SWC Coun­cil Looks At Fu­ture Cuts

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY - Me­gan Davis

South­west City again re­viewed the pro­posed 2019 bud­get in search of saved pen­nies that could add up to dol­lars. The cur­rent draft is balanced, with only a $95 dif­fer­ence be­tween rev­enue and ex­penses.

Mayor David Blake be­gan by an­nounc­ing the city must de­cline the ad­di­tion of a fourth of­fi­cer.

“We’ve robbed from every­thing this year to fund the se­nior cen­ter, which we want to keep,” Mayor David Blake said.

Blake sug­gested speak­ing with the city at­tor­ney to dis­cuss a pub­lic hear­ing re­gard­ing a bal­lot mea­sure to add a one per­cent sales tax des­ig­nated for long-term fund­ing of the cen­ter.

Al­der­man Craig Martin posited that he didn’t think enough peo­ple uti­lized the se­nior cen­ter to suc­cess­fully pass the bal­lot mea­sure.

Blake replied, say­ing the worst thing that could hap­pen is it doesn’t pass.

The coun­cil dis­cussed cash­ing in one of the city’s two CDs des­ig­nated for se­nior cen­ter fund­ing. With one $25,000 CD, the city could re­ceive a $5,000 re­im­burse­ment for re­cent light re­pairs at the cen­ter, al­low Di­rec­tor Melissa Lance to re­move funds for con­tract la­bor for the year, then re­turn the re­main­der of funds to the CD and al­low it to fur­ther de­velop.

“We’re set this year, but I’m telling you what’s com­ing. We need to think about next year,” Blake said.

City Clerk Missy Zinn then ad­dressed an­other large ex­pense — fire­works for the Third of July dis­play, which is one of the largest events in town. She asked Shane Clark, who is re­spon­si­ble for the dis­play, if the py­rotech­nics could be pur­chased else­where at a lower price.

“I am to­tally against get­ting them some­where else,” Clark said. “I don’t want to shoot prod­uct that is from some­one else.”

Clark went on to ex­plain that Pre­miere Py­rotech­nics taught him to shoot fire­works safely when he be­gan and pro­vides an­nual school­ing for $100 which is then re­turned via $100 worth of prod­uct on at­ten­dance. He also said they were the best, most con­sis­tent qual­ity in the area.

The coun­cil agreed not to change dis­trib­u­tors.

City Clerk Zinn went on to dis­cuss the city’s var­i­ous spon­sor­ships, such as the an­nual fish­ing derby, Easter Egg Hunt, Old Timer’s Day, etc.

Zinn said mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are not sup­posed to give do­na­tions or spon­sor events be­cause the city’s rev­enue is tax­payer’s money, meant to be in­vested in the com­mu­nity, not given out for events. She spoke about the pos­si­ble le­gal ram­i­fi­ca­tions and rec­om­mended can­cel­ing all spon­sor­ships in the com­ing years.

“Even if we could get it chis­eled down, just to half the amount, it would help,” Blake said.

The largest spon­sor­ship is in the amount of $5,000 to­wards the Old Timer’s Day Rodeo.

Coun­cil mem­bers agreed they would like to learn how the funds are be­ing in­vested.

The bud­get is sched­uled to be fi­nal­ized at the next meet­ing, on Tues­day, Dec. 18.

De­part­men­tal

Re­ports

Fire Chief Shane Clark said the de­part­ment made use of the he­li­copter land­ing zone for a re­cent MedF­light.

Pub­lic Works Di­rec­tor Clark re­ported smooth­ing Honey Lake Acres Road and re­pair­ing the en­trance to the school park­ing lot.

He said the wa­ter de­part­ment has been busy re­pair­ing leaks on W. Chero­kee Street. Em­ploy­ees also checked sev­eral ac­counts for leaks due to high us­age re­ports. Clark spoke with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ozark Wa­ter So­lu­tions to re­pair the chlo­rine sys­tem and the pump con­trol at the Broad­way tower.

Clark also re­ported un­plug­ging a sewer main at the in­ter­sec­tion of E. Co­manche Street and Thacker Street and re­pair­ing a ser­vice con­nec­tion on School Street.

Po­lice Chief Bud Gow pre­sented the coun­cil with an in­voice from the Drug Task Force in Joplin. He said the city has not re­ceived as­sis­tance from the task force in the past two years and rec­om­mended can­cel­ing the city’s mem­ber­ship in the group.

Clerk Zinn said the stock of city dog tags has been de­pleted. She has or­dered more tags and ad­di­tional tags for the 2019 year.

In other busi­ness, the coun­cil ap­proved the an­nual Christ­mas Light­ing Con­test. Dis­plays will be judged on Mon­day, Dec. 17, and win­ners will be an­nounced at the next meet­ing, Tues­day, Dec. 18. First place is awarded $100, sec­ond place is awarded $50 and third place is awarded $25.

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