City Council April 2
On Monday April 2, the day before the election, the Cameron City Council met in regular session at Cameron City Hall.
During the first public participation portion of the meeting, Stephanie Williams of North Central Missouri Business Facilitation (NCMBF) was before the Council to give the quarterly update. Williams presented each Council member with handouts of information on how many businesses they have been assisting and reported the number had gone up since the report was printed from 115 to 119. Williams also offered updates that 65 jobs were created and 85 jobs retained. NCMBF held their first business expo this past month and offered small business owners an opportunity to take classes on subjects such as how to promote your business online and encouraging customers to shop local. Williams said they are already brainstorming ideas for next year’s business expo.
The citizen’s working group for the animal shelter was on hand with a report with Dr. Nada Woodworth stepping up to represent the group and bring their findings to the Council. Woodworth presented the Council with several numbers for potential costs for the shelter as designed ranging from approximately $604,000 to $788,000 depending on the kind of heat used and what features were included. Woodworth informed the Council when she went to work with the group it was because she had truly believed a shelter could be built for less than the $750,000 that was first presented to the Council, but after working with the group, she could see because of the things required by the State, it may not be possible.
Councilman John Feighert thanked the group for their efforts, but also apologized to them because he felt perhaps the Council wasn’t clear on their expectations. Feighert expressed he wanted to see a spreadsheet or breakdown of different kinds of buildings and materials being used and their costs, even if they had been eliminated, he wanted to see the information.
Councilman Dennis Clark said he had understood the process a little differently, when he thought they had asked the group to come together to be certain the staff was not wasting money. Clark said in his mind, they had done what they were asked to do.
Mayor Darlene Breckenridge said she would still like to see a public forum held to be certain the public has a say and a voice in what will happen and how money will be spent on an animal shelter.
During the second public participation Quentin Lovejoy, who has been part of the working group on the animal shelter stepped before the Council to express his “respectful” disagreement with the other members of the group who thought they had exhausted the options. Lovejoy said in his mind there is a lot of missing data and he said it is hard for them to plan for what the city needs.
Councilman Sloan said later in the meeting he believes the city needs a new animal shelter and felt that the public/private partnership was the way to go. Sloan expressed his frustration at the process and said he wished he had been more clear in his expectations and wished he had been able to attend some of the meetings of the working group, but his schedule had prevented it.
The last person to speak during the first public participation was Sean McGowan from Carquest. This time he was before the Council asking why City Employees were instructed not to purchase from his store. McGowan said he got a call from another store in town asking him questions about parts for city owned equipment, equipment McGowan says he has been supplying parts for, for years. McGowan said he will continue to come before the Council every week until he receives answers.
Clark expressed his opinion that the Council needs to make a decision, whatever it is going to be and stick to it.
City Manager Mark Gaugh and City Staff are working to set up a public hearing to allow the public to have input about the animal shelter.
During the City Manager Report, Manager Mark Gaugh reported an update on the Business Park. The contractor has started concrete work on the outside of the existing building which will house e-Trucking and the three-phase line is in construction as well. The building will be ready to occupy in a few weeks, weather permitting.
Staff has been looking at ways to lower costs for health coverage and now are looking at a program to reduce the costs for prescription medications and workers compensation. Councilman Sloan cautioned, “Don’t let a car salesman sell you a lemon.”
Gaugh assured the Council the city is not looking to change insurance companies, just looking for ways in the existing company to save money.
Gaugh informed the Council again Cameron will be hosting the Missouri Municipal League Northwest Regional Meeting on April 12 at the YMCA and invited any members of the Council who might like to attend.
City Staff viewed a webinar on March 28 dealign with potential improvements to the city website. Since changes can be a costly endeavor they are looking to do upgrades within a reasonable expense.
The Council then moved on to unfinished business, the resolution concerning the Dollar Tree was continued until the next City Council meeting and Tim Wynes, Community Development Director said it should be prepared by that meeting.
The Council held second and final readings on bills authorizing a management agreement for the Aquatic Facility by the YMCA and a bill authorizing a contract with the Cameron Municipal Band – both passed unanimously, although Councilman Clark recused himself from the band vote.
The next item for discussion by the Council was the Special Events Grant Program. Upon the recommendation of the Finance Committee the Council will be doing away with a specific line item on the budget for the program but will keep the option open for groups to come to the Council to partner in any events or projects which could be beneficial for both the city and the organization. Part of the reasoning behind the removal of the program is the fact that the city will be taking on many of the events once sponsored by the Cameron Chamber of Commerce and the Finance Committee believes until the potential costs are known from the sponsorship of those events they cannot pledge to support other events by other organizations.
New business before the Council included first readings on bills authorizing the execution of a lease between On Site Corp and the city at the Cameron Memorial Airport for the construction of a hangar. On Site Corp will have the hangar built to their specifications and at the end of the term of the lease, the ownership of the hanger will revert to the City. The Council voted unanimously to approve.
The Council also had first readings on bills to allow conditional use permits to two citizens for an additional dog at their residences and a conditional use permit for a community garden. All three were approved unanimously.
The next meeting of the Cameron City Council will be Monday April 16 at 6 p.m.