Also on the agenda for a later date, Mayor Jake Crafton brought before the council the possibility of using money from the new transportation tax to install a biking/walking trail from Independence Street to Indian Park. He noted that the area would be cleaned up and old vegetation would be removed. Crafton noted three positives of the pedestrian areas as well as the biking/walking trail.
* An area of town which is in great need of cleanup would be cleaned up;
* It would provide a better quality of living for residents as it would provide a place where they could walk in a safe environment. He added that the trail would be one mile long.
* It would allow the handicapped of our city to have a safe means of transportation within the city without venturing on the roadways.
When asked when the construction would begin on the project, Crafton noted that it would probably be late summer. There are mandatory meetings that Carter has to attend and everything has to be bidded out.
Fire Chief John Mallott also addressed the council during the work session of the meeting. He noted that a letter had been received from Wells Fargo Bank concerning a property on West Sixth Street that had been repossessed.
"The company, Wells Fargo, has a program where they will donate this house, basically, back to the city," he said. Mallott told council members that the department had looked at it, both inside and out, and decided that it was "in relatively good shape." He added that it was on a large lot and estimation is of $40,000 value. He also added that it is up to code. What Mallott is proposing to do is put the property up for bid and the money that is derived from the sale be put toward getting rid of those "blight" properties in the city.
"It's really not coming out of city revenue funds to do that, so if we get enough, we've got an idea that we could do six to eight properties based on the previous costs to get rid of them," he said, adding, "They will provide a clear title, pay taxes up to the day of closing and pay all utility bills and pay for closing costs to transfer the title. Basically, they're paying for everything."
After a brief discussion, council members approved Mallott to pursue the purchase of the house. He will report back to the council concerning its progress.
Also discussed at the meeting was the possiblity of banning smoking in the restaurants of the city. This measure would only include restaurants not drinking establishments. Councilman Bobby McMahon, who brought this to the attention of the council, noted that he would like to see this put on the ballot, giving the residents of Kennett the opportunity to vote on the measure. However, it doesn't have to be included on the ballot. An ordinance could be drawn up to cover this. Terry McVey, city attorney, notes that if it is on the ballot it would be an "advisory election."
The council would not be bound by the results," McVey said. After further discussion, Mayor Crafton noted that the subject would be on the agenda for the next meeting.
Other matters discussed during the work session included the following:
* Council members approved the sale of a flatbed utility trailer and a utility bed at the upcoming farm auction and sale. Carter will be giving department heads a courtesy call before the sale to see if they have any use for the equipment before it is sold.
* The noise issue from car stereos was also discussed. McVey and Police Chief Jim Paine will be looking into the matter.
During the public participation portion of the meeting a representative from Green Outdoors of Steele, Mo., a commercial business, addressed the council.
He noted that he would be opening an indoor archery range in the city at Cottonwood Plaza. He anticipates opening in March. Now, there is an ordinance in the city that does not allow this within city limits. There will have to be some changes in the ordinance to allow this which the council will have to approve. This will be discussed further.
Previously discussed was the appointment of a committee which would pursue industrial business for the city. Volunteering for the committee were Nick Weatherwax, Bob Hancock, Kenny Wilson, Meg Benson and Bill Palmer.
The next city council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., January 15, 2013.