Sweet Springs aldermen OK closing street for cruisers

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A time warp will encompass most of Miller Street in Sweet Springs the night of Saturday, Oct. 11.

Hot rod lovers Mike Clevenger and Bruce Hoyes, members of the Brick Street Cruisers, were given permission from the Sweet Springs Board of Aldermen Monday to close part of Miller Street to thru traffic, allowing classic cars to overtake the street from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 11. Clevenger said the club plans to play tunes from the '50s and '60s during that time from an outdoor stereo system.

"These old '67 Cameros, they need to be out, not just sitting in a garage," Clevenger said at the aldermen's regular monthly meeting.

The cars will tour Sweet Springs, beginning and ending on Miller Street, starting at 7:30 p.m. the night of the event. Drivers will make five stops and will collect a playing card at each, with the winning poker hand receiving a prize. Stops will be at the Sweet Springs Senior Center, The Cheese Store, the first shelter house at the city park, at the stop sign on the corner of Bridge and Ridge streets and near Sweet Springs City Hall on Miller Street.

Clevenger suggested having controlled tire-turning burnouts at the park, but the board said the city couldn't legally approve such a thing on a public street.

"If we don't have control, there's just going to be squealing everywhere," Clevenger said.

Mayor Vivian Wiley said she would be happy to have the cars cruise the streets of Sweet Springs, as long as they stay under the speed limit and don't squeal their tires all over town. "I'm worried about burnout," she said, suggesting controlled burnouts take place on private property, with the city given a consent form from the property owners.

Alderman Jim Lindemann raised a concern about the time of the event. "Seven p.m. seems rather late to be doing this," he said. "It's going to be dark."

Hoyes, president of the auto restoration club, said if it is near dusk, the drivers can show off the cars' headlights and Clevenger added the cruise shouldn't take longer than an hour.

"It's something I'd like to see get going, get established like the car show," Hoyes said. "This is our first one, so we have no clue how many (people will participate)."

Personnel moves

Also during the three-hour meeting, Wiley said the city will be looking for a new dispatcher after Cari Higgins resigned, and the aldermen approved the appointment of Kelly Weber to the Library Board to replace Angie Smith, who moved.

In closed session, the aldermen unanimously voted to rehire Richard Bishop as a patrolman, about five weeks after first hiring him for the position.

City Clerk Ronda Nienhueser said Bishop had been hired as a patrolman in August and quit in early September.

Also in closed session, board members reviewed applications for the chief of police position. The board will soon schedule interviews.

Ordinances and bids

Much of the open board meeting was dominated by three ordinances and several bids.

Ordinances for the city to sell water to Public Water Supply District No. 1, to allow liquor sales within the city from 9 a.m. until noon on Sundays and set six disabled parking spots passed unanimously with little comment.

Within the last few months, the state of Missouri passed a law to allow for liquor sales to begin at 9 a.m. on Sundays, and, like Marshall, the city of Sweet Springs changed its ordinance to allow for the early sales. Its previous ordinance allowed for only one hour of sales on Sundays unless businesses purchased a $200 liquor license for Sundays. Now, businesses can sell malt liquor and wines made exclusively from fruits and vegetables, for consumption on the premises, for three hours without the an additional Sunday license, which would let businesses sell all types of liquor until midnight.

The aldermen had discussed the other two ordinances at previous meetings.

The ordinance regarding the sale of water had been changed from last month's draft to include a 20 percent mark-up fee on the city's water cost and a minimum water pressure of 20 pounds per square inch, instead of the 50 psi the water district requested. The city will deliver the water at a rate of 2.3 cents per cubic foot.

Two disabled parking spots will be located on Marshall Street near the intersection of Miller, two will be on Miller Street beside and across from city hall and two will be on Main Street on both sides of the street between the food pantry and Spring Street. Sidewalk ramps will also be added near the intersections of Main and Bridge streets and Marshall and Miller streets.

Also Monday, the aldermen accepted bids for health insurance, removing the old water tower, purchasing water line material, leasing a new photocopier and buying a lawn mower for the Park Board.

The bids were awarded to:

* Missouri Consolidated Health Care HMO plan for health insurance for a $336.41 monthly premium for each city employee;

* Utility Service Company of Liberty for removing the old water tower for $20,875;

* MWW of Independence for water line materials for $12,734.65, the only bid including all requested materials;

* LTD Construction of Sweet Springs to remove a tree at the cemetery for $440, with a stipulation that the business has liability insurance;

* C&L Sales of Higginsville for a 27-horsepower, 61-inch mower for $5,991.28, which includes a $1,200 trade-in value on the park's current mower;

* Xerox for leasing-to-own a digital copier for $151.72 a month plus 1.69 cents per copy after 1,500 copies and purchasing the current photocopier for $275 with a $23.80 a month service agreement.

Two bids for a police patrol car were received, but neither was for the 2004 model requested. A motion to table acting on the bids passed 4-0.

No bids were received for a one-ton truck, but Lindemann said a 1996 Dodge one-ton flat-bed truck is available through state surplus for $8,700. The board voted to allow Lindemann and Public Works Director Hank Taber to examine the car and drive it back if it meets their approval.

Contact Jenny Bryers at


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