Before this was addressed, in the public participation portion of the meeting a concerned Kennett resident, Barbara Hancock, came to the podium and addressed the council concerning this issue.
She began by reading a letter to the council commending Humane Officer Tena Petix on a job well-done.
"She has brought to the public's attention the cases of Ace, Mia, Trey, Lucy and Houston. These were some of the ones she could save. Others were not so fortunate," she said
Hancock added how through Petix' efforts the subject of animal cruelty has been exposed and how cities in the area including Bernie, Mo.; Malden, Mo.; and Steele, Mo., now hold pet adoptions and fundraisers and have found homes for numerous animals in need of one.
One issue in the letter she noted was that of individuals dumping the animals at the pound
"I would like to see a security cameras installed in order to bring these lawbreakers to justice. It is against the law to dump these animals," she said.
Hancock continued by noting the efforts of Dr. Billy Embry and his staff at Ken-Mo Veterinary Clinic for their continued efforts in treating the animals brought to him by Petix.
"Approximately nine weeks ago, the Kennett Humane Department was shut down due to problems with sewer, air conditioning, [and] mold due to possible lack of ventilation," Hancock said.
Additionally she noted how private individuals have been caring for the animals as well as pet groomers in the city.
Hancock then asked the city council where the city stands in getting those problems taken care of.
In reply, Councilman Mark Ellis said, "The grinder pump is repaired. The grinder pump actually did burn up due to heat because it wasn't moving any water." He added that the check valves were stopped up.
He continued by saying, "We did use Barney to figure that out with the help of City Light Gas and Water. They came out and changed them out for us." He noted that the city is looking into the process of applying for its Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit to enable the city to install a septic system. Ellis added that two individuals who are licensed in the field are coming to Kennett to evaluate the situation.
Ellis added, "So we are going to try to go to a septic system. That pumping station will still be in but the dog hair won't be worked into it. [The] dog hair and all will go to the septic system."
Additionally, Ellis noted, "We've left the hole open and I fixed the pump. It's got a rubber boot hose on it and if it starts meeting a lot of resistance with those valves getting clogged again, it will blow that rubber boot off and it won't burn the pump up."
A question concerning the heating and air conditioning was posed and Ellis noted that it needed to be ratified. He said that two bids had been received. One was from Duncan Sheet Metal for $3,955.25 and the other one from Precision Heat and Air, Inc. for $4,850.
All council members approved the lower bid put in by Duncan.
According to Duncan's bid, the following work is to be performed:
* Install a new 12 inch by 24 inch supply air duct from existing air handler into the attic area, insulate the outside of the ductwork with 2 inch foil back insulation. Connect existing supply outlets to the new supply ductwork and remove old ductwork.
* Install new 12 inch by 24 inch return air duct from existing air handler into attic, attach to two new 24 inch by 24 inch lay-in filter grilles which would be installed into the hallway area of building. Discontinue the use of existing return grilles which are currently installed through the doors in the dog and cat areas. This will be done in an attempt to alleviate the odors.
* Install a filtered make up air louver on outside wall of building, and run a fresh air duct to the return side of the air handler in an attempt to make up air pulled from exhaust system.
* Install one 10 inch exhaust fan with shutter through outside wall in the cat room with speed control thermostat. Install on 12 inch exhaust fan with shutter and speed control thermostat into the dog room. All wiring to be ran to exhaust fans as specified.
A question concerning the mold problem was raised and Councilman Gerry Duncan said, "The mold comes from the moisture issue so therefore if we resolve the moisture problem, then we should take care of the mold issue."
Councilman Ellis added, "They will be pulling out the old insulation in that immediate area. The tiles will be able to be changed. We have had Serve-Pro from Paragould come in and evaluate the situation. They met with Chief Tate and Tina. A lot of what they've suggested is what we've already got going (exhaust fans, humidifiers, etc.)."
Ellis said the mold was not dangerous.
