Welcome to our live blog coverage of tonight’s Springfield City Council meeting. I would say the journalists in attendance are expecting a fast meeting tonight, but the last time we predicted that we were here for hours over planning and zoning issues!
So grab your favorite tasty beverage, set your browser’s auto-refresh button and get ready for our live blog of tonight’s council meeting.
Councilmen Matt Simpson, Richard Ollis and Craig Hosmer are not in attendance this evening.
Mayor Ken McClure called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m..
1. ROLL CALL.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. February 11, 2019 City Council Meeting And February 19, 2019 Special City Council Meeting.
02-19-19 SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING.PDF
Minutes approved 6-0
3. FINALIZATION AND APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDAS. CITIZENS WISHING TO SPEAK TO OR REMOVE ITEMS FROM THE CONSENT AGENDAS MUST DO SO AT THIS TIME.
Item 44 removed.
4. CEREMONIAL MATTERS.
5. CITY MANAGER REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS.
The city manager said that crime against persons is slightly up and crimes against property was slightly down.
Springfield Fire Department praised “PulsePoint” as a success.
City Manager Gage thanked the public works crews for their efforts during the recent challenging weather. They’ve recently filled 717 potholes.
Gage reminded Council that the 1/4 sales tax for capital improvements is up for renewal on April 2nd.
6. SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On.
Items 7-11.5 (item 44 removed from the consent agenda) cannot be considered by the Council tonight because they are two votes short (Section 2-57 of the city charter requires the higher amount of council members.)
All items tabled by Council on a 6-0 vote.
12. Council Bill 2019-031. (Simpson)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a Cost Sharing Agreement with Springfield Public Schools for the purpose of constructing a sewer main extension and driveway modifications; and amending the budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 in the total amount of $57,452.40.
Council Bill 2019-032. (Simpson)
A special ordinance approving the plans and specifications for the Primrose Street – South Avenue to Kimbrough Avenue Project, referenced as Plan No. 2013PW0042WT; accepting the bid of Hartman & Company, Inc., in the amount of $2,381,698.00, for the project; and authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a contract with such bidder.
14. RESOLUTIONS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
15. Council Bill 2019-041. (Fisk)
A resolution to initiate amendments to the Springfield Land Development Code to address and allow for the implementation of Amendment 2 of the Missouri Constitution, ‘Medical Marijuana,’ in various districts. (Planning Staff recommends approval.)
Mary Lilly Smith said the city’s code needs to be changed to show what zones within the city that functions related to medical marijuana will be permitted.
Mayor Carlson asked if this needed to be done before August 3.
Smith said yes.
Councilman Lear said if the state gives licenses August 3, how long does the city have to act.
Smith said that applications are accepted August 3 and they have several months to act upon them, so if proposals from staff are acceptable a vote could take place in April or May.
16. EMERGENCY BILLS.
17. PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS.
18. GRANTS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
19. Council Bill 2019-042. (Lear)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept a grant from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to support Public Health Opioid Crisis Response activities, federally funded by reimbursement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and amending the budget of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 in the amount of $100,000.00.
Councilman Lear said that the health department wants to make revisions so he moves to table this bill until the March 11th meeting.
(Reporter’s note: the consensus of the reporters at the meeting is that the March 11, 2019 meeting is going to be BRUTAL.)
Measure tabled 6-0.
20. AMENDED BILLS.
21. COUNCIL BILLS FOR PUBLIC HEARING. Council Bill 2019-043 Was Advertised As A Legal Public Hearing; However, Will Be Read As A One-Reading Bill. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
22. Council Bill 2019-043. (Lear) Was Advertised As A Legal Public Hearing; However, Will Be Read As A One-Reading Bill. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
A resolution adopting the 2019 Capital Improvements Program, which identifies a schedule of public improvements for 2020 through 2024. (Planning and Zoning Commission and staff recommend approval.)
Staff said that just because things are proposed, doesn’t mean they happen or get completed for a variety of reasons. The CIP is a “planning” document.
“These items are excited and needed,” Mayor McClure said.
No speakers, public hearing closed.
23. FIRST READING BILLS. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On.
24. Council Bill 2019-044. (Hosmer)
A general ordinance amending Chapter 2, Section 2-92 of the Springfield City Code, known as the ‘Salary Ordinance,’ relating to various job titles in the City of Springfield for the Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications Department, as contained in the Professional, Administrative and Technical (PAT) salary schedule, by approving six additional full-time equivalent Telecommunicator positions; and amending the Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications Department budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 in order to adjust the number of authorized employee Telecommunicator positions and to accept and appropriate $88,534 in 911 County Sales Tax Revenue to fund the additional positions.
Councilwoman Ferguson asked staff if this will reduce the amount of overtime and workload on the staff. Staff responded because of tax revenue they can add half the staff needed under a study for staffing requirements.
Councilwoman Fisk asked about turnover rates. Staff said turnover nationwide is 19% and our local rate is 10.9%. They’ve also had people stay until retirement “for the first time in a long time.”
No speakers, public hearing closed.
