The new member of the city of California Board of Aldermen, Aaron Grimes, was sworn in at the regular monthly meeting, May 7, at the council chamber.
When a council seat is vacant — in this case because no one filed and the write-in winner declined to serve — the mayor makes a recommendation. The choice is confirmed when a majority of the council votes to approve the selection.
Mayor Norris Gerhart recommended Grimes, the council approved and city clerk Aimee Hill administered the oath.
Gerhart also announced Dale Embry has been appointed as interim police chief, following the resignation of Chief Mike Ward. Embry will serve until a new police chief is selected. The council decided to advertise the position for 30 days to determine what candidates will be interviewed. According to Gerhart, Chief Ward submitted his resignation May 2, to be effective May 3, with no reason given.
The council heard ideas for increasing revenue from the electric and water department supervisors. They were directed to obtain backup data of surrounding communities and determine if there is a service which could provide reliable rate studies. The information is to be submitted at future council meetings in order to allow the council to determine possible changes which would increase revenues to the city.
The council approved two bids. One bid is for just more than $8,000 for repairs on a pump at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Also approved was the bid of $6,000 for the Independence Day fireworks display.
The council approved March 31 budget amendments, necessary for the auditors.
The fence on the north boundary of Proctor Park was discussed. There are no city funds available to do any repair or replacement work on the fence. Possibly some funds could be found for the matter in future years. Currently, the council decided if a homeowner wants to replace the fence, they must bring their plans to the council to be approved.
The council approved looking into the better option of leasing or purchasing an ATV for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The discussion determined that an ATV would be helpful, and would be better for spraying and other work around the grounds. It would also be less damaged by driving on the rough ground than the pickup.
Street Supervisor Vic Maurer provided the information about costs of a new single-axle dump truck. The council approved ordering the truck, which on the MoDOT bid will be $127,627. It will be delivered in the fall.
In other business:
The mayor appointed the city attorney and department supervisors, except for the police department. That department will await the hiring of a chief.
The Board of Aldermen elected Resa Dudley as the president of the board.
The council approved street closings for three upcoming events - Annunciation Catholic Church Picnic June 3, the Independence Day Parade July 4, and the Moniteau County Fair Parade Aug. 4.
Matthew Brauner has been hired for the wastewater treatment plant to assist Patrick Murphy. He will be sent to a training session.
The Water Department has hired Chris Jacoby, Byron Moseley and Kyle Fletcher. They will be training two-days-a-week for the next five weeks.
Ronessa Gunnerson is the new utilities clerk.
The next regular council meeting is set for 7 p.m. June 4 at city hall.