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story.lead_photo.caption Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient Walt Schley, pictured here at the far right, was on hand at Monday's Board of Aldermen meeting as California was officially designated as a Purple Heart City. Here, Schley is joined by California Mayor Rich Green and other veterans in attendance. Photo by Austin Hornbostel / California Democrat.

California has officially been designated as a Purple Heart City.

Local veterans were on hand at Monday night's City of California Board of Aldermen meeting as California Mayor Rich Green read a proclamation about the designation. Walt Schley, a Marine veteran and Purple Heart recipient who has been working with Alderwoman Resa Dudley on the designation process, was also in attendance to commemorate the occasion.

Dudley informed the board that road signs will be placed at major city entryways, pending Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDot) approval. Dudley said the city will also be submitting a written proposal to be designated as a POW/MIA City, which will require the same process with MoDot to erect signage.

Other topics discussed during a busy period of new business items Monday included a request from representatives with the California Nutrition Center to do something to curb speeding along Versailles Street near their building. The group said it is concerned about the issue, as the Nutrition Center is still facilitating curb-side meal service from the side door of its building along Versailles and there is a day care nearby. The board plans to look into possible solutions and discuss the issue further at its November meeting.

Next on the docket was a scope of work proposal from Bartlett & West detailing what the city can expect to see from the firm as it begins engineering work for a number of infrastructure expansion projects, including the crucial wastewater treatment plant capacity upgrade. Representatives with Bartlett & West noted that the proposal comes with a suggested budget for engineering work not to exceed $225,000. The board approved moving forward with the scope of work process.

The board also approved or discussed a number of bids during the new business portion of the October meeting. A pair of CD accounts — one for $383,241.03 and the other for $1,120,881.41 — were renewed for one year at Hawtorn Bank at an interest rate of 0.16 percent. A bid for road salt at $80.22 per ton through Independent Salt was approved, as was a bid for a city hall property survey, ranging from a cost of $2,200 to $3,500. The other bids discussed included one for AEDs, an item previously discussed at earlier board meetings this year, and one for tornado siren units. The board approved authorizing a $500 payment to pursue a grant for purchasing AEDs, but decided not to take any action on the tornado siren units for the time being.

A pair of old business items was also discussed. The board agreed to table any implementation of employee performance evaluation, an item the board discussed at length last month. Regarding the leaks at structures around town, the board learned that the leak at City Hall seemed to have been remedied with the application of some spray foam. The city will move forward with giving the method a shot at the city pool's pump room roof.

In line with the issue, the board approved an ordinance authorizing the execution of a contract between the city of California and G&R Roofing to repair and replace the gazebo roof at Smith Burke Park.

In department reports, the board touched on the recent work at the condemned homes on Oak Street a couple of times. Board members and supervisors reiterated that nobody should be entering or taking items from the buildings, and discussed strategies to prevent illegal entry.

Electric Supervisor Tyler Dicus informed the board that the new California Police Department door — another item of discussion at past meetings — has been ordered.

In the Water and Sewer Department, Supervisor Kyle Wirts discussed progress on a number of ongoing and upcoming projects. Water tower inspections and cleaning will take place in November and December, and the department's free rate study should be complete by the board's November meeting. The city will need to respond to a Department of Natural Resources warning letter before Oct. 25, and an ongoing smoke study that has so far covered about one-fourth of town will continue. The board approved seeking bids for the industrial park lift station, and also discussed the water pressure issues at Windmill Ridge subdivision.

In the Wastewater Department, Supervisor Patrick Murphy informed the board that he is still waiting to receive the new gates for the aeration basin project.

California Police Department Chief Daniel Hurt informed the board about issues with his patrol car, and the board approved seeking bids for repair.

Finally, interim California Fire Department Chief Brad Friedmeyer asked the board about seeking a grant for a washer and dryer for the CFD's fire equipment, which was approved.

The Board of Aldermen's next regular meeting is set for Monday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.

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