Walker Board of Aldermen hear citizens concerns during regular meeting Monday

Wednesday, May 24, 2023
The Walker Board of Aldermen heard citizens concerns regarding a dangerous animal and neglect of property during this week's regular meeting.
Photo by Lisa Hinkle | Daily Mail

Mayor Harold Walters called the Monday evening Walker Board of Aldermen meeting to order after the council enjoyed a celebratory cake in honor of council board members Mike and Kathy Newman. The two celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary on May 22.

During the meeting, Councilman Mike Newman raised a question regarding the Evergy bill, inquiring whether the total amount encompassed all the services provided by the company. City Clerk Susan Thompson clarified that the bill covered the three services they had utilized, excluding the most recent one provided to the city. The board unanimously approved the bill for payment.

The meeting then shifted focus to a concern expressed by city resident Tim Bruce. Bruce addressed the board, highlighting an issue with another resident's pit bull dog roaming freely within the city. Bruce had been aware of this problem for a year and recounted various incidents in which the dog had attacked and harmed other animals and residents. He shared a distressing account of his own mother witnessing the pit bull chewing and devouring another animal, which had made her physically ill. According to Bruce, the resident had taken the dog out east of town and abandoned it. Bruce also mentioned that the dog had targeted animals owned by county residents, even posting about it on Facebook. Bruce emphasized that unless the pit bull was euthanized, the issue would persist, as the resident would likely retrieve the dog. He inquired whether the city had any relevant codes or ordinances. Mayor Walters explained that they had sent multiple letters to the resident regarding their pit bull, assuming the issue had been resolved, but apologized for its persistence. Walters further clarified that there were no specific codes or ordinances addressing this issue. Bruce informed the board that he had been in contact with the state of Missouri, which assured him that something could be done within the city. Mayor Walters promised to contact Prosecuting Attorney Lynn Ewing and City Attorney Bill McCaffree to discuss the issue and potentially find a resolution before the next city council meeting. Bruce expressed satisfaction with this course of action.

Thompson, the City Clerk, informed the board that she had received a check from the insurance company for the City Hall roof repair, totaling over $1,600. However, she noted that they had not yet received any bids for the repair work. The board approved Thompson’s request to deposit the check into their account and instructed her to publish another notice in the newspaper, inviting bids for the roof repair.

Thompson also advised the board to schedule a budget work session before June 30. The board approved and scheduled the session for June 5.

In addition, Thompson shared that the grant application for the lead service line had been approved, with the city set to receive over $130,000. The board approved Thompson’s report.

Thompson further informed the board that due to vacations and scheduling conflicts, some board members would be unable to attend the fourth Monday meetings in June and July. As a result, the board voted to reschedule June’s meeting for June 29 and July’s meeting for July 31.

Regarding an upcoming Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Webex Training Session (Webinar) with a representative, Thompson reported that the meeting was scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, May 23. The board approved the meeting arrangement.

During the meeting, one of the aldermen reported a recurring issue with a city resident neglecting their property, including failing to mow the yard, allowing brush to grow, and leaving salvage vehicles on the premises for over a year. The board approved Thompson’s suggestion to send a letter to the resident addressing the matter.

City Maintenance Worker Russell Hayes informed the board about the urgent need for light fixtures and a two-wheeler at the City’s Equipment Barn. These items were necessary for him to perform his water and sewer-related tasks effectively. The board approved Hayes’ request to purchase the required items, considering the availability of approximately $7,000 in unutilized funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

City Meter Reader Victor Ellison sought permission from the board to weed eat around some of the city residents’ meters to facilitate his work. The board approved the request, allowing Ellison to weed eat around any meters as necessary.

Kathy Newman reported that she had successfully planted flowers in the flower pots around City Hall and in the City’s Park. The board expressed gratitude for her efforts and approved her report.

Phil Thompson reported that the city residents would receive their water bills in the mail on Friday, May 26, a few days earlier than usual due to the upcoming holiday weekend. The board approved Thompson’s report.

Alderman Clint Swope shared a message of gratitude from a city resident whose culvert had been replaced by the city. The resident expressed that the new culvert had resolved the issues they were facing in their yard. The board was pleased to hear this feedback. Swope also mentioned that during the last Ozark Food Harvest Drive, they distributed 161 boxes of food. The board approved Swope’s reports.

Mayor Walters stressed the importance of conducting an audit due to the numerous grants the city had received. The board discussed the matter and approved the audit once they determined the completion deadline. The meeting concluded with the board’s approval to adjourn, and the next month’s meeting was scheduled for June 29.

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