Advance aldermen approve library budget, deny zoning request

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A larger-than-normal number of citizens were on hand for the Advance Board of Aldermen meeting Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, as Mayor Carl "Pete" Ritter recommended approval of the budget for the Advance Community Library.

Mayor Ritter distributed copies of the Missouri State statute which requires that municipally-supported libraries must receive one-cent per every $100.00 of city assessed valuation, in order to be recognized as a state library.

"I apologize for not being aware of this law," explained the mayor. "For this reason, I recommend that you approve the library's request for $12,500 for the fiscal year 2013-2014."

Library president Cara Mayberry and library board treasurer Karen Tropf were present for the meeting.

Members of the Advance Clover 4H were present to give the city a check for $250 to replace two recently-planted trees in Mabery Park. These blooming trees did not survive the summer. Ronnie Martin, 4H sponsor, was on hand with his daughters Michaela and Megan, as well as 4H member Erin Robinson.

Also present for the meeting were Mark and Pam Richmond, who spoke up against the city's lifting of zoning regulations on Sturdivant Street, where the city was considering allowing a used furniture store to locate.

"What is the purpose of zoning regulations?" asked Pam Richmond. "Isn't it to protect the property values of the residential homes?"

Mayor Ritter admitted that the city's zoning committee had been disbanded, and the aldermen had taken over that function. He asked the Richmonds if it wasn't better to have a business at that location, rather than to have tall grass on the lot. Pam Richmond responded that the grass wasn't that bad. She preferred it to a business next door to her property.

When asked to weigh in on the issue, aldermen voted 3-1 to keep the neighborhood residential.

Water Superintendent Lance Harrington was at the meeting to explain the erosion problems that were occurring with the city's chlorine scale. Repair may be as high as $10,300, but the city has the funds in the sewer and water account. Harrington explained that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has jurisdiction over these water issues, so the situation must be addressed.

Mayor Ritter reminded citizens and aldermen that the city water plant was built in 1955 and would one day have to be replaced. This would require Advance citizens to approve a bond issue of an estimated $3-$4 million.

"It'll be way more than that," Harrington said. "The last update was in 1975."

In fire department issues, aldermen approved the per-fire pay of volunteer firemen be raised from $25.00 per call to $35.00, as per the fire chief's recommendation.

Under old business, aldermen approved the city budget.

In other action, aldermen approved Jerry Benfield's request that the city remove a tree on city property near his residence.

Aldermen also approved an ordinance for a new street leading to the Advance Assisted Living Center to be named "Peyton Place." Some discussion ensued concerning the future development of that area and whether the current lift station across from Town and Country Supermarket could handle the increased load. Harrington reported that DNR is currently doing a study to determine if the station would be adequate.

In new business, aldermen gave the Bank of Advance permission to paint a crosswalk between the bank and the lending center.

Aldermen also approved the check signers for the city, as well as some maintenance at the lagoon.

The next regularly-scheduled board of alderman meeting is Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 at 6 p.m.

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