SIKESTON - Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority commissioners and city officials gathered Thursday for a "get acquainted" meeting.
"We met with LCRA and I think that everybody is ready to get to work on it," said Mayor Phil Boyer. "It will be good thing moving forward."
City staff agreed during the meeting to prepare a rough draft of bylaws for the LCRA and a flow chart to show how city staff will assist the LCRA, according to Mike Bohannon, LCRA commissioner.
The next meeting, scheduled for 4 p.m. Feb. 24, is slated to address the LCRA's nuts-and-bolts issues. "The 24th will be a very important meeting. It will determine the structure of the LCRA," said Bohannon.
Officials have yet to determine bank arrangements, how audits will be conducted, legal counsel, staffing and administration needs and an address and phone number in addition to establishing bylaws outlining the commission officers and their duties.
Peckham, Guyton, Albers and Viets, the St. Louis consulting firm specializing in planning and urban renewal projects hired by the city for advice on the LCRA, recommends keeping the LCRA as autonomous as possible, Bohannon noted. "We received guidance from them on what needs to be done and how it should be structured."
On the other hand, he believes things should begin to happen with the money presently available. "We have $50,000 and we need to do something now," Bohannon said. "The immediate problem is all the boarded-up, vacant houses that need to come down."
Bohannon said it is important that the LCRA works closely with the city council, Board of Municipal Utilities and the Sikeston Housing Authority to maximize its potential.
"I think this thing is tremendously important to the City of Sikeston," Bohannon said. "We're at a turning point and everybody needs to get on the same boat going in the same direction. We can use this LCRA to make a substantial difference in the city."
"I think this will determine the direction of the city for years to come," he continued. "We need to seize this opportunity. It's not just tearing down houses. There is a lot of things the LCRA can expedite."
Sikeston voters authorized the creation of the LCRA in April 2001.