Various Issues Addressed At City Council Meeting


The Clinton city council met in open session on March 7 at 6 PM at City Hall. Councilman Daniel Wilson and Councilwoman Debbie Smith were absent. Preceding the council meeting was a public hearing. The hearing was to address a variance issue at Gerhart Industrial Park. There were no public comments; John Cook and Rod Balky, two parties involved in the public hearing/comment period, were present. There were no public comments about the variance proposal.
The building commission public hearing was called to order. Councilman Gene Henry lee the commission. Community Development Director Chuck Baily reported to the council that there had been no change since the last meeting regarding the building on the downtown square. However, the owner of the building in question had been ticketed and had a court appearance today regarding the matter. It was reported the case was continued. The building commission resolved to reconvene at the April 4 city Council meeting.
Mayor Carla Moberly called the regular city Council meeting into order. Following roll call, the Pledge of Allegiance was said. A moment of silence was held for city employee Dan Scherer who passed away suddenly last week. Dan was a long time operations manager of the wastewater treatment plant.
The previous counsel minutes were approved. There were no personal appearances.
Clinton area Chamber of Commerce Director David Lee reported the Chamber had a good January, as far as the Chamber gaining new members. One of the new members reported was Socket Internet, and it was reported there is some excitement about that.
David Lee also told the council that he had been working with others about a nonprofit center for human services to implement a summer work experience program to invoke Clinton High School juniors and seniors. He also reported to the council that the chamber has again partnered with E & M Consulting to produce the annual community guide and business directories.
David Lee reported, also, that the chamber had sold out of the large and small banners which will grace the downtown area around the old glory days events. He reported that the banners will go up about the last week of April.
It was reported that the first official Olde Glory Days meeting will be held March 8 but several of the acts have already been booked. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Olde Glory Days events.
Mayor Moberly, as an aside, reported that the new cancer center being constructed by Golden Valley Memorial Hospital will be named after doctors Bourland. Councilman Rodger house also reported that June 24 is the date of the first disc golf tournament to be held in Clinton. Director Lee said the event will be, hopefully, called the Clinton Open to Open Olde Glory Days.
Economic Director Mark Dawson reported next to the counsel: he reported that three new manufacturing projects had been submitted on last month. Director Dawson also reported that Project Queen was still happening, with no problems; he reported that the delay was because the company in question was going to finish their project in St. Louis and then start here in Clinton. Dawson said that we would be hearing about Project Neon soon (following the council meeting). It was reported that Project B looks to be in good shape, and the only delay appears to be about negotiations about the lease for the project/company. Director Dawson said that the Gearhart industrial Park Road project is still in the works, and there may be an update by Friday. He reported there had been a Main Street planning session he had attended as well.
Dawson said he will be attending the Heartland Basic Economic Development Council in Blue Springs, of which he has been on the faculty of for years. He will be on the ethics panel this year helping judge student presentations this year.
Director Dawson said questionnaires will be sent out again to local businesses this year. Some of the areas which businesses will be asked about are: wage rates, how long they’ve been in operation, and also asked about local community services they use. Dawson says he hopes to have a benchmark this year to gauge against in the future from the collected data. Overall Director Dawson reported that there had been solid project activity and things were going well.
The Clinton City Council adopted Bill number 2023–04, an ordinance approving the rezoning of SMRV enterprise. This is in regards to a rezoning of land from a residentially zoned property to C3 general commercial.
The public works committee report was given by Councilman Cameron Jackson. H reported that the pool house renovation is progressing well. Currently work is being done on the underground plumbing lines and the roof has been removed. He reported that CJW is collecting data about the rehabilitation project for the Artesian Park parking lot at the pool.
At the Benson Center’s Aquatic Center, he reported again that there’s a need to build a separate building to house the boilers. He said that boiler one was now in operation but parts were still needed for the rec pool and about a month out from arriving. Moist conditions and heat are affecting the longevity of the equipment at the indoor pool. Councilman Jackson also reported that the prep work at Hurt Park was completed and the contractor, Westport Construction, will be starting on it soon. It was also reported that an upgrade to the Internet systems at the Benson Center is needed. There have been, apparently, some problems with scheduling events online because of the outdated system currently in use.
