MALDEN, Mo. -- With only six members present at January's regular session of the Malden City Council and a short agenda, City business was conducted quickly on Monday night.
The generally scheduled open forum designated for public input was bypassed due to the lack of any members of the public in attendance.
Following a motion by Councilman Ken Thompson for adjustments to December's Council minutes, those minutes were approved.
In his monthly report, City Treasurer Stephen Crump explained that due to the early meeting date, not all of December's calculations were finalized. He did however have fund balances for the month. A cash and cash equivalent balance of $1,440,383.97 was reported for December. The balance for the Park and Recreation fund was $144,273. Capitol Improvements balanced at $99,399 and the Street Department held a $26,000 balance.
Crump also reported that the Fire tax fund only began collections in November and as of the end of December, a balance of $10,278 was in that account. He also reported that according to the annual budget, the City is on schedule to spend $60,000 from reserve funds for the fiscal year.
Councilman Thompson reported for the Human Resources Committee, which includes Thompson, Councilman Charles Dierks and Clark Duckett, that during the most recent Committee meeting, a salary range was set for the Nutrition Center Administrator. During the meeting, City Clerk Marilyn Fiddler presented the Committee with a survey from the Area Agency on Aging which contained the wages of administrators of similar centers in the area. The final recommendation from the HR Committee was to combine the secretary position and the Center's administrative position and set the minimum wage at $25,000 and the maximum wage at $37,500. This recommendation was approved by the Council. The upcoming retirement of Malden Nutrition Center Administrator Betty Qualls initiated the change.
City Administrator Ted Bellers reported that in October of last year, the Council authorized application for a Federal Enhancement Grant for Malden. Since that time, eleven Southeast Missouri communities have been selected to receive $2.9 million in federal enhancement funds of which Malden is one, along with area cities such as Caruthersville, Kennett, Doniphan, Benton and Poplar Bluff. These funds which are set aside by Congress to be used specifically for transportation enhancements allows for the improvement of the travel experience for those traveling within the communities. Malden's grant, in addition to funds provided by the Department of Transportation which had already scheduled work within the community, will not need a match from the City's coffers. The construction of sidewalks will be made along Douglass Street from Main to areas near the high school building. At some places, both sides of the street will have sidewalks installed or repaired. Some curb side work will also take place.
Bellers also reported that he has asked for an extension concerning the solid waste contract for the City and should be able to have a report to the City Council by May.
Councilman Dierks requested that the alley way behind the Malden Branch Library be repaired.
Mayer Santie discussed four items in his report. He explained that the Parks and Recreation Board sent out a survey through the Board of Public Works and 100 surveys have been returned with recommendations, etc. for the Board. He also explained that he and Superintendent Ken Cook have recently discussed an electric sign to be placed along Douglass Street. The City Council then approved up to $5,000 to go toward the purchase and construction of the sign. He reported that following a meeting with the Southwest Puchasing Pool of which Malden is a part, it has been determined that the City of Malden will need to find a different group of cities to coordinate with in the generation of electricity. He lastly reported that the Malden Municipal Golf Course is indeed open for golf, but there is no one to collect green fees and further explained, "It's not costing us anything right now."
He also informed the City Council that they, along with the City's Administration are invited to a tour of the Plum Point Plant from which the City's electricity is purchased.
The meeting adjourned at 7:21 p.m.