By Mike Scott
Two unusual items of discussion highlighted the Monday night, January 14, meeting of the Kahoka Board of Aldermen.
A concerned citizen asked the board to consider an ordinance restricting the feeding of squirrels and other wild animals within the city limits. She reported damage to her walls and ceiling caused by squirrels. In addition, she presented reports of aggressive squirrels, and warned that with the recent demolition of several buildings, wild animals will be on the move.
“They will be coming in hoards,” she cautioned. “We need to keep wildlife where it belongs--in the country, not in town.”
Police chief Bill Conger noted that there is no law or ordinance which would prevent shooting squirrels, as long as you are not shooting across a roadway.
The other unusual item discussed concerned cemetery decorations.
Alderman Larry Young presented a proposal which would restrict decorations to vases attached to the headstones or hung on shepherd-type hooks, in order to facilitate easier mowing. This proposal was contrary to the wishes of the cemetery board’s recommendation, which permits items on the ground.
“The reason for this is to make mowing easier and less expensive for the city. When the contractor has to move all these flowers, it really slows them down,” Young said. Young expects the city will receive lower bids with this policy in place.
“There is an exception to the policy,” Young said. “Some people take care of all the trimming at their lot by themselves, and they can have whatever they want.”
After discussion, the board approved the policy on a 3-1 vote, with Alderman Jeff Wood voting against the policy.
The board approved cellular telephone service tax settlements with AT&T and Sprint. The city will receive $1217.74 from AT&T, and $1674.20 from Sprint. These are part of a series of cellular provider settlements for not paying city sales tax on services provided.
The board also agreed to allow Mayor Herb Butler to sign the Downtown Enhancement Grant agreement with MoDOT. The city has received a grant for downtown renovation and beautification.
In other business, the board:
--Approved an operating agreement with the weekend electrical crew providing rates and emergency service charges. Jim Sherwood will serve as liaison between the council and the crew.
--Approved the hiring of James Neves as Cable Department head.
--Announced City Clerk Linda Plenge will resign at the end of June, 2008.
--Agreed that the city will continue to pay minimum wage, although not required to by Missouri law.
--Discussed delinquent taxes in the amount of $18,287.31. Collector must certify that amount to the council before collection action can begin.
--Discussed listing the city-owned lot on the north side of the square. Local real estate agents will meet with Alderman Jerry Webber to work out details.
--Media publisher Mike Scott asked about having access to the Kahoka Cable customers, like the other newspaper. Access is available if he wants to buy the equipment.