Neosho City Council on Tuesday approved three irrevocable consents but denied a request for variance on the annexation code by Mike Spenser for 15446 Highway TT.

Neosho City Council on Tuesday approved three irrevocable consents but denied a request for variance on the annexation code by Mike Spenser for 15446 Highway TT.
Irrevocable consents were approved for Gibbens Construction at both 13691 and 13719 Pella Lane and for Cason Starbuck at 13673 Pella Lane. The property owners wish to hook up to city utilities, according to development services director Dana Daniel, and since they are not contiguous with city limits, the procedure mandates the city can annex the properties if and when they become contiguous. Until that time, they will pay 1½ times the rate for water and sewer.
Spenser, whose property is contiguous with city limits, requested the variance in order to connect to city water but does not want to be annexed.
“My biggest issue is it’s out in the country, there’s hundreds of acres around me that’s not annexed into the city and they’re connected to the city water,” Spenser said. “By annexing me in, I would I assume I would have to follow all the city rules, ordinances and laws.”
He noted that he may place a mobile home on his seven acres, and some limited small livestock could be in the future, which does not adhere to city code.
Policy maintains that someone who connects to city water and is contiguous with city limits be annexed into the city, said Steve Hays, city attorney. Regarding the surrounding properties outside the city that are on city water, Hays said that was facilitated by federal funds to extend city lines to there because of contaminated groundwater in the area. Council would be setting precedent with an approval, he said.

“The Charter is the city’s Constitution and there is a rule in place for when someone comes and they want city utilities they have to at least demonstrate the willingness to be annexed in,” Mayor Charles Collinsworth said of the denial.
“He was asking for an exception to what has been a rule for 40 years in this town,” Collinsworth said. “We would owe colossal apology to anyone else who has filled out a voluntary annexation.”

Collinsworth directed Spenser to get with city manager Troy Royer to consider future options.

A change order to the Polston Construction contract for the now complete ClearPath Senior Living sewer extension project was approved.

The change reduces the original bid of $102,670 by $1,780 to $100,890, and Royer said the city is receiving a $105,000 reimbursement for the work.

New business also included approval on first reading of a bill to amend the current fiscal year budget for police, fire, TIFF and water distribution and maintenance, with a zero net change in each department, according to finance director Daphne Pevahouse.

Final approval was provided in unfinished business on a bill to amend the general fund, water/wastewater, and the auditorium budgets.

Council also gave final approval on the vacation of a road easement on Sherry Drive, and to declare a no longer used airport fuel pump as surplus to be disposed at a future city auction.

Phyllis Blackwood was re-appointed to the Neosho/Newton County Library Board, and the council chose Karina Cole to fill a second expiring term over Tamie Williams because Cole’s letter of interest was received prior to Williams’.

Pevahouse reported June sales tax receipts were 18 percent higher than in June 2015, though that is mostly due to a major retailer catching up three months in payments. Collections are up 4½ percent year-to-date, and she said that equates to 2.2 percent over what was budgeted for the year.

Pete Ramsel with CPA Investments will bring a formal proposal to council at its July 5 meeting on a workforce housing project.

The former executive director for the Missouri Housing Development Commission who now works for a real estate syndicate which buys tax credits that fund affordable housing said he has found the perfect site behind the Best Western Motel in the TDD area for 20 duplex units.

Income limits would be placed on the housing, which Ramsel said is for those who make less than $27,000 annually up to those who make under $44,000.
“So it’s really the working people in your community that want to live in your community,” he said.

The program started after the mayor of Branson and other communities expressed a dire need for workforce housing, and Ramsel said it has become so popular that cities are competing to participate.