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Aldermen accept plaque for Smith-Burke Park

by Kaden Quinn | June 7, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Democrat photo/ Kaden Quinn Mayor Lanny Ash, left, accepts a new plaque from commissioned by Moniteau County Historical Society member James Albin, right, for Smith-Burke Park.

A historical landmark in California received a new plaque on Monday during City of California's Board of Aldermen meeting.

James Albin, of the Moniteau County Historical Society, bought a plaque for Smith-Burke Park on South Williams Street, a landmark memoralizing a, now demolished, historic building.

Albin told board members he decided to commission a new plaque after discovering information on Smith-Burke Park's original signage is incorrect.

The original inscription said the Missouri Pacific Railroad built the Central Hotel to house railroad employees. After researching the landmark's history, Albin said the information on the original plaque to be false and "had nothing to do with the railroad at all."

The new plaque states, "On this site stood the Occidental Hotel. Lot Number 34 was purchased by Samuel Owens on Sept. 15, 1869. He sold it to Thomas Smith on Feb. 3, 1872. Smith built a hotel that was dedicated on Sept. 13, 1877. By 1877 it had become the Central Hotel. On Nov. 25, 1924, the property was brought by John Burke, who turned it into a residence for the Burke family. California Progress Inc. purchased the property, and when the building could not be restored it was demolished in 1991 and turned into Smith-Burke City Park."

The board approved the old signage to be replaced with Albin's updated plaque.

Board members discussed the potential for a city administrator position. Aldermen Steve Hickman brought the topic of hiring someone for the position to the board. He explained an administrator could evaluate problems in the city and develop solutions before alderman meetings.

However, members debated what the position entails and how it would affect other jobs with the City of California, such as the California city clerk and supervisor. Ultimately, the board asked City Attorney Ann Perry to do more research on the role before making a decision to create the position.

The board approved a $557,690.33 bid from Higgins Asphalt. Street Supervisor Vic Maurer said the company also gave the city an estimate of $107 a ton. Extra milling provided by the company is $2.85 per square yard.

Water and Sewer supervisor Kyle Wirts also reported to the board, during a preventative maintenance check from Flynn Water Well Company, the pump for one of the city's older wells is only 25 feet below the water table when it should be at least 75 feet or more. Wirts said Flynn is going to try to lower it to 105 feet.

In other business:

  • Aldermen approved a one-year CD bid from Hawthorn Bank at 4.81 percent.
  • Aldermen approved a re-evaluation of City of California's property and assets presented by Mike Keith Insurance.
  • Representatives from the Latham Memorial Family Park Foundation also visited aldermen to discuss responsibilities toward the park as it moves ownership from California Progress Inc to the City of California.

Ordinances approved by the city include:

  • Closing certain streets for the 2023 Moniteau County Fair parade.
  • Closing certain streets for the Fourth of July parade.
  • Providing regulations for mobile food vendors.
  • Adopting policy required by the state's "Net Metering and Easy Connection Act." It applies if a resident has become a generator of electricity through installation of renewable energy sources. If a resident produces more than they are consuming, residual energy gets put back onto in the city's grid.
  • Prohibiting parking of motor vehicles, boats or trailers on unpaved surfaces. If a citizen's single axle vehicle is 10 feet or shorter, it can be sitting on grass as long as it is not loaded and not in a front yard. If it's over the footage, the vehicle has to be on a paved surface.

Print Headline: Aldermen accept plaque for Smith-Burke Park


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