Councilman, Jackson reported that the Calvird pump station valve will be delivered in two weeks and that the belt filter press installation of the rotary drum is complete.
The council approved the decision to install remote monitoring devices for several of the pump stations. The installation of these systems should cut down on man hours, and reduce go outs in the case of rain events. Councilman Jackson again lamented the passing of Dan Scherer. “It is people like Dan that makes civilization possible,“ said Jackson. The final item on the public works agenda was that of a recommendation for the development of a parking plan on the Clinton Square. It was proposed to adopt the proposal developed by CJW for a master plan that should help with future layouts/striping on the square.
The Public Safety report was given by Councilman Gene Henry. The fire department received one bid for $66,000 for the purchase of eight units of self-contained breathing apparatus. The counsel approved the purchase.
The council also approved the pursuit of a sub grant, which would help pay for staffing of up to six additional employees at the fire department for the period of three years. There is no obligation to continue with the staffing after the three-year period but it is assumed that perhaps some of those people may stay in some capacity. Said Fire Chief Mark Manuel: “We are very understaffed, and it leaves us vulnerable at times.“ It is hoped that the ARPA award may help shore up some of the employee shortages at the fire department. The funding would provide 100% of the pay.
The Clinton City Council regretfully accepted the resignation letter of Officer Datrien Buchanan at the Clinton police Dept.
The Finance Committee report was given by Councilwoman Martha Nichols. The council approved purchasing a new financial management system, which will cost $84,000 to set up with an annual fee of $21,000. It was also reported that the 2023 BIL airport terminal program grant was awarded to the city of Clinton. Clinton‘s Regional Airport was one of only four grants awarded in the state of Missouri. The City of Clinton has again lowered its workers comp claims and achieved a better rating than even last year. It has led to considerable discounts on insurance premiums for the city. It was suggested that a safety awards program, per each department, be held to recognize the hard work that has resulted in the saving of money for the city. The final item of the finance committee report was the approval of the renewal of the agreement between the city and the county collector.
The mayor reported that there were several good things going on that she was proud of. She indicated that the money awarded to the airport was positive, that the Hurt Park progress is positive and that progress at the pool house in Artesian Park is also nice. She did say that it was a great loss to the city that Dan Scherer had passed away. To that end city administrator Christy Maggi said that, for the time being, Jason Lankford will have a dual role. Lankford will oversee some of the administrative items at the wastewater treatment plant in addition to his role at the water company (Alliance Water Resource). Administrator Maggi reported that there will be a meeting with the architect soon to talk about the Airport grant and discuss designs. The grant awarded was for $1.7 million.
New business for the city council: the request for a variance at Gearhart industrial Park was approved by the council, as well as the request to approve signage for a project at that par. The Clinton City Council entered executive session for about five minutes before returning to open session. Unfinished business for the council included the first and second readings of bill number 2023–05, which is an ordinance approving the sale of property at Gearhart Industrial Park. Following the adoption of the Bill, the Clinton City Council adjourned at 7:05 PM.
Following the city council session, the Clinton Daily Democrat caught up with Economic Development Director Mark Dawson and Steve Hadley (owner of Sherman Plumbing and Heating). The Hadley family is moving Sherman’s Plumbing and Heating to the Gearhart Industrial Park site and expanding their business. Hadley thanked the council for supporting their endeavor. He reported that Sherman’s had doubled the size of its business since he bought it, and they had needed more room to grow. Part of the variance, which was discussed at the public hearing portion of the city council session involved the iconic Sherman Plumbing and Heating sign. The dripping faucet sign was the first animated sign in town, and the new owners of Sherman’s would like to preserve the heritage of that sign. The old sign, which is still on the old building on Green Street, will be retired and placed in a shop at the new location in Gearhart industrial Park. But a new sign, upgraded and modernized with LED lighting, will mimic the design the old dripping faucet and be the new display sign for the business at the new Gerhart location. Expect more news about this business expansion in the coming weeks from the Clinton Chamber.