Welcome to tonight’s live coverage of Springfield City Council!
Mayor McClure called the virtual meeting to order at 6:34 p.m..
He is making a statement about Officer Mark Priebe, expressing the city’s support for him, and asking for a moment of prayer or reflection for Officer Priebe and those facing COVID-19.
Councilman Mike Schilling is not in attendance tonight.
1. ROLL CALL.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. JUNE 1, 2020 CITY COUNCIL MEETING, JUNE 9, 2020 AND JUNE 10, 2020 SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS.
Minutes adopted unanimously.
3.FINALIZATION AND APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDAS. CITIZENS WISHING TO SPEAK TO OR REMOVE ITEMS FROM THE CONSENT AGENDAS MUST NOTIFY THE CITY CLERK BY 5:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2020.
4. CEREMONIAL MATTERS.
5. CITY MANAGER REPORT, PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS.
City manager Jason Gage is giving an update on Officer Mark Priebe.
“This incident is a terrible reminder of the danger our police officers put themselves in to protect us every day,” Gage said.
Gage said the current Phase III of the Road to Recovery could be reviewed early if the data warrants a review.
An update on body worn cameras by police.
Gage asked about funding from “pothole funds” in the capital improvement program. The balance is approximately $606,000 or $706,000 depending on one program. With funding for 2021, an additional $200,000 would go into that fund.
Current estimated cost for 240 cameras, one for each officer for one full year, approximately $612,000 including first year of licensing. They have about a 5 year life, so the cost is $120,000 per year after that initial year for yearly fees. Additional officers would will need to be put on staff for management of the cameras.
After 5 years, replacement would need to be done. It would be an estimated $1 million purchase over that 5 years.
City manager Gage said it would be about three months to “responsibly make that purchase.”
Councilman Lear clarified that Council didn’t need to do anything more for Gage to move forward, and Gage said not at the current time.
Springfield Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard addressed Council.
“We move to more personal and corporate responsibility as we manage this global pandemic,” Goddard said.
He said the most recent cases have two main themes: a person interacts with a group for a long period of time and spreads it, like a family gathering; the second is the sharing of vape pens.
“I would not recommend sharing a personal item like a vape pen or a drinking straw even when there’s not a pandemic,” Goddard said.
Goddard noted the increase in Northwest Arkansas are connected to major meat manufacturers, including Jasper County with 39 cases over the weekend.
Goddard noted that they are examining the way COVID-19 is reacting differently to different races; nothing the latinx community in Northwest Arkansas that has been hit hard.
205 cases confirmed in Greene County, 10 currently hospitalized, 161 in quarantine, approaching 15,000 tests.
Councilman Simpson congratulated Goddard on his appearances on national media and the discussion about masks he had with national news outlets.
6. SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On.
7. Council Bill 2020-113 (McGull)
A General Ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately 68 acres of property generally located at 2607 North Mulroy Road from Planned Development 225 and HM, Heavy Manufacturing District with Conditional Overlay District No. 94 to IC, Industrial Commercial District and establishing Conditional Overlay District No. 185; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: SRC Holdings Corp.; 2607 North Mulroy Road; Z-11-2020.)
8. Council Bill 2020-114 (McGull)
A General Ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately 2.16 acres of property generally located at 2001 East Commercial Street from GM, General Manufacturing District to HM, Heavy Manufacturing District; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: Superior Solvents and Chemicals, Inc.; 2001 E. Commercial Street; Z-10-2020.)
9. Council Bill 2020-115 (Simpson)
A General Ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately 0.28 acres generally located at 6320 South Creeksedge Drive from Planned Development No. 318 to Planned Development No. 373; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: DW Daniel Inc.; 6320 Creeksedge Drive; Planned Development 373.)
10. Council Bill 2020-116 (Ferguson)
A General Ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately one acre of property generally located at 303 North Scenic Avenue and 2711 West Olive Street from HC, Highway Commercial District and R-SF, Single-Family Residential District to R-TH, Residential Townhouse District; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: Parker Realty and Development, LLC & Michael C. Carlson Properties, LLC; 303 North Scenic Avenue & 2711 West Olive Street; Z-9-2020.)
11. Council Bill 2020-117 (Schilling)
A Special Ordinance granting Conditional Use Permit No. 443 for the purpose of authorizing an automotive service garage to operate within the GR, General Retail, district located at 2851 West Republic Road as a conditional use. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommend approval.) (By: 2851 W. Republic Rd., LLC; 2851 West Republic Road; Conditional Use Permit 443.)
12. Council Bill 2020-118 (Schilling)
A General Ordinance amending Section 1-9 of the Springfield City Code, ‘City Limits;’ and amending Section 46-1 of the Springfield City Code, ‘Boundaries of wards, precincts and council zones;’ for the purpose of annexing approximately 10 acres of private property into the City of Springfield, Missouri, generally located at 851 West Farm Road 182 and referenced as Annexation A-3-2020. (Staff recommends approval.)
