Clark County Commissioners Drop Private Attorney in Courthouse Lawsuit
By Mike Scott
The Clark County Commissioners have changed their legal representation in the state’s lawsuit concerning the Clark County Courthouse. According to the draft minutes of their Thursday, January 20 meeting, Presiding Commissioner Ron Brewer telephoned John Curran of the Osage Beach firm Curran and Sickal, to inform him that Clark County Prosecuting Attorney John Moon was now the county’s lead counsel in the lawsuit, and that Curran’s services were suspended at this time.
Neither the January 20 draft minutes nor any previous minutes record any vote by the commissioner to hire or dismiss Curran.
In other recent meetings, the Commissioners:
–Discussed staffing with Road Supervisor Troy Kiger
–Met with Russ Hauenstein of Vantage Point. That company is going to install a fiber optic cable from Kahoka to Revere. That project is scheduled to start in the summer.
–Preston Kramer reported that MoDOT will be replacing four bridges in 2011.
–Accepted as county property a computer formerly owned by Rick Roberts. Roberts will continue to use the computer in the Associate Circuit Judge’s office.
–Held a conference call with Drew Beauregard of Forrest T Jones and Company Insurance. They are trying to find an insurance company for the county.
–Discussed several county funds with new Prosecuting Attorney John Moon.
Kahoka Board Considers Tank Replacement Options
The Kahoka Board of Aldermen discussed repair and replacement options for a leaking pressure tank at the city’s water plant in Wayland. Present at their Monday meeting was Steve Hausner, an engineer with French Reneker Associates of Fairfield, Iowa.
The tank, located inside the concrete block building at Wayland, reduces the “water hammer” on the distribution system when the high pressure pumps start.
“There are two options,” said Hausner. “You can replace the tank, or replace the function of the tank with electronics.”
Hausner’s cost estimate to replace the tank was $142,000, which includes $70,000 for the new tank, and the cost to remove one wall in the building.
The other option was to install a variable frequency drive , or VFD.
“Right now, when the tower in Kahoka calls for water, the pumps come on at full pressure. With the VFD, electronics would slowly ramp up the pressure over two minutes, and then ramp it back down after the demand is met,” Hausner explained.
With an estimated price tag of $72,000, the council favored this approach, and gave its consent to have French Reneker design the project. The council also decided to have French Reneker prepare plans for this year’s summer waterline replacement project, as well as to have them use the CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) system to make maps of the city’s sewer system.
The board also discussed the city’s after hours call-out policy, which currently charges residents $50 if the problem, such as a electrical or water outage, is not the city’s problem. Some aldermen expressed the concern that residents may not call if they know they are going to be charged the $50.
“All we’re asking is that people look and do some checking before they call us after hours and on weekends,” said Alderman Jeff Wood. “Check with your neighbors. If they don’t have water or electricity, it’s probably a city problem.”‘
“And if it is our problem, we’re going to fix it anyways,” said Alderman Curtis Mack.
The council gave readings to three ordinances. Ordinance 413, which would vacate half of an alley, did not pass its third reading. With Alderman Jerry Webber absent, the ordinance did not receive the vote or majority of elected aldermen required for passage.
Ordinance 414, requiring the capping of sewers lines from demolished properties, passed it’s first reading. It will have it’s second reading next month.
Ordinance, 415, which established wages for city employee’s James Alderton and Tim Hardy, was read three time and adopted.
New City Attorney April Wilson reported that the new Clark County Prosecutor, John Moon, has instructed that smaller misdemeanor prosecutions go through the city rather than his office.
Wilson explained the some of the issues involved. For example, as a general rule, she believes there should be jail time for offenses such as First Offense DWI, but if it is prosecuted by the city, the city would then bear the expense of boarding that prisoner. Or she could forego the jail time in favor of a larger fine.
Wilson stated that she would meet with Moon further to explain the pros and cons of the idea from the city’s point of view.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to let crime go unpunished in Kahoka, she said.
In other business:
–Police Chief Bill Conger reported 83 calls for service in January.
–Fire Chief Lary Fountain asked the council if he could apply for a grant which would update pagers for the firemen. If approved, the city and county departments could receive $6000 for pagers, at a cost of only $1500, which would be split between the departments.
–Alderman Larry Young discussed the need for emergency snow routes in the city to better facilitate plowing. Vehicles would need to be moved off the streets on those routes. Chief Bill Conger will prepare a route map for consideration.
–Alderman Jeff Wood reminded residents that it is illegal to push snow from their properties into the streets. The only exception is for the downtown area.
–The council approved building permits for Donna Thurston and Gerald Wilson. Both are building storage sheds.
–Holly Todd asked the council if the city could do anything to force Froggies and the This & That Shop to remove her name from the signs in their windows. Mayor Wayne Blum told her that it is a civil matter and the city has nothing to do with that.
–Todd also made other allegations, to which Police Chief Conger responded that they are watching for those violations.