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Willow Springs council partners with community foundation for building's restoration


During a busy monthly meeting for Willow Springs City Council members, an update on the McClellan Building was given, a draft balanced budget was presented by City Administrator Beverly Hicks, upcoming city elections were discussed, and a funding agreement was made between the city and the Willow Springs Community Foundation regarding financial support of the McClellan Building renovation.

Alderman Phill Knott was absent from the Nov. 16 regular meeting, with Mayor Brooke Fair and aldermen Kim Rich, Tyler Morris and Danny Bradley present.

Willow Springs Community Foundation representative Dean Aye gave an update on the McClellan Building on Main Street, telling council members work officially began on the building that day, Nov. 16, and work would be ongoing through Monday this week, specifically the replacement of a rotted floor and building a support wall before a mason could work on an outer wall.

Aye reminded council members that Center Street between Main Street and First Street would be closed while a crane was there during roof repairs, and that drivers on Main Street would inconvenienced while the mason was working on the outer wall.

Hicks commented that she has been coordinating the renovation efforts by keeping in touch with supervisors in the street, police and fire departments and the community foundation.

Next on the agenda, Hicks provided council members with a draft balanced city budget for 2024 totaling about $7.72 million, and with minor adjustments made to unemployment and Missouri LAGERS, rates a final draft will be presented for approval at the December meeting, to be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at City Hall Council Chambers, 900 W. Main St..

Missouri LAGERS is a statewide municipal employee pension program, short for Local Government Employees' Retirement System.

Candidacy filing dates were voted on, with City Clerk Heather Tooley reminding council the dates had to be approved for the general municipal election held each April. This year it will fall on April 2. Filing will begin 8 a.m. Dec. 5 and end at 5 p.m. Dec. 26 at city hall.

Dates Willow Springs City Hall will be closed for the Christmas holiday are Dec. 22 and Dec. 25, and hours will be extended to 5 p.m. on Dec. 26 to be in compliance with state requirements for filing.

As the next order of business, Hicks proposed a new ordinance requiring a public purpose statement, to be submitted by all organizations seeking support from the city, including nonmonetary assistance like city employee labor during special events, parades and festivals.

The proposal was prompted by the city's recently declared partnership with the the Willow Springs Community Foundation, including a financial contribution of $100,000 to the renovation of the McClellan Building as a matter of investing in a project expected to benefit local commerce and Willow Springs citizens in general. The ordinance passed following a vote by council members to enter into a public purpose funding agreement with the community foundation in the amount of $100,000.

Council members then entered into closed session, with no action taken.