During the sole Neosho City Council meeting this month, a lengthy agenda was addressed by council members.

During the sole Neosho City Council meeting this month, a lengthy agenda was addressed by council members.

A public hearing to consider the property tax rate for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2018 was held during the meeting. Council members considered Bill 2018-894 and the ordinance that establishes the tax rate on real property evaluation. After the hearing, the bill was read on 1st reading, then 2nd and 3rd readings under emergency measure, council voted to maintain the current rate of 0.3603/$100 of assessed evaluation. Council members voted in favor of the measure with the excpetion of Ben Baker who cast the single 'no' vote. Thus, there will no increase to the property tax rate for the upcoming year.

"We need to make sure people understand we're not raising it. We're not lowering it - it's flat," Councilman Tom Workman said.

The city council unanimously approved the Alliance proposed operating budget. Alliance Water Resources currently contracts with the City of Neosho in providing oversight and staffing for the water treatment and waste water facilities and operations. The city will pay Alliance $88,258.00 per month.

"We will have a small increase in water and sewer rates," interim city manager Dana Daniel told the council.

Council members Workman and Carmin Allen questioned any increase, since an earlier increase to water and sewer impacted the budgets of many local residents. Daniel explained, however, that failure to add small increases over several years led to the larger increase last year and the measure passed.

A proposal also from Alliance Water Resources to add water distribution to the services provided to the City of Neosho was tabled.

"Alliance has done an excellent job but we have to look at all the information and make the best decision for the city," Mayor Ben Baker stated. "I think our (city) team right now is in good condition to move forward."

Approval to move forward with a project at the Hugh Robinson Memorial Airport for a community hanger was made by council. Members voted to approve an application for state and federal assistance for the project. 90 percent of the money for the proposed hanger will come from in a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. Additional agreements for a consultant agreement and a consultant supplemental agreement were also approved.

Council also approved an application for grants up to $10,000 from the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLBEG) through the Missouri Department of Public Safety requested by Neosho Police Chief David Kennedy. If grant funds are received, monies will be used to buy items such as light bars, weapon racks, or cages for patrol cars. Kennedy indicated they did receive funding two years ago but not last year.

A bid to lease a Pitney-Bowes folding and inserting machine for the city was approved. Council awarded a bid for electrical services to city facilities excluding the water and wastewater treatment plans to Long Electric of Neosho. A separate bid proposal for electrical services specifically for the water and wastewater treatment plants was tabled until the next meeting. Although the city's recommendation was to accept Fox Electric's bid, council members wanted to get more information about issues that have arisen with current contractor Long Electric.

"I would like to address this issue myself," Workman said. "I'd like to have him explain himself to me before I say yes or no.." Carmin Allen, council member agreed. "I would like to know more. I would like to see it stay local, if possible."

Public works department head Nate Siler asked council to approve the low bid of $28,822.61 from Core and Main for water line parts to maintain inventory. Council approved his request.

In other business, council also approved a request to repeal the ordinance which had placed a use tax on the November ballot.

Bill 208-892, which is designed to create a new fence code for the city, was also approved on first reading with Mayor Baker casting the sole no vote on the measure. Current fence code applies only to barbed wire, graffiti, and posting of bills. If approved on final reading on September 4, the new fence code will require among other specifications, building permits for all fences constructed within the city, height limitations of 6 feet tall, and for fences to face outward, primarily privacy fences.

The Neosho City Council will next meet in regular session at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 at City Hall in downtown Neosho.