The City of California Board of Aldermen met earlier than usual Monday evening, working around events at the Moniteau County Fair, and approved a number of requests from community members.
First on that list was David Jungmeyer with the Moniteau County Historical Society, who requested the city's permission to block off East South Street between Oak and North High streets from 2-7 p.m. next Tuesday, Aug. 10. That day, the Historical Society is set to host an ice cream social beginning at 3 p.m. in celebration of the state's Bicentennial, and will also have the "Muskrat," a half-scale replica of the type of keelboat used for fur trading on the Missouri River in the 1820s, on hand for patrons to view. The board approved the request, and also agreed to move trash pick-up for the Historical Society to Wednesday rather than its usual pick-up day, Thursday.
Next up was a request from the Oak Street Business District, asking for the ability to block off the designated parking areas along Oak Street during September's "Oaktoberfest" event. Vendor stalls will be housed on the sidewalk, so organizers wanted there to be some space in the street, blocked off by cones, for patrons to be able to walk. The board approved this request.
Sandra Ratcliff and Rita Hammerly representing the California Area Chamber of Commerce were next on the agenda, and had a number of requests for the board. First, the board gave its approval for the Chamber to set up a welcome tent at the upcoming visit from the "Big Boy 4014" steam engine, which will take place Aug. 31. The board also gave its advance approval for the Chamber to again host its Christmas in Proctor Park event, and approved its usual no parking signs for the Ozark Ham & Turkey Festival.
Finally, the board approved a request from the Pintos Quarterback Club to shoot off fireworks at home football games. This year, fireworks will be on display prior to games and each time the Pintos score.
The board then approved a fire truck bid from the Versailles Rural Fire Protection District for a little more than $15,000.
Two more items garnered some discussion outside department reports. Firstly, the board discussed the hiring process for its fire chief and building inspector positions, which will officially be vacant as of Sept. 3, current Fire Chief Allen Smith's last day. The board discussed drafting advertisements for both positions as soon as possible, and Smith mentioned he had an individual in mind to serve as interim chief, a matter the board discussed in closed session.
Secondly, the board approved immediately going out for new bids for roofing options for the gazebo at Smith-Burke Park and concession stands at the city ball fields.
The board also approved a number of ordinances. One pair closes certain streets to through traffic Aug. 10, for the Historical Society's ice cream social, and Sept. 11, for Moniteau County 4-H's commemorative event for the 20th anniversary of 9-11. Others authorize the execution of contracts between the city and a pair of outside entities, Midwest Injections, Inc. and Republic Services. Another ordinance repeals the existing schedule of charges for solid waste disposal and adopts revisions based on the new rates discussed at the city's July meeting.
In department reports, the California Police Department has finally hired a new officer, but simultaneously lost a full-time officer, who moved to part-time hours. CPD Chief Daniel Hurt informed the board that the department was still in the process of hiring officers, including two part-timers that are in the advanced stages. As the officer moving to part-time hours was the department's evidence custodian, new CPD clerk Staci Howard earned her certification and now serves as the evidence custodian.
Electric Supervisor Tyler Dicus informed the board that a new transformer had to be ordered for California schools due to some damage to the current one while contractors work on construction at California Elementary School. Dicus said the new unit should arrive in 10 to 14 weeks.
Other department reports were sparse at the August meeting.
The board has scheduled a public hearing and special meeting for the purpose of setting the property tax rate; they are set for Tuesday, Aug. 24, with the hearing beginning at 5:45 p.m. and followed immediately by the special meeting.
The City of California Board of Aldermen's next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7.