When the Neosho City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, the appointment of Neosho Police Chief David Kennedy as the interim city manager was made official.
"Upon the recommendation of several councilmen at this table and we approved it already," Mayor William Doubek said. "We just wanted to make it official, for better or for worse."
Kennedy will serve as interim city manager until a replacement for Leland Butcher, who resigned his post last week, is hired. A search for a new city manager has begun.
In other business, discussion over the Coler Street Bridge project determined that the low water bridge, which leads into Morse Park, has deteriorated and needs replacement. The bridge, owned by Newton County, could be replaced in a joint endeavor between the city and county. According to Public Works Director Nate Siler, Newton County has federal funds that could be used for the bridge replacement but that the funds must be used by July 2020.
"It's complicated," Siler said. "It's on a flood plain and will cost a substantial amount of money to replace."
The city could be responsible for a portion of the total bridge cost, an amount as yet to be determined. Councilwoman Angela Thomas expressed concerns whether or not the city would be able to afford to share the cost but the council determined they should pursue the potential project.
"I know we are interested," Doubek said.
A plan to renovate the Lime Kiln Dam on the far north edge of the city limits, on Shoal Creek, was also discussed.
The two-fold plan would allow fish to travel safely over the dam as well as eliminate the drowning hazard at the site. A number of drownings have occured at the dam. If the suggested changes are made, the current barrier would be modified which would reduce the drowning hazard and improve downstream passage.
Rick Horton, a fisheries management biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, spoke at the meeting.
"There's some funding available," Horton said. "The dam is a barrier to life up and down the stream."
The council appeared to like the plan.
"It's a good thing," Doubek said. "The City can match with in-kind funds or services."
If the action is approved, construction could begin by the end of the fiscal year.
The dam was originally constructed by the United States Army in the 1940's to provide drinking water access for both the Camp Crowder area and Neosho. The Army also built the water treatment plant on Shoal Creek. Water from the dam is retained there, treated and dispersed to the city's water system.
Sally Pennington, Parks and Recreation Director, provided information a proposed butterfly garden in the north portion of Big Spring Park, a project that won't happen this year but will become a reality in 2020.
"This was brought to me about April by the Chamber of Commerce president," Pennington said. "It's late in the season to plant a butterfly garden so we'll hold off until spring."
The council also voted to approve Bill 2019-946, a resolution to establish and make public the City's method of disclosing financial information and potential conflict of interest which includes certain individuals required to submit a personal financial disclosure form to the Missouri Ethics Commission. The bill will comply with that commission.
All council members were present with the exception of Jon Stephens, whose absence was noted as excused.
The Neosho City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, August 6 at 7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, located on the southeast corner of the Neosho Square.