During the Monday May 7 meeting of the City Council Mayor Darlene Breckenridge began the meeting by presenting students from DRGN Network from Cameron High School with a proclamation recognizing the work the students have done in the creation of videos showcasing the community of Cameron. Mayor Breckenridge remarked the students had done quite a lot for the community with the videos.
During the public participation portion at the beginning of the meeting, citizen Gina Reed came before the Council to once again address code enforcement. Reed had several suggestions for the Council, including - if something is not an immediate health hazard, don’t immediately write a ticket; have a way to document having a face to face conversation with a resident prior to writing a ticket; her final suggestion was to have a bit of a “live and let live’ and to consider the neighborhood when enforcing codes. Reed said that not all neighborhoods are equal and not everyone has the same resources and it is her belief, those things should be taken into consideration.
“If you want to go around and find something wrong, you will,” Reed said. “Any given day you can find something wrong with a yard.”
Dr. Nada Woodworth came before the Council to discuss the animal shelter, which was on the agenda to be discussed once again. Woodworth said the current animal shelter is compliant with state regulations. She addressed the size of the runs, stating it was her understanding they are 18 feet. Woodworth went on mention Councilmember Becky Curtis mentioned at the last Council meeting there are many things to be addressed in Cameron and the animal shelter is only one. Woodworth suggested the Council take a step back and finish refurbishing the current facility and revisit the animal shelter at a later date.
Dr. Mark Carr also stated before the Council to address the animal shelter. Carr revisited the last year of the Council rejecting the first proposed cost of the animal shelter which was over $700,000 and the Council directing the formation of the animal shelter group, which was to have been a public and private group to address the animal shelter. According to Carr, the group came back with a plan, which was also rejected by the Council, that had brought the costs down by over $100,000. Carr then went to speak to the discussions the Council had been having most recently about the prefabricated building ideas being presented to them and the shortcomings of those buildings – which included, but were not limited to – no ADA compliance, no restroom facility, the size of the runs, and no quarantine ability. Carr said there is a higher cost to be considered than just the price of the building – costs which include set up, site preparation, water and sewer preparation, “etc, etc etc”. Carr also said there is also the future costs of maintaining such a facility to be considered. Carr asked the Council to reject the plan and to allow the working group to readdress the issue.
The next person to address the Council was Johnny Walker from DeKalb County who was before the Council to discuss a proposed ½ cent sales tax which will be before DeKalb County voters on August 2, according to Walker. Walker said the sales tax is a Law Enforcement tax which would put a Deputy Sheriff in every school in DeKalb County as a School Resource officer and would make the DeKalb County Prosecutor a full time position with a salary of $130,000 per year. Walker said a large amount of money has recently been distributed to the schools through the taxes from the wind turbine and if the schools wish to hire a School Resource Officer they should be able to and they know their priorities better than the people of DeKalb County. Walker said Clinton County residents will see no benefit from this tax other than another hit to their pocketbook. Walker encouraged the citizens of DeKalb County to vote no on this tax.
Dave Curtis came before the Council and also spoke about the sales tax, also asking people to vote no on the tax, siting many if not all of the fixed income people shop at Walmart – which is in DeKalb County and will have to charge the additional tax.
Councilmember Becky Curtis during the miscellaneous portion of the meeting at the end, she expressed concern about the additional tax, telling the citizens it will affect anyone who shops at Walmart and Dollar General (do believe she meant Dollar Tree, which is in DeKalb County and would have to charge the tax).
Sean McGowan came before the Council to discuss the car show and make sure that everyone was on the same page about the car show so there will not be any issues this year that were experienced last year. McGowan said he wants to know the city is going to do their part and all city employees are aware of the event and the park and streets will be at their best, having been cleaned and restrooms unlocked, among other things. McGowan asked for a verbal commitment from the City Manager, Mark Gaugh to say is aware and all the things the city is responsible for will be done in a timely manner.
Gaugh said all he can say is to keep working with Tim Wymes and the city will do all they can. Wymes spoke up and said they are doing all they can and McGowan said he knows Wymes is doing all he can and he is appreciated.