13. Council Bill 2020-119 (Schilling)
A General Ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately 9.84 acres of property generally located at 851 West Farm Road 182 from County R-1, Suburban Residence District to R-LD Low Density Multi-Family Residential District and establish Conditional Overlay District No. 183; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff recommends approval and Planning and Zoning Commission recommends denial.) (By: Burning Tree Consulting, LLC; 851 West Farm Road 182; Z-7-2020 W/COD #183.)
Councilman Simpson recuses, meaning there is not enough Council members to vote on 118 and 119 under city code. Councilman Lear moves to table both bills until the June 29, 2020 meeting.
Bills tabled 7-0.
14. Council Bill 2020-120 (McClure)
A Special Ordinance setting a preliminary tax levy on real and personal property for current expenses and debt retirement of the City of Springfield, Missouri, and its boards and agencies for Fiscal Year 2020-2021; and declaring an emergency.
15. Council Bill 2020-121 (McClure)
A Special Ordinance adopting a budget for the City of Springfield, Missouri, for the Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2020, and ending June 30, 2021; providing that certain amounts shown in the budget document are appropriated for the various departments specified in said budget; and declaring an emergency.
16. Council Bill 2020-122 (Ollis)
A General Ordinance amending Springfield City Code, Chapter 70, ‘Licenses, Permits and Miscellaneous Business Regulations,’ Article XIII, ‘Special Business District,’ and Chapter 106, ‘Traffic and Vehicles,’ Article II, ‘Administration and Enforcement,’ Division 2, ‘Violations and Procedure Upon Arrest,’ Section 106-96, ‘Authority of persons appointed as conservators of the peace,’ to delete all references to the now-terminated Downtown Springfield Special Business District.
17. Council Bill 2020-123 (Fisk)
A Special Ordinance adopting an amendment to the City’s Comprehensive Housing Assistance Program Rules and Regulations by adding Chapter 12, ‘Program Rules During a Declared Emergency,’ which authorizes the City Manager to modify loan terms in response to certain federal, state and/or local emergency declarations. (Planning staff recommends approval.)
18. Council Bill 2020-124 (Lear)
A Special Ordinance adopting an addition to the City’s Commercial Loan Program Rules and Regulations by adding Chapter 10, ‘Program Rules During a Declared Emergency.’ (Planning staff recommends approval.)
19. Council Bill 2020-125 (Hosmer)
A Special Ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Board of Governors of Missouri State University for the purpose of continuing to provide enhanced law enforcement services within and around the Missouri State University campus.
20. Council Bill 2020-126 (Lear)
A Special Ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Willard R-II School District regarding law enforcement services on Willard R-II School District properties located within the City of Springfield.
21. Council Bill 2020-132 (Ollis)
Authorizing the City Manager, on behalf of the City of Springfield, to enter into an Infrastructure Reimbursement Agreement with Costco Wholesale Corporation, for improvements to South Eastgate Avenue and East Olive Street to facilitate the development of the property for the Costco development.
Councilmen Simpson and Ollis said they are looking forward to Costco’s arrival and how it sets the city up for future opportunities.
22. RESOLUTIONS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
23. Council Bill 2020-134 (Ferguson)
A Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute a deed transferring title to a small portion of the Park Board’s Dickerson Park Zoo real property from the Park Board to City Utilities for expansion of City Utilities’ power substation.
24. EMERGENCY BILLS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
25. Council Bill 2020-109 S1 (Council)
A Special Ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to accept additional Community Development Block Grant funds allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act emergency funding and to enter into any necessary agreements and exercise all powers necessary to select and implement any projects for funding; amending the Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Program; amending the budget of the City’s Department of Planning and Development for Fiscal Year 2019 in the amount of $916,138.00; directing staff to provide Economic Development Business Assistance as a forgivable loan; directing staff to expedite the provision of services by amending existing City contracts; and declaring that this Ordinance qualifies as a one-reading bill pursuant to City Charter Section 2.16(25). (Staff recommend approval.)
Councilman Hosmer is grilling Mary Lilly Smith about the loans and how many of them will be forgivable, with her responding she hopes most are as the businesses would still be in business and keeping employees.
He also asked how they are determined to have been impacted by COVID-19. She said they have to provide job retention forms and profit/loss sheets for the last two years.
Councilman Hosmer is objecting to more money not going to low-income housing instead of going to businesses.
Mayor McClure noted 56% of the funding is going to items related to homelessness or low-income housing.
Summer Massey addresses Council. She is a senior VP at Arvest Bank, and supports the measure, noting how small businesses have struggled.
Christopher Smith addresses Council. He says he’s offering perspectives that won’t get mentioned if he doesn’t do it. He mentions people are going to get evicted because of unpaid rent. He said it could cost $300,000 to cover three months of rent for people who are facing eviction right now.