Duncan plans on beginning work on the repairs today, Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Also addressed at the meeting was an issue brought to the council by Councilman Diane Risner. Kennett Municipal Judge Michael Mowrer ordered an abatement on property at 604 North Everett. This particular property has had numerous complaints from the neighbors concerning the high weeds and the snakes. At the time, the house appears to be unoccupied. One bid from Terry's Lawn Service has been received in the amount of $1,800.
"Council needs approval to make this happen. It would be added to the property taxes," she said.
After discussing this issue, a decision was made to table it until the next council meeting. This would be done in order for the Finance Committee to review the situation and decide whether there was enough money in the budget to do this.
Once this was brought up Mayor Jake Crafton pointed out that it is not only this property but other properties in the city as well that are not kept up and are not up to code.
"We have 52 properties here and just mowing the property is not going to solve our problem," Crafton said. "We've got the house right in the center and that's just as bad as the overgrown vegetation. If I'm not mistaken in our Industrial account we have about $100,000 (from farm field or rent). Can that money be used anywhere within the city?"
Terry McVey, city attorney, acknowledged that this was possible.
Crafton then noted that what he would like to see done is to get the houses (abandoned, neglected, and condemned properties), turn off the utilities to the properties, get the courts to legally allow this and then rent an excavator and come in and demolish the homes. He estimates that $25,000 would take care of a large portion of the homes.
Councilman Ellis noted that he thought homes in impoverished neighborhoods could not be torn down. McVey said he was not aware of that.
After further discussion by the council, the council approved a motion to start the legal work in the court system. The property owners will be notified legally that this is the city's intent.
There will be further discussion concerning this issue at a future council meeting.
In other matters concerning the city, Randy Carter, street commissioner, gave his report to the council.
He noted that on Industrial Drive, the northbound lane outside the MoDOT right of way has been poured. Plans are for the road to be open on Friday of this week
Other projects the department has been involved in are the retention pond at the airport and collecting tires at the compost facility. He added that the facility has received 100 tires.
There are problems on Third Street concerning the storm drainage system as well as between King and Hopper Streets. Carter noted this space is 213 feet and within that space there have already been five pot holes repaired with another one to be repaired. He did note that this has occurred over the past few years but it is becoming a major issue to deal with through that area.
Carter also gave the latest update on the Workforce Investment Board Grant. He noted that he has had three working crews from Aug. 15 to now. The ditch crew has worked a total of 714 man hours on Buffalo Ditch. The stormwater collection box repair crew has worked a total of 158 hours on a number of collection boxes while the drainage pump truck, "Barney," assistant worked a total of 121 hours with Barney on cleaning collection boxes and drainage pipes. The clerk has worked a total of 120 hours. The total hours worked is 1,093 hours.
Fire Chief John Mallott reported to the council that there were 77 in-city calls and 7 out-of-city calls for a total of 84 calls. Total paged calls were 32. A break down of calls in each ward are as follows: Ward one, eight; Ward two, 26; Ward three, 20; Ward four, 19; Ward five, four.
In city calls were on the scene within four minutes. Seventy-one within four minutes and 6 calls over four minutes.
Within the police department, Police Chief Barry Tate reported that officers responded to a total of 825 dispatched calls resulting in 243 reports being filed for the month of August. KPD investigated five injury accidents, 21 non injury accidents, and 17 private property accidents for a total of 43 accidents for August. No curfew violations were reported. Major crimes in August were 16 assault, 12 burglary, 33 larceny, and four vehicle thefts. Arrests made for crimes in August were 11 for assault, one for burglary, three for larceny, one for fraud, one for possession of marijuana, 11 for driving while intoxicated, three for liquor law violation, and 16 for all other crimes. Total arrests made for crimes committed in August were 51, warrant arrests were 55 and total arrests made in August were 106.
Other business discussed and approved by council members were the promotion of three police officers to Patrolman First Class. Each officer will receive a $100 increase in pay per month. Those approved for the promotion include Phillip Caldwell who has been with the department since 2002, Allen Campbell, officer since 2005; and Mark Dennis, officer since 2004.