Kahoka Council Approves U.S. Cellular Settlement

By Mike Scott

The City of Kahoka will be getting an unexpected windfall from U.S. Cellular.  Kahoka will receive a settlement of $81,243.02 for two years of past business license and tax fees.  The city previously settled with Verizon Wireless for approximately $4000.
Many  municipalities in Missouri that contended that wireless (or cellular)  telephone companies were subject to the same business licenses and taxes as landline telephone companies, and filed and won a class action lawsuit.
The Board of Aldermen awarded the tree removal bid to Jim Bash, whose low bid of $12,265 for removal of 31 trees was the same as Dan’s Tree Service of Ft. Madison, despite each company bidding each of the 31 trees differently. The bid award was contingent of Bash furnishing proof of $1 million insurance.
Mayor Herb Butler reported that the CDBG Demolition Grant project has been delayed because gas had not been disconnected to all the properties involved.
Alderman Jeff Wood questioned consulting and legal bill for work in negotiating a new electric contract for  the city.  To date, legal expenses have been approximate $6000, nearly twice what was projected.
“I think it would not be out of line for Jim (Sherwood) to contact them and let them know the council is concerned about the costs,” City Attorney Rick Roberts said, noting that the city would not have any better luck negotiating the contract alone.  Currently, Kahoka is working with Hannibal, Marceline and Centralia to seek a new wholesale electric contract.
In other business, the council:
–Awarded the bid of $1356 to Protech to provide three new council tables.
–Discussed selling the vacant lot on the north side of the square.
–Discussed wood burning stoves in the city.  Currently, there are no city restrictions.
–Discussed the county-wide fire protection district proposal.
–Approved a building permit for 415 Sheldon Ave.
–Discussed employee health insurance bids being sought.