Closing of Broadway Street receives no second, other city council updates
The Neosho City Council met for their first of two meetings this month on Jul. 6, hearing comments from citizens, accepting bids, having the final readings for various bills, declining to close a portion of Broadway Street and discussing new business.
Of the six citizens that spoke at the Jul. 6 meeting, four of them gave their opinion on the closing of a portion of Broadway Street, from Benham Avenue to Sherman Avenue.
Teresa Niswonger, Jewell Benner, Paula Sprenger and Rusty Sprenger all live in that area of Broadway Street with all four telling council that they were opposed to the closing of that portion of Broadway.
Niswonger had attended and spoke at the Jun. 15 council meeting, Benner attended the Jun. 15 meeting but did not speak and the Sprenger’s voiced their opinions for the first time at the Jul. 6 meeting.
Council approved the bid for the Scenic Park Baseball field.
Council approved the lowest of three bids for the work at the baseball field that included new fencing, dugouts, two sets of covered bleachers, a rebuilt backstop and a level playing field from Thomas Fencing for $33,200.
Bills 2021-66, 2021-67, 2021-69 and 2021-70 were four of the six approved bills at the meeting.
Bill 2021-66 was the second and third readings that authorized the Mayor to sign the contract with Visu-Sewer for sewer rehabilitation services.
City staff recommended that council approve utilizing the city of Monett’s contract with Visu-Sewer, not to exceed $300,000 because it was the best overall pricing for the scope of work required in Neosho. Additionally, Visu-Sewer had previously performed this type of project for the city.
Bill 2021-67 was the second and third readings that authorized the work agreement to proceed with Allgeier, Martin and Associates for engineering improvements in Timber Ridge subdivision.
In March, the city was notified of existing issues with sanitary system in the subdivision and now the improvements can begin.
Bill 2021-69 was the second and third readings to approve Allgeier, Martin and Associates as the engineering service for the Highway 96 and Hammer Road roundabout.
In partnership with MoDOT, this agreement is to engineer and design the roundabout due to business growth in the area and traffic congestion becoming a concern.
Bill 2021-70 was the second and third readings that allowed Allgeier, Martin and Associations to be contracted for engineering services to determine the industrial local limit study for the cities Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP).
The local evaluation limit is required by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Natural Resources as part of the cities upcoming state permit renewal for the WTP.
Introduction of New Ordinances
Under new ordinances, Bill No. 2021-68 pertaining to the closing a portion of Broadway Street from Benham Avenue to Sherman Avenue failed to reach the voting stage with no second after the motion to approve the bill.
First, Holcomb recapped some of the unanswered questions from the comments made at the Jun. 15 meeting that included whether a resident’s trash container in the affected area would be able to be picked up at the end of their driveway, if the road had been maintained by the city and how many police calls the department had received in the area.
“Republic did say the trash would be able to be picked up in front of their homes, I did speak to public works about the road and if it was being maintained,” said Holcomb. “It has not been maintained recently, which was one of the reasons why we were asked to bring (bill no. 2021-68 to council). I did find out about calls; it had been mentioned there had been calls about people who shouldn’t be in that area. There was one call that Chief Baird could find and when police showed up there was no one there.”
Mayor Bill Doubek asked for staff’s recommendation and Holcomb answered that they had none, that they were asked to bring it to council and did so.
Council member Angela Thomas asked about what the Planning and Zoning Commission discussed in their unanimous approval that brought it to council. Holcomb responded that the commission thought the property owner that submitted the request was the lone resident effected by the closure so there was minimal discussion and added since public works and the police and fire departments signed off on it that they did as well.
Council member Charles Collinsworth, who said at the Jun. 15 meeting that the city had short changed the process in not posting the notices for the public hearings for the closure of the section of Broadway in the proper amount of time, reiterated his point at the Jul. 6 meeting.
“What I’ve heard people (say tonight),” said Collinsworth. “‘we use this street, we use it all the time, it’s a turnaround and we have to go out this other way if we can’t do it this way,’ I think that something needs to be done over there. I don’t know if it’s road closure. The possibility of it being a one-way street? The possibility of it being a three-point runaround? I don’t know. Something needs to be done.”
He added that despite the lack of city maintenance to the area, it was a discussion that should involve the whole neighborhood and probably couldn’t because of conflicting personalities.
“I’ve said it before, I felt like we cheated due process, and that’s what upsets me more than anything,” said Collinsworth. “if these people would’ve been at Planning and Zoning and (the vote) would’ve been 10-2, maybe Planning and Zoning is voting 7-0 in the other direction. We’ll never know because we screwed this thing up from the get-go.”
Council member Robert Davidson spoke, saying he had driven out to the area twice to see the road and conditions.
His two observations were that the road wasn’t wide enough to be a two way street and that when he was there parked in the street, two cars passed him in the few minutes he was there, lending credence to the arguments against closure that the section of Broadway Street was used.
“It’s a tough call, we have a situation where some people want the city street closed,” said Davidson “And other people are accustomed to using that street.”
Davidson said that he would entertain discussions on where it should be a one-way street or not and if it were to remain open, that the city ensure maintenance would resume.
Under new business, council approved the purchase of new meters and discussed tent camping for a high school bicycling event.
The 210 meters at a cost of $19,950 will replace older 5/8” Sensus meters with new composite Accustream Sensus meters. The Sensus meter was approved by council in the past as the standard meter for Neosho and had $20,000 budgeted for meter replacement.
The areas that will receive these new meters will be in the Greenwood addition and housing in the southern part of Neosho.
With this purchase almost completing the residential change out to the newest Sensus meter, there are 42 meters that will be needed in next years budget to complete the change out for the newest meters.
Parks Superintendent Clint Dalbom sought council’s guidance on the request from the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) High School Bicycling Event on Aug. 8 and 9 as well as the Little Big Show disc golf tournament on Aug. 22.
Both events have asked permission to allow tent camping by permit for event attendees.
Normally, tent camping is not allowed in Morse Park with NICA and the disc golf tournament requesting tent camping at different parts of the park.
Questions from council members included what type of burden it would place on the parks and police departments, what the bathroom situation was, what the food situation was as far as grills or open fires in the park, clean up after the events and who would be collecting money and checking permits.
Dalbom and City Manager David Kennedy were able to answer those questions, with Dalbom also answering a question from council that he had no concerns when it came to the tent camping requests.
Davidson asked that since the first event wouldn’t be until early August, that city staff find out more information on the variance of the ordinance they would be allowing.