by Alan McArthur
The Platte City Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night gave preliminary approval to new objectives for fiscal year 2009.
Some of the preliminary objectives listed for the city include setting aside $20,000 for use in the review of a TIF, CID, or TDD in the city. Another objective is increasing the size of the parking lot at Harrel Ferrel Park with $150,000.
The board preliminarily approved allocating $5,000 for the “sinking fund” to build a welcome sign. Another $20,000 may be spent to upgrade the restrooms and concession stands at Harrel Ferrel Park.
One of the largest changes represented in the objectives is a proposal to change the days worked by city employees from five days a week to four.
The objective would have employees work four 10-hour work days to save on the use of gasoline and diesel. The objective would also allow city employees to be available during evening hours for citizens.
The estimated cost savings is nearly $12,500 in fuel and utilities in the next year, according to numbers presented by Keith Moody, city administrator.
The board decided to leave the objective for staff to conduct further research before making an official decision at a later meeting.
Another objective is to replace the furniture in the board room for an estimated $7,500.
“I know my chair squeaks, but I could spring for a can of WD-40,” said Andy Stanton, alderman.
City Clerk Amy Hubbard said the objective was to replace the chairs to improve the appearance of city hall for residents.
“I am fine with the way it is, but I'd like to see a proposal for a future board,” said Todd Sloan, board president.
A few of the proposed objectives were removed from consideration by the board.
One of the objectives removed was a donation of $1,000 to the Kitty Cat Connection.
“I've had complaints about that group,” said Stanton. “I would move to remove that.”
Also supporting the motion to remove the funding for Kitty Cat Connection were Debbie Kirkpatrick, Ron Stone, and Tony Paolillo.
At the end of the discussion on the preliminary objectives, a motion was made to approve the objectives for further research by staff and discussion at a future board meeting.
The motion was then approved with a vote of 5-1, with Marsha Clark voting against it.
Clark said she voted against the objectives because the item about the Kitty Cat Connection was removed. Clark said the city's recent survey listed animal control as a top priority and that the item should have stayed in the objectives.
In other business, the board approved a new measure to allow curb helpers in certain circumstances in Platte City.
The ordinance still prohibits curb helpers on most streets in Platte City, but will allow them if the curb or driveway exceed a preset amount.
In order to qualify for a curb helper the curb must be a non-standard type, the back of the curb must exceed four inches in height or the back of the curb must exceed a 30 percent rise. Or the resident may qualify for curb helpers if the driveway exceeds a 9 percent rise or fall over 12 feet from the back of the curb.
The ordinance also spells out the specifications for what type may be installed.
Curb helpers are not allowed to extend into the street and must leave room in the gutter for water to go by. The helpers may be permanent, but may not be made of concrete. The curb helpers are also required to not cause water to be blocked or collect on the upstream side in the curb.
In order to be approved to install a curb helper, the resident must apply for a permit from city hall and have the curb helper later inspected by Leonard Hendricks, public works director.
There is no cost for the permits, but the work must be approved by the city.
The curb helper would still need to be removed the next time the street is resurfaced to allow the machinery to use the curb as a guide. Streets are estimated to be resurfaced every 10 to 15 years based on a set schedule.
The new ordinance was approved with a vote of 6-0.