrade light posts on a portion of East Spring Street.

Council voted 3-2, with members Steve Hart and David Ruth dissenting, to change the lights on the section of East Spring Street to match those around the Neosho Square.

Dana Daniel, Neosho's Director of Development Services, approached council Nov. 5 about adding the lighting upgrade to the already planned improvements scheduled for a portion of East Spring Street.

"Branco, as explained in a prior meeting, has agreed to provide the foundations and the conduit and ribbon at no cost to the city since they'll be working on the street project," Daniel told council Tuesday evening.

Daniel said the current monthly cost for the four existing light posts is $70, while the combined monthly cost for the four new light posts will be $192.

The addition of the new light posts will result in an increase of $122 per month for the four lights.

The city has already contracted with Branco Enterprises for a street improvement project on East Spring Street.

The planned improvements for East Spring Street include sidewalk and curb and guttering from Washington Street to the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks, a new concrete trail, running from the Lampo Center to the helicopter in Morse Park, and asphalt overlay for East Spring Street, from Washington Street to the other side of White Avenue.

Neosho resident Gene Franklin spoke in favor of the lighting upgrade during the visitor portion of Tuesday's meeting.

"We need to have continuity and also put them in while the contractors decide to," Franklin said. "The time to put these in is now."

Hart, who voted against the more costly light posts, said he had received calls from several concerned citizens.

"I have to agree a little bit, if it's lit up down there now, why are we spending more, now that's what I've heard, I'm not saying it's my opinion yet, that was the comments I've gotten over the last two weeks from five or six people," Hart said.

Council members also continued their discussion of proposed ethics language to potentially be added to the city charter.

Council has been discussing the possibility of adding an ethics section to the city charter, which would need to be approved by Neosho voters, however, no council vote has been taken yet to decide if the language will go before voters on the April ballot.

On Tuesday, Neosho Mayor Richard Davidson proposed some additions to the ethics language already drafted by City Attorney Steve Hays.

Davidson noted some requirements of the Missouri Ethics Commission and said they were worth looking at when drafting the city's ethics language.

"Just looking at how they handle ethics I think there are a few things we left open here that we need to consider closing," Davidson said.

Davidson suggested setting a time limit on the date of complaints, and noted that the Missouri Ethics Commission sets a timeline, and does not investigate complaints regarding incidents that happened more than two years prior.

"I'm not saying that two years is the right number, but I do believe this could open it up to a lot of things going on in the past if we don't set some type of time frame for investigation or for filing a complaint," Davidson said.

He also suggested the city look at the Missouri Ethics Commission's rules regarding complaints received close to an election.

"They will not investigate any complaint filed within so many days of an election to prevent people from filing frivolous complaints as a way to stir up election rabble rousing and get negative press," Davidson said.

His third suggestion related to penalties for those submitting frivolous complaints, though Hays said he would have to look into the city's options on that matter.

"Those all sound reasonable to me," said Councilman Charles Collinsworth.

No further discussion was had on the ethics language, and no council members objected to Hays making the additions, which will go before council for further review and discussion next month.

In other business:

• Council voted on final reading to surplus 280 acres of city property, formerly known as the Betz-Bond property, located in the industrial park.
The property is located west of Doniphan Drive and south of Burr Crossing Road.

• Council members approved a bid of $18,211.96 from Greens-Pro for chemicals for the Neosho Municipal Golf Course.

• Council members voted 2-3 not to approve Heather Bowers and 1-4 not to approve Andrew Hamby for a vacancy on the city's ethics board. Ruth and Hart voted in favor of Bowers while Collinsworth voted in favor of Hamby. Davidson said he voted against the two applicants because not all applications were able to make it to council in time for consideration. He said the total of three applicants will again be considered in the Dec. 17 council meeting. Council members voted Tuesday to reappoint Larry Newton to his seat on the senior citizen committee, which still has one remaining vacancy. Additional vacancies exist on the airport industrial development board; board of adjustments (zoning); economic development sales tax committee; enhanced enterprise board, parks, recreation and golf course board and the TIF commission. To apply, contact city clerk Nora Houdyshell at or at 451-8050.