Megan Short addresses Council and thanks them for their thoughtful approach to the allocation of the funds. She asked Council to support it as is.
Council Bill 2020-109 fails because of the passage of the previous measure.
27. Council Bill 2020-135 (Schilling)
A General Ordinance suspending enforcement of Springfield City Code Section 36-450(4)(b), ‘Accessory structures and uses,’ Section 36-453, ‘Supplemental open space and yard regulations,’ and Section 36-482, ‘Landscaping and bufferyards,’ in order to allow the use of open spaces, yards, and bufferyards as outdoor dining spaces to provide additional dining and service opportunities during the Mayor’s declaration of civil emergency; and declaring an emergency pursuant to City Charter Section 2.12.
This measure is based on Councilwoman Ferguson’s suggestion that restaurants be allowed to put dining areas on green spaces.
Councilmembers McGull and Simpson expressed their support and urged continued work to innovate on how to help small businesses.
Councilwoman Ferguson asks if she should recuse because of her interest in the hospitality industry, staff said because she declared her interest she does not under city code but can if she feels she should do so.
The Mayor praises staff for their efforts.
32. FIRST READING BILLS. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On.
33. Council Bill 2020-136 (Fisk)
A Special Ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into an agreement with the Greater Springfield Area Sports Commission, Inc., in the amount of $43,940.00, for the purpose of promoting the attraction of sporting events to the community.
34. Council Bill 2020-137 (Ollis)
A Special Ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into an agreement with the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc., in the amount of $2,065,730, for the purpose of promoting travel and tourism within the City of Springfield.
Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
35. Council Bill 2020-138 (Lear)
A Special Ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into an agreement with the Springfield Regional Arts Council, Inc., in the amount of $29,264.00, for the purpose of promoting the visual and performing arts in Springfield, Missouri.
Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
36. Council Bill 2020-139 (Hosmer)
A Special Ordinance authorizing a plan for an industrial development project for Kraft Heinz Foods Company, consisting of the acquisition and installation of new equipment and machinery at the existing plant; and authorizing the City of Springfield, Missouri, to issue its Taxable Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (Kraft Heinz Foods Company Project), in a principal amount not to exceed $48,000,000 and authorizing and approving certain documents and actions in connection therewith.
Sarah Kerner is presenting the project to Council. She mentioned previous projects with the city in 2012 and 2016.
City will basically buy equipment tax free, Kraft pays it back.
Councilman Hosmer is asking a bunch of questions about the bonds involved and the job performance requirements, and what would happen if Kraft doesn’t keep the jobs. Staff says they lose the abatements.
Jon Oke-Thomas, President of Oke-Thomas And Associates Architects, addresses Council. He is in favor of the proposal, and that this investment is needed as we recover from COVID-19 and to retain jobs.
Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
37. Council Bill 2020-140 (Fisk)
A Special Ordinance approving the Annual Maintenance Agreement for Traffic Signals for Fiscal Year 2020-2021; accepting the bid of Ewing Signal Construction, LLC, in the amount of $162,126.00; and authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract with such bidder for the purpose of maintaining the City’s traffic signal infrastructure.
Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
38. Council Bill 2020-141 (Hosmer)
A General Ordinance amending the Springfield City Code, Chapter 94, ‘Solid Waste Regulations,’ to add a requirement that residential trash containers shall not be placed at the curb for more than 24 hours and to update several references and other housekeeping items.
Councilman Ollis expressed concern about enforcement of the 24 hour regulation. He wants to know why this is being made a priority? City Manager Gage said it doesn’t have to be made a priority. He said it’s typical to find most communities have a requirement for pulling their bin back from the curb.
Public hearing closed, vote in two weeks.
Renee Goodwin addresses Council. She is making a comment about body cameras. She mentioned her son who died in police custody. She claims if body cameras were worn, a lot more would have come out.
(Note: OI examined the case of Jalen Goodwin. Our report on the incident based on official documents can be seen here.)
She says it’s a “positive thing” to look at body cameras in the near future.
Tim Havens addresses Council. He is speaking about the resolution passed two weeks prior related to the George Floyd incident.
He said the city has already broken the resolution by accepting Springfield police action. He mentions the arrest of Gregory Robinson, claiming the video shows it to be the same as George Floyd.
(Note: Here is the story showing the video. The video shows at one point Robinson reaching for a gun in his waistband as police subdued him.)
Councilman Hosmer notes the video shows Robinson had two guns on him, was threatening officers, and reached for his gun as he was being subdued by police.
He also disagrees with Havens’ assertion that Council has done nothing to help train officers and hold them accountable.
Havens would not respond to Hosmer’s comments about Robinson reaching for a gun, and just repeated his comments that he initially made related to the George Floyd resolution.
Council votes 7-1 to adjourn. Hosmer (as usual) votes no.