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McClellan Building in Willow no longer considered dangerous


The city of Willow Springs has removed its dangerous-building designation from the McClellan Building at the corner of 104 E. Main St., first put into place in December 2022 on the recommendation of John Oke-Thomas of Oke-Thomas Associates, an architectural and construction firm headquartered in Springfield.

The request to remove the designation was presented by Willow Springs Community Foundation Director Dean Aye, who has been giving monthly updates on the project to council, a condition agreed upon when the building was declared dangerous. That condition was also removed and updates will no longer be required.

The structural problem had been an outside wall in danger of collapsing and injuring pedestrians, so the sidewalk surrounding the corner building was blocked to keep people from walking near it.

When masonry work began recently, it was discovered a section of the wall was not resting on a foundation, and that portion of brick was removed so the repair could be made. By Feb. 19, the wall had been bricked up and painters were seen sprucing up the outside of the building.

The vote to remove the designation was unanimous and followed a discussion between City Administrator Beverly Hicks and City Attorney Zane Privette about city ordinances and the proper procedure for making the removal. Alderwoman Kim Rich made the motion to vacate the declaration based on the recommendation letter.

Other action taken during the meeting, held Feb. 16, was the recognition of former Fire Chief Vance Farmer for his service to the city, with the presentation of a plaque by interim Fire Chief Alan Lewis. Lewis and Hicks commented on Farmer's dedication, service and dependability during his time as chief.

In new business, Hicks informed council sewer rate adjustments that were approved in December had been based on incorrect calculations, and had not been increased at the planned 3% but rather remained at the rates already in place. Since the rate increase required official approval of council members, a first and second reading of the ordinance amendment was given, resulting in a final vote by all city council members to amend the ordinance and allow the increase.

A vote was also taken authorizing Mayor Brooke Fair to apply with the Missouri Department of Transportation for a Missouri Highway Safety grant to reimburse the city for police officer overtime hours. Hicks noted this is a grant the police department applies for yearly.

No action was taken during closed session.

City council members Danny Bradley, Tyler Morris and Phill Knott were all present for the meeting.