The Slater City Council met Tuesday, Nov. 18, to discuss the GE plant, Slater's many festivals and other business.
In his report, Mayor Stephen Allegri discussed a conversation he had with Tim Beckley of Kansas City's GE offices about the factory and its employees. He talked about the next set of voluntary layoffs, for an eight-week period, and how that would affect Slater.
"I told him (Beckley) the city would be willing to do whatever they could to help turn this thing around," Allegri said.
In an attempt to quell misinformation, he also said, "These are the facts. Anything other than that is rumor."
Mayor Allegri praised the Slater Veterans Day celebration and then announced another project for veterans. Missouri Veteran Stories is a project through the office of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder to record veterans and their stories on DVD for posterity.
Film crews will be visiting Slater on Dec. 9 to conduct interviews with veterans. Charlie Guthrie is helping to coordinate the project and can be contacted for more information.
Allegri also reported on Slater's Christmas tree lighting and turkey drawing, to be held on Nov. 26. Fifty turkeys will be given away, which is a better chance of winning a turkey than winning the lottery, he said.
The Santa train will be visiting Slater on Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. The mayor encouraged people to be on time for the event.
Councilmember Terry Jordan discussed Winterfest, another holiday event, which takes place on Dec. 6.
Many businesses will have special sales that day, and there is a tour of five Slater homes. Tickets are $10, and the proceeds will go to the Slater Senior Citizens Center.
Assistant City Administrator Gene Griffith gave reports about Steve McQueen Day, scheduled for March 28, 2009, and the Slater Blues Festival on June 27, 2009.
He told the council of a new fundraising idea for McQueen Day, raffling a motorcycle built by a local man to look like one McQueen rode.
Earnest Hart, a karate instructor who used to spar with McQueen, is coming to the celebration, Griffith said. The next meeting for planning the event is Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. Griffith encouraged people to come and help.
The Slater Blues Festival is now self-supporting, Griffith said. The city has no money involved other than set-up and clean-up efforts.
This will be the fifth year for the festival.
Griffith also reported on the city's finances. He noted that the city had spent more on streets this year because they were ignored last year. He suggested that more money be allocated for streets in the coming year's budget.
In other business, Griffith discussed the improvements at the city's water and wastewater plants. New meters have been put in the water plant, and the clarifier parts will arrive in January with construction beginning soon after.
During the work on the plant, which will take about a week, its production will be reduced from 550 gallons per minute to 250 gallons per minute.
At the wastewater plant, the pumps that were pulled out in June will be reinstalled this week, as will the new pumps for each of the lift stations.
Councilmember Cathy Jeffries reported on the Saline County 911 building. Groundbreaking will begin the first week of December, with hopes for completion by July 2009. She also said a new ambulance has been purchased.
The council adjourned into executive session to discuss legal, real estate and personnel matters. The next meeting will be Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.