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Platte City wants street
sweeping grant

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

A resolution supporting a street sweeping program for Platte City stirred some questions Tuesday during a board of aldermen meeting.

Alderman Ron Porter questioned the need for a street sweeping program, based on the money it would take to run the program.

Records indicate the total cost of the program would be $215,000. A grant application is being sent in by Platte City to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for a $129,000 grant, leaving an $86,000 price tag the city would be obligated to pay.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Porter questioned the necessity of the program that would sweep streets and allow for catch basin cleaning.

Platte City Mayor Dave Brooks informed the aldermen the item on Tuesday’s agenda was simply to allow City Administrator Keith Moody to complete proper paperwork to submit for the grant, that no decision was going to be made concerning the program.

Brooks added that in the event Platte City is awarded the grant, the final decision for the street sweep program would go to Platte City voters.

"We need to stay ahead of the game. We have got to think down the road. We need to let the voters make the decision. The only way we will grow is to keep the new streets clean," Brooks said. "Tonight we are asking for you to let us try to get the grant money."

Porter was the only alderman to vote against submitting the grant application.

If the city receives the grant, voters would decide on the program during the April election.

In other matters a slight snag was met, but later agreed upon by aldermen concerning an ordinance on the city code regarding amendments to the personnel policy dealing with appointments.

The proposed ordinance change would have allowed the mayor to appoint the city’s police chief.

The old ordinance allows for aldermen to have a vote in who is named police chief.

"Why do we need to change this? There could be enough pressure on a police chief to get him out of there and get the man in there that the mayor wanted. I am not saying you would do that Dave, but who is to say it can’t happen down the road?" Porter said. "We could sit here fat, dumb and happy and not have anything to say about it."

According to state statutes, the mayor of a city can appoint a police chief.

Upon discussion from aldermen, the amendment’s wording was changed to read: "The mayor with consent and approval of majority of the members of the board of alderman shall appoint the Director of Public Safety, who shall also be known as the Chief of Police. Other police officers will be appointed and removed pursuant of the city’s personnel policy."

During the mayor's report, Brooks announced he would like to erect a plaque on Main Street in remembrance of the former courthouse. Brooks said the bronze plaque would be mounted on a pole and be placed in front of The Landmark building at 252 Main Street, site of the original courthouse that was burned during the Civil War.

Board members agreed Brooks should continue with the project.

Brooks also stated the city needed to market themselves better. Brooks added he would like to have a non- salaried individual that has no voting power to be appointed as a special program director.