Sweet Springs residents speak to aldermen

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

A new Sweet Springs Board of Aldermen heard from several community members after the old board wrapped up unfinished business at Monday's regular meeting.

The old board met in closed session one last time at the meeting's start and permanently appointed Hank Taber as superintendent of public works and voted to take new public works employee Kevin Thomas off probation. Thomas will qualify for full benefits May 1, pending no disciplinary action prior to that time.

In open session, the old board accepted a bid from Rental Service Corp. of Warrensburg, for a used 16-foot trailer with a rubber, skid-proof floor guaranteed for 40 years. The trailer was priced at $3,350 and the bid was accepted on a 3-1 bid, with Alderman Jim Lindemann dissenting. The board did not accept a bid by K&K Trailers for a new 14-foot trailer with a treated wood floor for $2,700.

A bid of $510 to purchase the city's 1955 fire truck was unanimously rejected by the aldermen. Instead, the board said it would try to sell the truck at an auction.

"The tires on it costs you more than that," said Alderman Larry Vick, adding he thought the city recently put a new motor in the truck at a cost of about $1,200. Vick also said it doesn't do the city much good sitting there, either.

The old board then dissolved, with Alderman William Hall leaving. Hall did not seek re-election. "I've had fun for two years, but I had enough," he said. "You all have fun; I'm going home early."

City Clerk Ronda Nienhueser swore in Aldermen Neil Grigsby and new member Philip Schlichting. Lindemann was elected to replace Grigsby as board president on a 3-1 vote, with Lindemann dissenting.

The aldermen then heard from Pool Board representative Michelle Fuehring. She asked the aldermen to approve designating two managers, Fuehring and Cindi Sims, for the city's pool and approve hiring all eight lifeguard applicants. "Last year we had 11, and that was too many," Fuehring said.

The board approved both motions, hiring lifeguards Stephen Krause, Michael Johnson, Curtis Rich, Wade Schmidt, Kara Sharp, Robin Schelp, Jaime Vickey and Amanda Phegley.

The board also approved hiring temporary lifeguards for the week of June 3-8, when all but one of the lifeguards are slated to be on a band trip. "I think the board just has to see that they get that time covered," Lindemann said. "However they do it is fine."

During the emergency management report, the board informed David Ritoch, the city's emergency management director, that the city clerk can call an emergency meeting for the board in case of emergency. Ritoch informed the board he would like to begin testing the city's old attack siren tone, which he said he will probably call a "take cover" siren.

In his public works department report, Lindemann said the bathrooms at the city park are open for the summer. "As far as I know, there haven't been any problems," he said.

Also at the meeting, the board approved:

* Sherrie Heaper's request to put up "Slow, Children Playing" signs on Daisy Street and possibly Columbia Street to replace the ones removed for road work.

* the Sweet Springs Optimist Club's request to allow a car show at the local park on Aug. 23 and also approved the sale of car-related items.

* Pastor Mark Hendrickson's request to block the main entrance to the Sweet Springs park from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 19, during a children's Easter egg hunt, open to the public.

* The board will also allow the city's pool showers to be opened Friday, June 20, for college students on the Hopkins 4K for Cancer bike trip from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to San Francisco. Hendrickson said the riders don't get many showers along the way, he was told Sweet Springs was one of the trip's highlights last year.

* the police department's request for a new printer and an addition to the state's criminal law book for $22.

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