Downtown Sidewalk Project Faces Setback

By Mike Scott

The City of Kahoka’s downtown improvement project, which will replace sidewalks on the north and south sides of the square, as well as on parts of West Main and West Commercial, is being delayed.  “We have to re-bid it,” said Kahoka Mayor Jerry Webber at the Monday, November 9 meeting of the Board of Aldermen.  The project bid announcement was not properly posted for the required 21 day period. It is being posted again this week. “We’re not sure if it was MECO (Engineering) or MoDOT that didn’t handle it correctly,” Webber said.

The board also met with local funeral directors Marcus Vigen, Melissa Vigen and Kathy Wilson to hear their concerns about the recently passed cemetery internment ordinance. “I think you’re trying to fix something that isn’t broken,” Marcus Vigen said. The three expressed concerns about the requirements for burial vaults, citing the additional cost, which starts at about $1300.  “There are a lot of people who just don’t have the money,” Kathy Wilson said.  Another concern expressed was for pre-arranged funerals where a vault had not been purchased in advance.  The board agreed to revisit the ordinance, and not to take any enforcement action at this time.

The board also reviewed a letter explaining why the city had not received the CDBG Demolition Grant.  Apparently, the application, which was prepared by the NEMO Regional Planning Commission (RPC) in Memphis, had several incomplete areas.  “Why would  they send it in with incomplete parts?” asked Alderman Greg McVeigh.  The next grant deadline will be in April, and Mayor Webber intends to meet with RPC to make sure the deficiencies are corrected.

In other business, the council:

-Discussed the Farmers’ Market shelter grant application.  New projects specs are in the hands of the USDA.

-Agreed to sell an auger, which has not been used for years, to Jerry Miller.

-Approved a building permit for Ott’s Auto Supply.

-Passed an ordinance establishing April 5, 2016, as the municipal election. Voters will vote for the seats currently held by Greg McVeigh and Larry Young.

-Mayor Webber reminded the council that they need to put a “Use Tax” issue on the ballot in order to continue to collect tax on the sale of motor vehicles, boats and trailers.

-Agreed to require pool lifeguards to be certified or recertified by the city’s instructor.

-Mayor Webber announced that water costs are being reviewed.  “The water department is struggling.  I think we need to revisit that,” said Webber, noting that sewer costs need the most attention.

-Fire Chief Lary Fountain reported that 10-12 hydrants had been painted.  He also questioned the city’s liability when the department is called out to investigate carbon monoxide reports.

-Alderman Larry Young discussed cemetery mowing, and that advertising for bids will start soon.

-Alderman Joe Roberts brought up that the animal control vehicle is in bad shape.