Sweet Springs aldermen hear three requests from citizens

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Three citizens requested actions of the Sweet Springs Board of Aldermen at the board's regular monthly meeting Monday evening.

In his third month of addressing the board, Charles Lance will get a chance to bid for a 330 feet by 1,320 feet tract of wetlands near the city limits. The lot is adjacent to Lance's current property.

Lance believes the city sold the property in 1987, but he was unable to find any paperwork to show the sale.

"The problem, Mr. Lance, is that we can't give city property away without accepting bids," said Sweet Springs Mayor Vivian Wiley. "It's not that we don't want to sell you the land. Please understand that we have to do it legally."

Alderman Neil Grigsby said the city would have to charge at least the cost of surveying the property, but Lance's lawyer, Charles H. Green of Higginsville, said he was working with Saline County Title Company and would write a property description without needing a surveyor.

The council unanimously agreed to run an ad in the Sweet Springs Herald for two weeks starting Dec. 15 asking for bids on the property using a description Green will submit before then. The sealed bids will be opened at the next board meeting, Jan. 12.

Wiley also asked Lance when he would place a fence around his property, which has several automobiles on it. She said that while the cars may be worth money after they are restored, "to a lot of people, it looks like a junkyard."

Lance said he would probably move the cars away from the roadway rather than build a fence.

Two other citizen requests were voiced to the board through aldermen.

Grigsby said he had received a complaint that the middle portion of Willa Street is too dark. The one-block street is lit at both ends and Councilman Jim Lindemann said he would contact Kansas City Power and Light to see if the company can install brighter bulbs in the existing streetlights.

"I was down there the other night and it didn't seem too dark," Wiley said. "It didn't seem any darker than a lot of other places (in the city)."

Grigsby also said he didn't see the need to add another light, which could cost the city $90 a year, unless the whole block wanted the light. If it is just one person who thinks the street is too dark, Grigsby said, he or she can buy a porch light.

The council agreed to have Police Chief Dick Downing look at street lighting on Willa Street and throughout the city when he examines speed limits.

Lindemann read a written complaint from Larry and Eileen Winfrey of Sweet Springs. The Winfreys live on South Walnut, which, they wrote, was on a list to be paved four or five years ago.

"It's one of the worst streets in town," the letter said, adding the couple was embarrassed to have out-of-town visitors see the road condition. The Winfreys requested the road be curbed and guttered or totally repaved.

Although the council took no action on the request, Lindemann said the road is on a list to be paved in the summer of 2004.

Seaton Hall, who was scheduled to speak about city business, did not appear for the meeting.

Also at the meeting, the Board of Aldermen approved:

* an ordinance to have the city vote on a transient guest tax during the April 6, 2004, election;

* exchanging a half-day holiday on Wednesday, Dec. 24, for a full-day holiday Friday, Dec. 26, for public works department employees;

* a bid for $3,564.64 from Hartland over a $3,862.63 bid from National Waterworks to replenish supplies for the city's water department;

* a bid for a Pentium 4 computer from Dell Dimension 4600 for $1,506.98, which included a three-year warranty, 1 gigabyte of memory and several programs, over other bids for the same computer from Thoroughbred Systems Nobelviews for $1,500, IT Service Pro for $1,479 and Gateway for $1,924;

* asking for bids to expand the Sweet Springs Police Department by about 16 feet, or 50 percent, of the department's office space;

* setting a public hearing on zoning changes at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 12, before the board's monthly meeting; and

* writing an ordinance for lowering city speed limits to 20 miles per hour from 30 mph, unless otherwise posted, which will be discussed at the January meeting along with putting a stop sign at the intersections of Bridge and Main.

Contact Jenny Bryers at


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