The Neosho City Council met in regular session on Tuesday evening at City Hall.

The Neosho City Council met in regular session on Tuesday evening at City Hall.
All council members were present but City Attorney Steve Hays was absent and on vacation.
Jeffrey Higgins, Director of Teen Challenge of the Four States, offered the opening prayer.
Council members approved the consent agenda and agenda for Tuesday's meeting as well as the minutes for both the open and closed sessions on December 5.
The first item on the agenda was a letter from Paul Piepenbrink of Mount Vernon, offering thanks to the Neosho Police Department for their actions during his father's funeral in Neosho on December 8th.
"We do have one letter of correspondence," Mayor Ben Baker said. "That was a thank you to the Neosho Police Department."
The letter read, in part: "The young police officer who was our escort, when we arrived at the cemetery; he parked outside of the entrance stood beside his vehicle at “parade rest”. That was a great show of respect and honor, and it was noticed by all. City of Neosho, you should be very proud of your employees. Not only for the work that they do, but also for the character they displayed that day. They showed honor and respect and on behalf of my family and myself, I thank you."
The first item of new business was the request for the mayor to execute the contract with A.M. Pyrotechnics to provide the fireworks display for Celebrate Neosho in 2018. "This bid on fireworks was approved on December 5," Paul Richardson, City of Neosho Public Relations Director and Even Coordinator told the council. "If we get this signed and out by Friday, we get a 34% bump and an expanded show for our attendees. Steve Hays has already approved the contract and it's the same contract as every year."
Council approved the request for the mayor to make payment of $9,882.20 to A.M. Pyrotechnics.
A request for a temporary salary increase in the amount of $125 per week to Georgia Holtz, the current Human Resources Director for the city was also made. "This agenda item is a request to temporarily raise the salary of HR in the absence of the city clerk, (Rachel Holcomb) who is preparing to go on maternity leave," interim City Manager Dana Daniel told council.
Holcomb plans to take the a full three months of leave but also plans to be as active as possible, including fulfilling her role at future council meetings. She expects to be on leave until April 1.
The council unanimously approved the request.
A request for variance for Habitat for Humanity was tabled until the city attorney could be present. Habitat for Humanity plans to purchase a tract of land located across from Scenic Park on Main Avenue in North Neosho, then divide it into three parcels in order to build three homes on the property.  Variance from City Codes Chapter 410 Subdivision requirements. Habitat for Humanity local executive director Sy Werner appeared before council to make the request. "I came to answer any questions you might have," Werner told council members. "You might know we've built several homes on the north side. We have one in that area that is almost finished."
Councilman Richard Davidson questioned the request. "Do we want to set a precedent saying if we want to divide a lot anywhere in Neosho, we can?" he asked. "I would ask the question of Mr. Hays (city attorney) if he were here. I ask about your timing because the city attorney is on vacation."
"I think it would be wise to get Mr. Hays on board with it and make sure we're not creating a precedence with the variance."
Baker said, "We'll table this until Thursday."
The next agenda item was a request for a storm water study. Flooding in the eastern portion of Neosho, particularly in the area of Lafayette Street and Pineville Road, prompted the request. "We're just trying to get some answers and find some solutions," Daniel said. The feasibility study will determine the effectiveness of a proposed detention basis in Neosho's industrial area. Council approve unanimously approved the request, allowing the mayor to approve the agreement to have the study done.
An amendment to the city's electric service agreement with Empire District Electric Company was also approved. "This amendment is for the repair or replacement of two existing streetlights for more effective lighting," Daniel said.
The streetlights are located at the intersection of Sherman and Jefferson Streets in Neosho and on Second Street, one half block south of Nelson Avenue.
City financial officer Daphne Pevahouse presented a report from the financial department. In addition to providing updated figures on sales tax and other finance related matters, Pevahouse noted that the annual audit is underway. "We have the auditors here this week and it's been going pretty smoothly so far," she stated.
Mayor Baker brought the need for traffic lights in the Highway 86 area to the council as well. "I do have something I want to introduce to council to discuss," Baker said. "Since Love's opened out on 86, we appreciate the business they have brought but it's also increased traffic and there have been several serious accidents. There is a growing need for a traffic light at 86 and Hammer Road. It is a safety issue and there is also a need for another light at Gateway Drive at 86."
As members talked about the need for traffic lights and the ongoing growth in that area of Neosho, Baker noted that Neosho is currently at #13 on MODOT's list for a light. "It's necessary for us to consider what to do with the issue. MODOT assures us that if we could offer some money to put with theirs, it would move us up that list."
"Two traffic lights out there would be a win-win," Davidson stated. "I'm confident that the engineers at MODOT can find solutions if we have some money to put out there."
"All of us have had complaints about how dangerous that intersection is," Council William Doubek said.
Numerous accidents including a recent fatality were cited as reasons a traffic light is needed for public safety.
The council agreed on the necessity of the traffic lights, especially near the Love's location. "It's to the point where we have to do something. We aren't willing to wait - the safety of our people has to come first."
Council agreed to discuss the traffic situation further during a special session on Thursday, December 21.
Two letters of interest were received for board vacancies from Michelle Buhr, to fill a 4-year open seat on the Neosho Housing Authority and from Trent Barratt, to fill a three year vacancy for a Neosho resident on the Parks, Recreation and Golf Course Board. Both were approved to fill the slots.
Numerous other vacancies exist on several boards and committees.
The council adjourned the meeting to enter closed session.
The next regular meeting of the Neosho City Council is January 2 at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Neosho City Hall, located on the southeast corner of the Neosho Square in downtown Neosho.