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May 22, 2011

Posted Thursday, June 2, 2011, at 11:01 AM

Your city council met last Monday, May 16th. We recognized Miss Angela Simmons of this city for her concern for her fellow human beings and her resourcefulness as she responded to an automobile accident. I and the Malden City Council are justifiably proud of Miss Simmons in all she did. We gave her a proclamation describing her achievements and what we hope was a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

The city council then proceeded with its business as scheduled. We abandoned an alley between West Howard Street and West Main Street. The purpose of the abandonment was to allow construction of the new Super D drug store. The council also accepted an easement from the owners of the drug store to allow public utilities, such as underground telephone and gas lines, to be moved from the former alley to a more suitable location on the affected property. We appreciate the confidence which Super D has shown in the future of Malden. We think their new store can only add positively to our city and its residents.

A request from the Malden Board of Public Works was approved by the city council to lower residential electric rates by one cent per kilowatt for the months of June, July, August, and September. We hope that this rate reduction will afford some relief (no pun intended) to our people during the hot weather to come.

On Tuesday evening the 17th, I met with the Malden Airport Board. I accompanied the chairman of the BPW, Mr. Clark Duckett, and the utility manager, Mr. Brian Haley, to the meeting. The Malden Board of Public Works is under a mandate from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to upgrade our wastewater treatment facility to meet current discharge standards. It seems that almost every municipality across the state is under the same mandate. The cost of construction is an estimated two million dollars.

Fifty years ago Joseph Heller wrote a book called CATCH 22. The phrase "Catch 22" has become part of the American language. "Catch 22" is generally used to mean a situation that is obviously irrational but we as humans are forced to accept it as a rational rule or thought. The characters in Heller's novel would often say, "That's some catch, that Catch 22."

Malden has its own Catch 22 rule. The BPW needs 420 acres of land for Malden's new waste water treatment plant. The end product of the treatment facility will be sprayed in liquid form onto the land in the final step of the treatment process. If you want more information about the process, contact the BPW and look at the plans.

The BPW chairman, manager, and I were with the Airport Board to negotiate the use of the 420 acres of land. The Catch 22 rule that grabbed us is that the city of Malden owns the land. The deed is on file at the Dunklin County Recorders Office. The city of Malden owns 2,850 acres of land known as the former Malden Air Base. The deal we negotiated is that the Malden BPW will pay the Malden Airport Board $144 an acre for 450 acres per year, or $64,800 per year. That's some catch, that Catch 22. Malden owns the land but has to pay to rent it. As an aside, the Municipal Golf Course, pays $50 an acre for the land they rent.

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