Quentin Lovejoy came before the Council and spoke about drug convictions in DeKalb County, stating he appreciated the gentlemen making citizens aware about the new tax being proposed and he didn’t know how many people were aware, but DeKalb County is #1 in drug convictions; Clinton County is #2; and Caldwell County is #3 in the state of Missouri. Lovejoy said Judge Elliott was in attendance at the last Police Advisory Board meeting and was very impressed with DeKalb County Prosecutor Tate’s work. Lovejoy said Judge Elliott was very much in favor of a full time prosecutor. Lovejoy also said, the full time prosecutor is separate from the half-cent sales tax being proposed on the ballot for School Resource Officers. Lovejoy says the Prosecutor does full time work and does an excellent job.
During the City Manager report City Manager Mark Gaugh said eTruck is moving along and should be moving some things in within the next month or so. The water restrictions remain in place, the recent rains have helped, but it has not yet been enough to lift the restrictions. The Great Northwest Wholesale Water Commission is still working the project to bring more lines to Cameron, but the project takes time and it will still be 2020 before it is completed. Land surveys are being conducted to complete the CID application. Once that is complete, they are planning to schedule a meeting with MoDot for the second phase of the project. According to Gaugh, MoDot is anxious to partner with the city.
Zac Johnson was before the Council for a reading on Bill 2018-26 which concerned water and waste water services to the industrial park property and down Bob Grffin road. This bill was only the engineering for the projects and providing the design. Any future projects or actual construction would still have to come before the Council to be approved. The engineering costs are not to exceed $147,010.
State Inspector and Cameron resident Jeaneen Holt was before the Council to offer answers to questions the Council may have. Holt had a presentation prepared which was attached to the Council Packet, however Mayor Breckenridge said Wymes had said at a previous meeting Holt would only be there to answer questions and they would not be going over her presentation.
Councilmember Curtis asked if the city adopted out animals if the licensing of the city would have to change. According to Holt, there would be no need to change the city license. Curtis also asked if there was a maximum stay for animals at the pound. Holt said there is no maximum stay as long as the animal is being cared for. Curtis also asked if it would be necessary for the pound to have a place to offer veterinary services in house and Holt said it is not required and would be up to the vet and the city whether or not they visit the facility or they animals are taken to the vet. Veterinary services must be provided, but there is no in house requirement.
Curtis asked if there was a standard for the size of a run, Holt said there is no standard size, but there is a requirement for how large the run must be for an animal and it is based on the size of the dog.
Holt said when she was asked to participate in this discussion, it was not in her professional capacity, but rather as someone with experience and knowledge to offer. Mayor Breckenridge asked how many prefabricated buildings she had seen in her time and experience. Holt said she has seen around 1,000. In the presentation she had created, which was included in the Council packets – Holt expressed her opinion that a prefabricated building would not be the best option to suit the needs of the City of Cameron.
Tim Wymes, Director of Economic Development, was before the Council to go over the options for an animal shelter. Although there was no list of options on the agenda or in the packet offered publicly, Mayor Breckenridge expressed to Wymes they Council was familiar with the options as presented and the recommendations of the staff. Wymes expressed to the Council, City Staff believes that although a prefabricated building may not be the best option, they do believe they can build a steel building which will incorporate some of the plans the architect had already drawn up and not exceed the $350,000 the Council had said they were willing to spend on a shelter.
Councilmember Feighert expressed his frustration that the options the Council was presented with now were not offered previously, stating this was what he had been looking for all along.
The Council voted, unanimously, to go ahead and move forward with plans and information on a steel building with the instruction from Council to the city staff to understand costs are not to exceed $350,000.
The Council moved on to the rest of the unfinished business on the agenda, which included appointments to the Park Board. The terms of Bill Gimson, Ruth Hammontree, and Wendy Copple are expiring. Mayor Breckenridge said they Council had questions about the fact that they understood there were three applications received and asked why they had only received one. Drew Bontrager, Director of Public Works, said one application was received before the Park Board and Council met, then one was received after both met, and Bontrager had reached out to a previous applicant. Mayor Breckenridge said it is hard to have people apply to boards, the Council should see all the applications otherwise it may feel like a slap in the face.
There was some discussion about tabling the appointments to the Park Board again and if the current members could continue to serve in the mean time. It was determined the current members could continue to serve until the members were approved. The discussion was also had if the matter is tabled again, it may discourage volunteers from being willing to continue to serve on boards. The Council voted unanimously to go ahead and allow the Mayor to appoint Gimson, Hammontree, and Copple to the board, with the understanding in the future all applicants are brought before the Council.
