Although the Neosho City Council did not select a new city manager following Tuesday night's meeting, local voters approved a proposition that will require any future city manager to reside at a Neosho address and live within thirty minutes of City Hall. Thus, the next city manager must meet those requirements.
The other local ballot measure in the November Special Election, a proposed use tax that would have added a 2.5% tax on items purchased out of state, including online items. That measure failed by 8 votes, with 348 no votes and 340 yes. Eight votes made the difference and the proposition failed.
The use tax also appeared on the ballot in April 2019 and failed by a narrow margin
The council approved a plat for a proposed Timber Valley Estates housing development off Reid Road.
In other business, the council voted for the city to assume ownership of the IOOF Cemetery in Neosho. Resolution Bill 2019-26 calls for the city to accept transfer of the cemetery with a quit claim deed.
According to the resolution, IOOF was developed as a community cemetery in 1855. In recent years, the cemetery has been difficult to maintain due to financial and employment deficiencies.
Interim city manager and Neosho Chief of Police David Kennedy stated, "IOOF Cemetery went into receivership a few months ago and there was a police investigation involved into that. Under Missouri law statutes, when a cemetery goes into receivership, it goes back to the jurisdiction."
Left with few options, the council voted to accept the quit claim deed signed by members of the IOOF Cemetery Board, president Wes Franklin and secretary Robert Williams.
Kennedy noted that the lawn maintenance equipment is on the property and in response to a question from Councilman Tom Workman said that the estimated cost of annual maintenance is $100,000.
Council also voted to designate $15,000 for the annual Neosho High School Holiday Basketball Classic from the hotel/motel fund. The event annually brings a large number of visitors to Neosho. Local hotel rooms are full and those who play or attend spend dollars that benefit the local economy for food, fuel and other items.
The Neosho City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Neosho City Hall. The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, November 19. The public is welcome to attend.