Council approves installation of weather observation system at airport

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

The Marshall Municipal Airport will soon be one step closer to being like Kansas City International.

At its Monday meeting, the Marshall City Council voted unanimously to approve a contract with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for the installation of an automated weather observation system (AWOS).

Ward 2 Councilman Tim Reeder, himself a pilot, explained that an AWOS provides pilots with weather information including cloud height, visibility, barometric pressure, precipitation and wind speed and direction. The cyclic broadcasts are continually updated, he said.

"You always have up-to-the-minute, probably up-to-the-30-second, information," Reeder said.

In days gone by this information would have been provided to pilots by human weather observers. Reeder said few people are performing this service now and larger airports like KCI, Dulles International Airport and O'Hare International Airport use AWOS.

Reeder said the most costly part of the AWOS is the hardware and initial installation. Since the contract with MHTC calls for the commission and the Federal Aviation Administration to pay the bulk of these costs, it is particularly beneficial to the city.

The contract was approved by unanimous vote.

In other business, the council approved a pair of police department promotions, the sale of two police cruisers and scheduled a hearing for two rezoning issues.

Following the recommendation of the Police Personnel Board presented by Ward 4 Councilman Russell Bellamy, the council voted without dissent to approve promoting second-class police officers Scott Bockstetter and Shawn Simpson to first-class police officers.

Bellamy also told the council the board had opened bids for the sale of a 1996 and a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria which had been used by the Marshall Police Department.

The high bid for the older car, $2,356, came from Kansas City Motor Vehicle. The newer car's high bid of $2,916 came from Police Cars Unlimited. The high bids were accepted by unanimous vote.

The council also voted to schedule a public hearing for 6:55 p.m. Monday, June 3. At that time, the council will take comments concerning a request from the New Hannibal Masonic Lodge to amend a city ordinance to allow Masonic lodges by special use permits and a request from Pitt Kays to rezone 1506 E. Eastwood from C-2 Highway Business to R-1 Single Family Residential.

Both requests had been recommended for approval by the Marshall Planning and Zoning Commission at a meeting held earlier Monday evening.

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