Piggott Council Approves Lease, Swimming Pool Rules at Meeting

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Members of the Piggott City Council agreed to a new lease agreement for the former Brown Shoe/Wise Company building at their regular meeting Monday night. Aldermen also approved regulations for the municipal swimming pool, addressed the resignation of the city's dog catcher and heard an update on the Sonic restaurant project.

With council members Mike Cook, Jeff Benbrook and Travis Williams in attendance the meeting was called to order by Mayor Jim Poole. Alderman Jamey Parks arrived a short time later. Also on hand were city clerk Ramona Magee, city attorney Kimberly Dale, police chief Don Poole, utilities director Brian Haley and Sandy Low with the MLWS business office.

After dispensing with the usual consent agenda items council turned their attention to the new lease for the city-owned building on East Castleberry.

“We need to consider a new lease for the building with Teem Works,” Poole informed the council. “It's the same as the previous five year lease that was about to expire.”

He indicated the corporation which held the previous lease has been dissolved, with the partners involved in litigation over the matter. As a result one of the partners, Eugene Brown, has formed the new corporation and wanted to continue to occupy the former factory.

On a vote of 4-0 the council members agreed to the new lease agreement, which mirrored the terms of the previous agreement signed in 2012.

The aldermen then turned their attention to the rules and regulations for operations of the Piggott municipal swimming pool.

“There are only a few changes from last year,” Poole offered. “And, they're minor changes.”

He indicated the change which will likely have the biggest impact is associated with leaving children at the pool who are not accompanied by a person at least 16 years old. Previously, children age 10 and up could be left at the pool and that age limit has been increased to 12.

It also stipulates that non-swimmers, and all children under the age of six, while in the water, “must be directly supervised by, and within an arm's reach, of a responsible individual 16 years or older, and must never be left unattended at the pool.”

The rules also outline prohibitions on types of swim wear, proper conduct while at the pool and use of sunscreen and oils among other issues.

The regulations stipulate that those who fail to abide by the rules may be asked to leave without refund. Passes and admission may also be revoked for rule infringement or disobedience of pool personnel.

The new rules and regulations were approved without dissent.

Council then turned their attention to a vacancy in the position of city dog catcher, choosing to contract the service as opposed to hiring another individual.

Mayor Poole reported the previous dog catcher, James Davis, had recently resigned the position.

“He gave us a verbal resignation. He gave no reason, but he was upset and said he wouldn't do it anymore,” the mayor offered. “We waited awhile to see if he would change his mind.”

Offering an option to hiring another employee, Poole indicated he would like to contract the service to a local individual.

“We would not exceed what we had in the budget for his pay, but we'd like to contract it out,” he offered. “That way we wouldn't be providing a truck and gas, food and fencing and such. But, we would loan them our dart gun and cage.”

The mayor also indicated the city would continue to pay for having animals euthanized when needed.

Alderman Williams expressed his concern on how the city could insure the animals were treated properly under the new plan, adding there would need to be guidelines and oversight.

Poole concurred, and offered, “we'll keep a close eye on it.”

Davis had been paid $650 per month for the position, and was provided a truck, gas, feed and other supplies.

After reviewing the merits of the change, the aldermen voted 4-0 to allow Poole to contract the service based on the stipulations.

Haley then gave the council an update on the utility departments.

“The transformer for the new Sonic has been ordered, and we met with the contractors on locating the sewer tap,” he offered. “The board of adjustments met and approved their variance, and the contractor has assured me they'll have the job finished by Aug. 31. Actually, he said they hope to be finished much sooner than that, but that's the current target date.”

He indicated the new restaurant will be an all-electric facility.

Haley also reported the electric department has been busy replacing some street lights and trimming trees. The water department has also been in a maintenance mode, and has been installing more of the new radio-read meters as time allows.

Low provided council on an update on technology improvements within MLWS, reporting that the new email server has been put in place. This will allow city officials and employees to have emails with the domain of cityofpiggott.org

“We'll have to keep our old ones too, at least for awhile,” Poole offered.

She also indicated changes to the system have required a different firewall, and provided an update on efforts to acquire a credit/debit card machine for electronic payments. Work on the new city website is also progressing, which will also offer residents another option for making payments in the future.

Late in the meeting Haley reported the city's electric department would be featured in an article in an upcoming issue of the MPUA (Missouri Public Utility Association) magazine.

“They came down here to visit us, and they were very impressed,” he added.

Before adjourning, Poole also updated the ongoing problem of dilapidated properties in the city, and current efforts to address them.

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