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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fire station, police department buildings top Kennett agenda

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Photo by Lecia Forester, staff Officials say Fire Station No. 1, located on St. Francis Street, is having issues with brick facings falling off.
The conditions of the buildings that house the city's two fire stations and the police station topped the agenda at the Kennett City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Fire Chief John Mallott updated council members on the fire stations and mentioned that he is especially concerned with the condition of Fire Station two. According to Mallott, the foundation has been breached in two locations and now has a floating wall as well as the floors buckling in.

"To sink money into it, it may be a waste of money versus looking at we need to actually replace it," Mallott said, adding, "Fire Station one, in the last couple of years...the facing of the bricks keep popping off."

Mallott has talked with Police Chief Jim Paine and both agree that it may be better if an architect and structural engineer be called in to give an estimate concerning the cost factors. If this is done, the council can review it and decide what the best course of action will be, repair or replacement of the buildings.

After more discussion, council members approved Mallott to seek recommendations from structural engineers who have expertise in dealing with these types of facilities. It will be revisited again during the March meetings.

Also discussed during the public participation portion of the meeting was the upcoming 32nd annual Show Me State Champion Barbeque which is hosted every year by the Kennett Jaycees. Jaycee member Lee Atwill was present at the meeting to talk with council members about the event. The event will take place April 3 through April 6, 2013 with the actual cookoff taking place on April 5 and April 6.

"This is a major source of funding for our various community projects such as our Good Neighbors Project, [and] our scholarships that we give out to local graduates," he said.

"This year, we're hoping to have, in excess, of 50 teams," Atwill said. Currently, 40 teams are registered. Atwill added that any teams over 50 would have to provide their own power. Plans are to have the same number of judges as teams.

According to Atwill, the local chapter has been approached by a nationally televised television show to come to Kennett during the barbeque and film the event to be broadcast on their show. Due to confidentiality, the name of the show will be published at a later date

"This will give us a good opportunity to provide some publicity and exposure to Kennett and also having the show here will bring more individuals to the event who will then, hopefully, spend money in Kennett and with the increased sales tax will, hopefully, increase revenue for Kennett," he said.

Atwill noted that there will be an added expense of providing the power needed as well as the advertising which will be done before the event. Payout on the barbeque contest has been increased by $8,500 in order to draw more teams.

Because of the added expenses, a request was made to the council for $20,000.

"We're a non-profit organization. Any profit that we make off this event, this is a major source of funding for us, we're going to turn around and give it back to this community," Atwill said.

No decision was made at the meeting and it will be discussed further at the next meeting.

Also discussed at the meeting and approved by council members was the recommendation by Police Chief Paine to obtain bids for the installation of a chain link fence around the animal shelter property and building. Chief Paine noted that this is needed for increased security and recommends a 6' chain link with razor wire at the top.

He also talked to Mayor Jake Crafton and council members regarding information on Law Enforcement Agency Certification/Accreditation. He noted that this will provide for agency accountability, reduced risk and liability exposure, stronger defense against civil suits, greater confidence for elected officials in an agency's ability to operate efficiently and meet community needs, and greater confidence in the community of the agency's commitment to community policing concepts and meeting community needs and expectations. Two programs are available to law enforcement to obtain accreditation/certification. The first one is CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies). This is a national program and is quite expensive to achieve and maintain.

The second program is similar to CALEA and is offered through the Missouri Police Chief's Association and is less expensive to obtain. According to Chief Paine, MIRMA also endorses agency certification and will share in the cost of obtaining the certification and renewing it every three years.

The council is taking this under advisement and it will be voted on the next meeting.

Two other items discussed by Chief Paine included the following:

* The Generation 3 Glock 22 handgun carried by 17 Kennett police officers are not equipped with night sights.

According to Chief Paine, this is a safety problem. He added that the cost of night sights for the guns is $99.95 or a total of $1,699. The distributors of the weapons, GT Distributors, of Austin, Texas has a trade in program where they will take the 17 without night sights and provide KPD with the new Generation 4 Glock 22 equipped with night sights. Total cost including freight will be $2,542. According to Chief Paine, the most cost effective option would be the trade in of the weapons. Council members approved this measure but Mayor Crafton requested Chief Paine also check with gun dealers in the area to see if they could beat this price.

* The police department is starting a Prescription Drug Take Back Program which will help to combat the problem of finding a safe way to dispose of unused or out of date medications. The KPD will be installing a Drop box inside the lobby of the police department specifically for this purpose. It will be available at all times for residents to drop off unwanted prescriptions. This will be done anonymously and no questions will be asked. After collection of the medications, they will be destroyed in an approved, environmentally safe manner. The initial cost is being underwritten by the local pharmacies.

The police department will also be participating in the DEA National Take Back Initiative that will be held nationwide on April 27, 2013.

Also discussed were the following:

* A resolution was approved by council members in favor of keeping Solid Waste Management Districts in our area. There is a bill in the legislature that would grant control to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The fear is, if this is done, some of the grants smaller communities receive for special cleanups, etc., would no longer be available.

* Council members approved the appointment of Roland Johnson to serve on the local Housing Authority Board. His term will expire on Aug. 1, 2016.

* City Attorney Terry Mcvey brought to the council information on the no smoking policy in Rolla, Mo., for members to read over. More discussion will be at the next meeting concerning the plan for Kennett.

* McVey also commended the late Bill Welman and the late John Hall Dalton for their contribution to the city.

The next city council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 19, 2013.

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