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West Plains City Council meeting tonight starts with public hearing


Tonight’s meeting of the West Plains City Council will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a public hearing regarding a transit project partially funded by the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission.

The hearing concerns a proposed resolution, to be voted on during the regular business portion of the meeting, that would authorize the mayor and members o fate city council to execute an agreement with the commission to request financial aid to purchase a new bus and improve existing bus stop locations with benches, signs and shelter. They would also be authorized to ask for financial assistance to complete funding and operate the city’s public transit system through 2025. The projected cost of the former request is about $135,000, and the later, about $451,000, for a total of $586,000. The estimated cost to the city would be $223,000, with federal funds amounting to $228,000, coming to $451,000. If the agreement is authorized, the local match funds for the MHTC funding would come from the city’s general fund.

Following the hearing, regular business will commence with approval of the consent agenda, which includes approval of Aug. 23 special session minutes and two board appointments, disposing of surplus vehicles via auction, bids regarding flood buyout demolition and switches for the Lincoln Street power substation rebuilt, and a new patrol vehicle for the police department. The two members to be appointed to the West Plains Civic Center board are Aaron Wheeler, to be reappointed, and Haley Mitchell to fill a seat previously held by Jack Randolph. Both seats are for three-year terms expiring in October 2026.

Second readings will be given of three ordinances up for final approval. The first updates city code to prohibit the construction or use of rockets, missiles and similar projectiles without a permit from the chief of police. A second seeks to update city code to limit the discharge of firearms and other projectile weapons including bows and arrows in city limits, without a permit from the chief of police to shoot at nuisance animals on one’s own property. The final proposed ordinance, if approved, with authorize the city clerk or city administrator to approve licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages, which currently require council approval, and allow nonprofit organizations hosting special events to apply for a license to sell alcohol by the drink, provided they have a license to do so from the state.

In addition to the resolution the be discussed during the public hearing, council members will consider three other resolutions. First month this is an expression of support by the city of West Plains for a 24-unit multifamily housing development to be rehabilitated by the Willow Springs Foundation at 892 Thayer Ave. The foundation seeks Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and HOME Investment Partnerships Program through the state Housing Development Commission, and the resolution would lend the city’s support for that agency’s consideration.

A second resolution would approve a memorandum of understanding between the city, the West Plains Public Library Board of Trustees and Missouri State University-West Plains Garnett Library and Ozarks Heritage Research Center regarding the loan of bound and boxed copies of the Quill. While the agenda says the loan is being made “to the West Plains Public Library,” the Quill spoke to a representative of the research center who confirmed it is the research center that will be getting archived copies of the Quill from the public library to round out the collection previously loaned to the center from the Quill.

A third resolution seeks to approve an engineering agreement with Burns & McDonell for phase I improvements to the city’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, the initial cost for which is expected to be about $1.21 million.

Council members are expected to make four interim appointments to the Airport Board: Jacob Garrett, John Reed, Mark Take and John Niesen.

The meeting will conclude with a report from City Administrator Sam Anselm before adjourning.

The West Plains City Council typically meets on the third Monday of every month and the public is welcome.