Open burning is discouraged through the county. California Fire Chief Allen Smith commented that this is shaping up to be an ordinary spring, with dry vegetation and wind. Since there have been about a half dozen incidents of ground cover fires in the county in the last week or so, the wisdom of burning trash, grass or brush piles is questionable.
Although the ground is wet, the wind has dried out the vegetation making it more likely a "controlled burn" may quickly become uncontrolled. An added problem is that the firefighters may find the vicinity of the fire inaccessible due to muddy ground. The wet ground often makes it impossible for fire district water tankers to leave the roadway.
Smith said those planning to conduct a controlled burn, and wanting it to remain controlled, should check weather reports with an eye towards what the wind is going to do.
For those in the city, Smith said, "We try our best to convince residents to avoid burning anything. The yard waste area north of town is available for leaves and branches, and every city residence is charged for trash pickup. You might as well use it."
Announced at the March 3 council meeting was the completion of a water rate study required by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Bartlett and West, Engineers, finished the rate study. A working committee of city officials approved the results to be submitted to DNR and the city is now awaiting comment on the study.
The study is one of the requirements for obtaining funding from the SRS loan for upgrading the city water system with a new 600,000 gallon water tower planned fro the more westerly part of the city.
The city is out of cinders. If there are any additional incidents of significant snow or ice, the city will have to obtain sand.
A City of California trash truck slid on an ice-covered street at a private apartment complex and struck a vehicle causing extensive damage to the vehicle. The trash truck undamaged.
At the City Wastewater Treatment Plant, the aeration system is not longer worked properly. One basin will be receiving temporary repairs to allow the city effluent to remain at or below the allowed limit. A second mostly unused basin will undergo more extensive repair and overhaul and be put into service to allow the repair of the first one.
The city approved an ordinance accepting an agreement for the Missouri Department of Conservation to manage the Proctor Park lake.
The council approved a bid for shoring equipment to increase the safety of those city employees working in excavation trenches.