25. Council Bill 2019-045. (Prater)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield City Code, Chapter 54, ‘Fire Prevention and Protection,’ Article II, ‘Fire Prevention Code,’ Section 54-32, to make certain deletions, amendments and additions to Sections 108, 901, 320, 1008, 1010, 1013, 1031, and Appendix T of the International Fire Code; including a savings clause and a severability clause; and establishing an effective date.
Councilman Prater said that the bill needs to be amended for staff changes and moves to remove 320, landscape materials, from the bill.
Amendment passes 6-0.
Fire Chief Pennington said the bill is related to items brought up at a previous city council lunch regarding third party inspections.
Public hearing closed.
Public hearing on amendment held open until next meeting.
26. Council Bill 2019-046. (Hosmer)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into an agreement with Brycer, LLC, for the tracking and notification of fire protection system records and required testing in structures within the City.
The ordinance is a companion to the previous item that requires management of third party groups.
Public hearing closed.
Council Bill 2019-047. (Ollis)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a revised Intergovernmental Agreement with Community College District of Central Southwest Missouri, AKA Ozarks Technical Community College, for the purpose of providing cooperative training between the Fire Department and Ozarks Technical Community College.
Chief Pennington said it’s a revised memorandum regarding sharing space with the fire science program at OTC.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
28. Council Bill 2019-048. (Fisk)
A special ordinance amending the budget of the Airport for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, in the amount of $800,000.00, to appropriate fund balance reserves of the Customer Facility Charge Reserve Fund.
Brian Weiler addressed council about car rental changes. Over 80,000 car rental days come from the airport and is the 2nd largest income source for the airport after parking.
The Customer Facility Charge (CFC) funds are held in a separate reserve account. Car rental companies want the ready return lot expanded and paved; increased lighting and security camera coverage and improve water quality in wash bays.
The fund has sufficient amounts to cover the request.
Passed by airport board at February 21, 2019 meeting.
Airport traffic up 10% in January.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
29. Council Bill 2019-049. (Ferguson)
A special ordinance approving the plans and specifications for the Division Street and Grant Avenue Intersection Project, generally referred to as Plan No. 2017PW0087; accepting the bid of Ewing Signal Construction, LLC, in the amount of $224,814.25, for the Project; and authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a contract with such bidder.
No speakers; public hearing closed; vote in two weeks.
30. Council Bill 2019-050. (Schilling)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a contract for the purchase of certain real estate generally located at 1051 West College Street, in the amount of $65,000.00.
This came to the city from West Central neighborhood. The property is connected to the Route 66 Roadside Park and city staff says it’s “vital” for the plan of the park.
Councilman Schilling asked staff what the land could be used for by the city.
Restroom facilities, storage and a registration kiosk could go on the property as part of the Neighborhood Works program.
No public speakers, hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
31. Council Bill 2019-051. (Simpson)
A special ordinance approving solid waste disposal agreements with Allied Services, LLC, d/b/a Republic Services of the Ozarks, a Delaware limited liability company and Waste Corporation of Missouri, Inc., a Delaware corporation, for the delivery of a certain tonnage of solid waste to the city landfill or payment of the equivalent tipping fee of the tonnage.
A year ago Environmental Services were ordered by council to renegotiate waste disposal agreements or an ordinance on wastewater management.
The new agreements replace the agreements that expire in April.
Mayor McClure said it’s a 10-year agreement with the option of two 5-year extensions.
No public speakers, public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
32. Council Bill 2019-052. (McClure)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield City Code, Chapter 10 – ‘Alcoholic Beverages,’ Section 10-62. – ‘Exception for general merchandise stores, restaurants, and exempt organizations,’ to increase the number and expand the area for certain permitted events; amending Chapter 78 – ‘Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions,’ Section 78-4. – ‘Possession, sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages in public place,’ to amend the title of Subsection (c); amending Chapter 106 – ‘Traffic and Vehicles,’ Section 106-50. – ‘Use of City right-of-way during Artsfest’; and including a provision to sunset this Ordinance on December 31, 2019.
This is a bill that the council considers every year for major events. There are 9 major downtown events, 2 Commercial Street events and ArtsFest.
The Springfield PD said there were zero alcohol related incidents related to any event approved by City Council in 2018.
Proposed to Council in 2019:
No public speakers; hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
33. PETITIONS, REMONSTRANCES, AND COMMUNICATIONS.
A citizen spoke about the explosion at the southwest treatment plant was because of the conditions there every day. He asked the Council consider the workers there be on the hazardous employment pay scale similar to the solid waste employees.
A citizen spoke to council about a complaint to the Missouri Ethics Commission against Councilwoman Fisk. He claimed he has not given to any political campaign or is connected to political opponents of Fisk.
He claims to have read the complaint and saw documents connected to the complaint.
He reiterated the items in the complaint but provided no confirming facts or other new information.
He claims that he was a bureaucrat in the city of Dallas and has experience with dealing with conflicts of interest.
He says he feels government should be above reproach.
Mayor McClure said the council is aware of the complaint and that the Missouri Ethics Commission needs to take its course.
Meeting adjourned 6-0.