Fire Chief John Mallott was at the meeting and talked about what the young man had done. It was on the night of Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, at approximately 4:30 p.m., when the Kennett Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a residential structure fire on Mallory which is just west outside the city limits. While firemen were enroute to this fire, a second structure fire on Central Street was called in and firemen were also dispatched to this fire as well. It was then determined by dispatch that the original call that had been called in on Mallory Street in actuality was a residence on Mallard Cove. Once firemen arrived at the scene, it was determined that the fire had started in the oven. The woman of the house had opened the oven to check on the fire and became overcome with smoke. At this time Elijah Mayfield who was eight at the time of the fire, and is a third grader and a boy scout with Pack 89, Den number one, quickly went into action by retrieving a portable fire extinguisher and put out the fire.
Chief Mallott noted that Elijah's quick thinking as well as his actions saved his home from extensive smoke damage and possible fire damage. His mother was treated by Medic One EMS for smoke inhalation.
"This specific incident could have been much worse due to the initial wrong address being given and a longer response time resulting," Mallott said, adding,"The actions pf Elijah Mayfield no doubt reduced the amount of smoke damage and possible fire damage to his home. I therefore would recommend the City of Kennett recognize his quick actions which resulted in the fire within the oven being suppressed and limiting the amount of monetary damage to the Mayfield home."
In the resolution presented to Elijah by Mayor Crafton, it is noted that from time to time certain individuals distinguish themselves by acts of uncommon bravery and extraordinary courage and that it is important to recognize and acknowledge such acts of bravery and uncommon bravery in an appropriate fashion.
Continuing, the resolution reads, "Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Fire Department and the City Council of the City of Kennett, Missouri does hereby express its' appreciation and admiration to Master Elijah Mayfield for his unselfish and courageous actions on Oct. 17, 2012 in Kennett, Missouri with this resolution."
Following the presentation of the resolution, representatives of Coldwater Productions next talked to council members during the public participation portion of the meeting. Coldwater Productions is the company which is responsible for lining up all the talent for the annual Riverfest Festival which is held each year. Originally held on the banks of the river in Hornersville, just last year Riverfest moved to the American Legion Building in Kennett for 2012. It was noted that this years' 12th Annual Riverfest concert will be held in Kennett April 20, 2013. At the present time, the company is looking into three different shows and are in negotiations with different artists. Representatives talked of the other many talented artists that have played at the festival and noted the increase in sales at businesses in Kennett during Riverfest this year.
After a brief discussion, representatives requested of the council $10,000-$15,000 (tourism dollars) to help with the expenses of putting on Riverfest. This would enable Coldwater Productions to have the resources to have bigger and better names and bigger shows, thus having a greater impact on the City of Kennett.
After Coldwater Productions officials finished speaking, Mayor Crafton noted that council members could not vote on the matter at the meeting but told them to submit a financial statement along with what their plan is for the coming Riverfest and the council would further discuss the matter at the next council meeting.
During department reports, Meg Benson, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, talked to council members concerning making Highway 412 a four lane to the Arkansas line. This has been discussed previously. She noted that Bootheel Planning Commission is planning to submit to MODot (Missouri Department of Transportation) a list of prioritized road projects in Southeast Missouri for funding. This would require getting the project into what is known as scoping.
"Once it's put into scoping phase, environmental work [and] right of way issues are taken care of ahead of time so essentially when new project funding does come around from MODot, if you're on the scope list, you're in the pipeline to get your project done," she said, adding, "In a few days, they're going to put us on the top of their list for scoping" Benson noted there had been several meetings with the Chamber's transportation committee, members of MODot, Bootheel Regional Planning as well as officials of Poplar Bluff, Mo., who have been successful with their U.S. 67 expansion.
The group decided that the best approach to get this scoping approval would be to show a good faith effort by the community that we're willing to get our act together and put some money in towards the support of this project.
Benson noted that MODot has some money to go towards the environmental studies that would need to be done ahead of time. The city would need to do its part by committing to sharing 50 percent of the cost of the environmental assessment of the proposed project up to a maximum of $25,000.
"This request is made to you in case they want to put us on a prioritized list," she said. She noted that she was not asking for the money at this time but instead a commitment that the city would be willing to do that. If this were to be done, the timeline would be about a year from now.
Benson also brought to the council a Holiday Packet concerning decorations for Christmas 2013. This is mainly for the council's consideration as thought is being given to expanding the city's Christmas decorations beyond downtown.
Next to speak was Police Chief Jim Paine. He noted in his first talk before the council that he had been meeting one on one with police officers, asking their imput on what could be done to ensure the success of the Kennett Police Department. He noted that the officers have been honest and forthcoming about what they feel needs to be done.
Both Chief Paine and Mayor Crafton next commended Officer Steve Williams on the exceptional job he had done as Interim Police Chief.
Also, in recent weeks, the department had been trying to sell a police vehicle. Two more bids were received and the council accepted one in the amount of $700 cash with $500 going toward the K-9 fund.
Last to speak to the council was Fire Chief John Mallott. He noted there is a house on Masterson Street that has been abandoned by its owners and is in the process of being foreclosed on. He added that there is no one the city can talk to regarding the matter since the people that own it are no longer in the area. Mallott said that the house was mortgaged through Chase Bank and the department is having a hard time finding out who they need to talk with. It was found out that Chase Bank does have a foreclosure company that takes care of these type of matters.
Mallott next said that he had met with the mayor and came up with a game plan. The department documented and noted the violation and has given it to a city judge. Mallott expects an order to be handed down to clean it up. He said that that would pose a problem since they don't know who would clean this up. They are trying to get some costs together but at this time there is no one individual the department can go after to get this cleaned up. Mallott noted that they had cited the middle company, the foreclosure company.
After further discussion, Councilman Randy Morgan suggested that the department once again go to Chase and see if another foreclosure company can be assigned to the property. Morgan's wife works with properties of this nature and usually if a property is in foreclosure, a foreclosure company is usually assigned by the lending company. They are responsible for the upkeep of the property and are supposed to make weekly inspections as well as be responsible for trash outs.
Chief Mallott noted that the department is going to be a lot tougher concerning properties such as this in the future, noting that something has to be done to take care of the problem.
Also in his report, he noted that the following activity: Ward one, 12 calls, Ward two, 13 calls, Ward three, 19 calls, Ward four, 18 calls, and Ward five, seven calls for a total of 69 total calls.
Other matters discussed included the following:
* Council members approved an ordinance designating April 2, 2013 for its regular city election.Vacant positions include treasurer and a council position from each ward;
* Approval was granted by council members for Jim Reynolds, Matt Shetley and Jason Scherer to be appointed Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys for the city during Terry McVey's absence.
* Since the first council meeting in January 2013, falls on the first, council approved meeting on January 8, 2013.
The next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 18, 2012.