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story.lead_photo.caption California City Hall

During a lengthy meeting Sept. 3, the California City Council discussed a number of items at length, including potential security upgrades for the police department and how recently passed medical marijuana legislation at the state level could affect municipal regulations.

The California Police Department, working with Nightwatch Security in Sedalia, received consultation regarding some steps the city could take to secure the department — the consultation listed electronic access, card readers, intercom stations at doors and video cameras as potential additions. The Council, after discussing the consultation and some immediate steps to better secure the department at length, voted 4-2 to lock the office's back door and issue key cards to city employees in the event they need to use that entry. A similar motion proposed earlier during discussion failed to receive a second to prompt voting. The Council also requested the CPD receive further consultation from Nightwatch ahead of the next meeting before proceeding with any additions.

Also in CPD business, the Council approved a new department policy manual.

The Council approved raising the city's sanitation rates from $13 to $15 for residential properties and from $15 to $17 for commercial properties. The frequency of pick-up will remain the same. Also in sanitation news, the Council was informed a high number of non-recyclable materials are being dropped off at the city's recycling center. The Council agreed educating the public about what can and cannot be recycled could help with that issue.

The Council also discussed Missouri's new medical marijuana law. The constitutional amendment allows sales of medical marijuana, but municipalities can regulate the time, place and manner of sales and are allowed to adopt civil penalties that align with the scope of the statewide regulation. The Council agreed an ordinance should be drafted to be brought to the council, along with choices for any revisions it might want to make.

The Council also discussed potentially revising the city's RV parking ordinance, brought to the council by citizen Todd McCluskey — this led to a broader conversation about reworking the city's ordinances as a whole, which has been a topic of discussion at the Council's recent meetings. Mayor Norris Gerhart asked the Council later during the meeting to think of some suggestions to bring to a future meeting to help with this process.

The Council approved a liquor license for Pizza Hut. Businesses wishing to obtain a liquor license in California must receive first-time approval from the City Council, after which the license automatically renews each year, barring any issues the Council deems appropriate to revoke such permissions.

The Council approved the following bids:

  • Invest $1.4 million in two Certificate of Deposit accounts via Central Bank at its 13-month rate, unanimously approved.
  • Conduit bid of $6097.36 through Border States, unanimously approved.
  • Wood chipper bid of $40,103 via Altec, unanimously approved.
  • Dual-voltage transformer bids of $16,270 via T&R Electric, unanimously approved.
  • The Council approved a transformer rental purchase — it will be cheaper to purchase a new transformer for $143,440 and keep the city's current transformer as a backup. This was unanimously approved, and will happen sometime in September.
  • Basin improvement bids via Aeration Works, at a cost not to exceed $378,196 that includes a base cost of $283,196 and $3,600 per dry ton for sludge removal. This was unanimously approved, along with the following contract and a budget amendment to reflect the payment structure — 20 percent payment when the order is placed, 40 percent payment when the order shipped and 40 percent payment when installed.
  • Fire truck repair bid of $18,170 via MacQueen Equipment, unanimously approved.

The City Council's next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 7.

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