The Neosho City Council approved the fiscal year 2018 budget when they met in regular session on Tuesday evening in council chambers at City Hall.

The Neosho City Council approved the fiscal year 2018 budget when they met in regular session on Tuesday evening in council chambers at City Hall.  
The proposed budget called for $9,733,793 in proposed revenues, $10,384,725 in proposed expenditures, $2,947,050 in proposed other sources and $2,947,050 in proposed other revenue. The balanced budget for the employee insurance fund is $1,034,000 in proposed contributions and $1, 034,00 in proposed expenditures.  The Water/Wastewater Enterprise Fund balanced budget has $6,034,424 in proposed revenue and $6,784,414 in proposed expenditure along with $398,811 in proposed other sources and in proposed other uses.
Interim City Manager Dana Daniel told council members, "It's (the budget) has been a good process with a lot of good input from the council. It's reasonable and allows us to work within our means. I'm looking forward to working within it, if council approves the fiscal year 2018 budget."
The budget was unanimously approved.  The 2018 budget goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2017 and ends on Sept. 30, 2018.
In other unfinished business, the council also approved rezoning property located at 600 East McKinney Street in Neosho from R1 First Dwelling to R3 Apartment House District.A public hearing was held July 31 but no one attended to voice any opinion on the rezoning measure.
"I did receive a call from Mr. Steve Taylor," Mayor Ben Baker told the council. "He lives adjacent to the property and he has some concerns.  He did not feel comfortable coping to the meeting but his concerns are regarding activities going on across the railroad track (from the property). He is in opposition and I wanted to share this here tonight."
Rod McCleary, executor and trustee of  the McCleary Trust, who requested the zoning change, appeared before the council to explain what the buyer plans to do with the property.
"I think they're going to put a duplex in there," McCleary said. "There are some multi-family dwellings across the railroad tracks. The realtor is the one handling this and the one who is actually talking to them (the buyer). I wish I knew more."
Council also approved a measure for an alley to be vacated in the 400 block of McCord Street at Brook Street.  
"Staff reports indicates there is no city utilities and no access," Daniel said. "It is not blocking anyone from their property."
In correspondence, a letter from Stephanie Onstot, Community Relations Manager at Tamko, Joplin was shared. Onstot congratulated the Neosho Police Department as one of the nominees for Law Enforcement Department of the Year. Tamko will host the first Red, White, and Blue Banquet on October 21 at the Joplin Convention and Trade Center to honor first responders.  Two local officers have also been nominated for Officer of the Year, Steve Douglas and Keith Brumfield.
Two thank you letters were also received.
"I think sometimes people who work everyday and go above and beyond don't always get recognized," Baker said prior to reading the letters. "So, I enjoy reading these."
A letter of thanks to the Neosho Police Department for providing a funeral escort on Sept. 1 came from the Carolyn Thrasher Family. The letter also stated thanks for "the officer who provided escort and the act of respect he showed by standing at the end of the procession."
The second letter came from Neosho resident Jacque Faulkner. Faulkner called the Public Works Emergency number on Aug. 19. In addition to responding to provide the necessary service, the employees also cleaned up Faulkner's neighbor's yard, an individual suffering from cancer.
Faulkner wrote, in part, "These kind, unselfish men came back and cleaned that yard with weed eaters and chainsaws and just plain grit and muscle. It looked better than I have seen it in many years. My neighbor was so touched and so happy! Some type of recognition/proclamation would be nice. Everyone needs a 'job well done, good and faithful servant' every now and then."
The council heard on first reading, a bill to consider annexation of 15247 Kodiak Road (the new junior high school) but councilman Richard Davidson noted that the rezoning request was made by Moser Properties rather than the school district.
Neosho City Attorney Steve Hays said, "I'm looking at a warranty deed. I'm a little concerned about the warranty deed not matching the description. The legal does not match the bill. I would recommend council table this until this can be resolved by the next council meeting on Oc. 3."  
Council members voted to follow his advice and table the request until there is clarification.
Council approved a first reading of a bill to rezoning property at 219 West Hill Street from R2 Duplex to R3 apartment as petitioned by Debbie Major.  They also approved class reunion painting on Sherman Street, located behind the Neosho High School Gym. The painting was requested by the NHS Class of 1972 and will take place during their 45th reunion on Sept. 29 and 30.
Irrevocable consent to Samuel Samuel at 13142 Kalmia Drive in Neosho was granted so that the Samuels can connect to city water and utilities.
A measure to increase the salary of the Animal Control Officer from the current $26,000 to $31,000 was approved.
"We've been through a number of people in this position," Daniel said. "The job requires two different skill sets. By increasing the salary, we can better attract someone with both skills. We do have an open position and three candidates who have submitted applications."
Paul Richardson, city public relations and event coordinator, approached council with a request to make a one-time grant of $10,000 for the annual Neosho Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament held over four days between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.
"This is a one time donation from the hotel/motel tax fund," Richardson told the council. "It's in the budget this year and it's good for tourism. They use it in promotion of the tournament and we were well represented last year."
Neosho Police Chief David Kennedy appeared to request approval for the renewal of a grant his department received in 2010. At that time, the NPD was award 5 AR-15 rifles. The request renews the application for registration of the firearms with the Department of Justice.
"This is an update," Kennedy said. "We update every couple of years. We already have the weapons. Under the State Plan of Operations, we are asking the approval from the city council and city manager."
The request was unanimously approved.
The council appointed Rick Mitchell of Neosho to one of three open seats on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mitchell submitted a letter of interest. Other vacancies remain on several boards and committees.
The Neosho City Council will next meet in regular session at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 in council chambers at Neosho City Hall, located on the southeast corner of the Neosho Square.