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Mayor, council members sworn in Monday

Staff writer

With an official canvassing report available on the votes in the April 4 election, Mayor Larry Larsen and council members Pam Lamborn, Steve Rose, and David Scott, all were administered the oath of office Monday night.

All four were incumbents in the election and retained their seats by a comfortable margin.

In other business:

  • The streets and alleys committee presented a recommendation to the city council for the 2011 street repairs. A bid of $123,240 from APAC of Kansas was accepted to complete street work on Locust from Third Street to Second Street and to improve the intersections of Second and Locust streets and Division and Locust streets.
  • Marion County will repair Peabody Street from Ninth to Third. Culverts on the east side and box culverts under the street will be replaced. On the west side, they will clean up trees and improve ditching. The street surface will be milled and re-laid this year; followed by a double seal next summer. Since the city owns the east half of the street, the city will pay for the culverts on the east side, for one-half of the box culverts going under the road, and one-half of the engineering fees.
  • The council agreed to allow an extension until July 1 for an untagged vehicle at 410 Vine. The resident’s daughter owns the vehicle and she is out of the country, but will return in June.
  • A public hearing on nuisance conditions at 509 N. Locust was conducted. Kevin Schmidt, son of the property owner, had received a 30-day extension from the council March 28 to give him time to make some progress on his father’s property. While some issues were abated the council agreed it had hoped for a better resolution to the problem. Because of weather issues, the council granted a second extension until May 26. At that time, the city will abate the nuisance if progress is not evident.
  • During the public comment section of the meeting, Tim Caldwell spoke of a need for more open meetings when the council plans to deal with individual properties. He also thought there were too many times when there was the appearance of conflict of interest for council members and asked that members declare such a conflict and not vote. Caldwell chided the council for owning too much property. He felt the city should sell it.
  • Jim Rippe reminded the council that the Planning and Zoning committee still is short two members. He also noted that member Hannah Bourbon has moved out of the county. She will resign her position with the committee.
  • The council tabled a request for no parking designations on Fourth Street north of Legacy Park until July or August when it adopts the Standard Traffic Code to save money on publishing costs. In a related issue, a decision on placing stop signs inside the park gates on the rock pillars was tabled and more information was requested.
  • Police Chief Bruce Burke said his officers will be required to relinquish their Stingers as the Stinger Company has gone bankrupt and can no longer provide parts or service. He requested permission to purchase three Tasers at a cost of between $800 and $900 each. Council members was tabled and requested more information.
  • The city agreed to pay Matthew Litton $300 for damage to his basement when the sewer system backed up in February. It was determined that the problem was the city’s fault.
  • City Administrator Mac Manning presented council members with a schedule of special meetings to work through the budget before publication in July.
  • Council members directed Manning to review repair and demolition policies of the county and other communities to compare them with Peabody’s policies.
  • Manning also will review the city streets to see if they all are “dedicated streets” or if some could be vacated. A designated street is one that is used by the general public, rather than being used by a specific individual or family. As an example of a non-dedicated street, Potter Street, which leads to the property owned by Rex Watson, is designated a city street, but the city does not maintain it. Reviewing all of the city streets may turn up others and the city could vacate the rights of way all at once.

The next council meeting will be 7 p.m. May 9.

Last modified April 27, 2011

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