SIKESTON - Sikeston City Council members approved bids during their regular meeting Monday which should result in the old First Baptist Church on South Kingshighway finally coming down.
Tom Bridger, public works director, said new bids for the church demolition project were opened Dec. 2. Councilmembers rejected the first round of bids - which only resulted in a single bid - as too high. A total of 15 bids were returned this time, according to Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority Chairman Mike Bohannon.
For this round of bids the project was split, according to Bridger. The apparent lowest and best bid for the asbestos removal from Schemel-Tamillion Inc. of Perryville for $58,300 was accepted as well as the apparent lowest and best bid for demolition from A.C. James of Miner for $75,000.
Demolition will follow the asbestos removal which must be completed within 120 days although 17-30 days from the start date is a rough estimate on what this particular project will require. The asbestos removal should start in early January.
Bohannon said the LCRA has 32 houses they have demolition bids on and another 49 are targeted.
In other city business during Monday's meeting:
* Council members agreed to meet at noon Wednesday to discuss engineering services bids with Waters Engineering and Lamberts Engineering.
City staff are hoping for a decision from the Council at the briefing session scheduled for Dec. 27.
Councilman Bill Stokes said according to his calculations, engineering costs by Waters Engineering, which has received the bid to provide the services for many years, have run about 12 percent.
The bid by Lamberts, Stokes said, appears as if it would have saved the city 4.75 percent, or "nearly $100,000."
* Council members approved a request from Dewitt Properties to subdivide six lots on the Kingshighway frontage of the River Birch Mall property.
The subdivided lots would include a 4.95-acre tract of land. One of the lots is presently occupied by the Peking Chinese Restaurant.
Bridger said the new lots would still use the mall's main entrance.
* A bill prohibiting parking near Matthews Elementary on Courtney Street between Elm and Pine streets and on Elm between Courtney and Virginia streets from 2-4 p.m. was approved.
Bridger said the change was requested by the school's principal and approved by the city's traffic committee to eliminate traffic congestion, make room for buses, and make it safer.
"It's the same thing that was done at Lee Hunter School," Bridger said.
* Following a public hearing for a liquor law violation by Wood's Quick Check, council members decided to not impose any additional fine.
Bob Fuchs, who appeared to represent the store's owner, explained the minor who made the purchase had produced a valid license and that the owner has already paid a $300 fine from Liquor Control and attorney's fees in addition to receiving negative publicity.
The store's owner is "very concerned" about minors purchasing alcohol from his establishment, Fuchs said, and has taken measures to prevent it in the future including posting signs advising those who appear to be under 27 years of age will be carded and that police will be called for attempts by minors to purchase liquor.
* Mayor Mike Marshall said he had received notice that Charter Communications will be raising their rates by $1.20 for expanded basic cable and noted that city officials don't have any control over cable rates.