The Council then went on to approve the liquor licenses of two more businesses and City Clerk Shellie Blades said there are a couple of businesses still outstanding and they have been informed if they do not submit the required paperwork they will be unable to sell liquor after the end of June. The licenses were passed unanimously.
Patrick Cochran, City Attorney, spoke to the Council about the idea of the Consent Agenda and Cochran said Clerk Blades also worked quite a bit on the information presented to the Council. The typical items which may be on a consent agenda include the annual destruction of records, liquor licenses, any bills which are on second or third readings and the Council does not see the need for more discussion. Anything placed on a consent agenda can be requested to be removed for further discussion by either a Council member or a citizen of the community and then can be removed and discussed, at the same meeting. The purpose of a consent agenda is to help shorten some meetings, by being able to vote on what could be considered “house keeping” items in one vote instead of requiring each item to be gone over individually. The Council voted unanimously to move forward with the formation and use of consent agendas with the thought of ‘see how it goes.”
Doug Schmitz came before Council to discuss the Department of Corrections Picnic which he had proposed at the previous meeting. Cochran once again expressed the caution about the city using public funds for private purposes. Schmitz said it could be opened up to law enforcement, ems, and even city staff if that was necessary to make it happen. Cochran said if emergency personnel such as first responders were included then that would cover the initial concerns he expressed.
Councilmember Feighert asked how this would be any different than an event Passion Church recently had and Schmitz said other than understanding it happened, he has no knowledge of the event, but he believed there was not too many times they could say thanks to those personnel.
Feighert also expressed concern about saying yes to such an event when the Council recently voted to no longer fund such events because of the possible expense of the city taking on events such as 4th of July activities. Feighert said if we decide to assist with this, is it in the budge and where do we stop.
The Council voted to table the discussion for the time being and Schmitz asked they not table it overly long or the intent of the event may be lost.
Part of the new business of the Council was to discuss changes and updates to the ordinances concerning the keeping of animals within the city limits. As was discussed at a work session, the fees for dogs and cats were proposed to be changed – the changed presented to Council was to change the costs to $10 per tag for dogs which have been spayed or neutered and $15 for unaltered dogs, with an additional cost and requirements for shots for dogs for the dog park. Councilmembers Feighert and Sloan expressed their concern that in the work session they had discussed changing the fees to $25 per tag and the proposal changed it to $10. Wymes said he and Kathy Turner, animal control, had discussed it and they had understood the desire had been to recoup costs by the city, while still encouraging people to license their animals and they believed $25 would not accomplish that. Feighert and Sloan remained steadfast during the discussion in their belief city staff should not have changed the costs after they had discussed it. There were also changes proposed to the number of animals, cats or dogs which can be kept by residents, increasing the number of combination of animals to four per household.
The Bill was passed on first reading, with the understanding changes may yet be made.
Pat Jones and Heidi Sloan both stepped before the Council and urged them to reconsidered a $25 dog tag fee. Jones said what she was understanding was she was going to go home and call her friends who were on a fixed income and tell them the animal they use for comfort and companionship will now cost them $25 instead of $5 to register. Jones said there were many low income families she could also call, whose children had animals and tell them the same thing. Jones encouraged the Council to reconsider the proposal before proceeding. Sloan expressed similar concerns, saying she was unsure how many people who had previously registered their animals would now register them if the Council went ahead with a $25 per tag fee. She said she would pay $500 for her dogs if she had to, but she love her dogs, not every citizen will be willing to do that.
Sloan also said there needs to be separate pricing for dogs and cats, because no one is going to pay $25 per cat.
After hearing the public participation, Feighert and Sloan both said perhaps they do need to rethink their stance on the price of the tags.
The final resolution before the Council was a contract with CP Excavating to accept their bid for the East Prospect Street Project. The Council voted unanimously to approve.
The final bit of business before the Council was appointments to the Planning and Zoning Board. Stan Hendrix term is expiring and he has expressed interest in continuing. The only other application received was from Debbie Hahn and the only vacancy is in an alternate position. The appointment of Hendrix and Hahn was approved unanimously.
During the miscellaneous portion of the meeting, Councilmember Feighert expressed a desire to see some money set aside to see some improvements done to the existing ball field facilities and Mayor Breckenridge said the pool needs to be placed back on the agenda, as it is time to address it again.
The next meeting of the City Council will be Monday June 18 at 6 p.m.