SIKESTON - Motorists in Sikeston should keep their eyes out for new traffic signs.
Sikeston City Council members authorized the installation of 26 new traffic control signs during their regular meeting Monday as recommended by the city's traffic committee.
The signs are needed due to the rapid growth in various subdivisions throughout the city and to enhance traffic flow, according to city staff.
Tom Bridger, public works director, said the traffic committee met May 13 and reviewed the uniform traffic code, subdivisions and locations where specific signs were requested.
During this meeting it was decided that all of the 28 locations needing additional signs should be recommend for approval except for stop signs at Linn and Ingram and College and Taylor.
Stop signs proposed for Linn and Ingram would create more of a problem than already exists in the congested area, according to the committee.
Councilman Phil Boyer said he was hoping stop signs on Linn would address southbound traffic on North Ingram that backs up.
The traffic committee's concern is that Linn Street already backs up and would be even worse with stop signs which could cause lined-up cars to block business entrances along Linn.
Boyer suggested the time at the Selma traffic light be increased to allow more than three or four cars to pass with each green light. "That might help as much as anything," he said.
City Manager Doug Friend said he would check with the Missouri Department of Transportation to see if the light could be programmed for longer greens during specific time periods such as during the 2-4 p.m. rush.
Bridger said the committee determined a stop sign at College and Taylor would not be effective because of the yield sign already in place there. A low accident rate was also reported for the location.
In other city business:
* First readings for the Fiscal Year 2005 Budget and Staffing and Compensation ordinances were conducted following the second of three public hearings for the budget. The city's fiscal year begins July 1 and runs through June 30.
The budget projects revenues totaling $10.9 million and expenditures of $10.3 million and includes funding for Department of Public Safety staff and a 6 percent cost of living for all employees except for department heads and managerial positions, according to Friend.
The budget and staffing ordinances will be presented for a second reading and action by the Council at a special meeting scheduled for 7:30 a.m. June 15 following the final public hearing.
Council members approved the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan which mostly consists of equipment replacements based on a "cyclical approach" considering life expectancy on the equipment, according to Friend.
"It's a plan subject to change," he said.
* Friend received authorization to work with the Humane Society on a contract for them to take over animal control services, as requested by the Society.
Friend said he presented the Humane Society with a draft of a contract which will be reviewed by its board of directors.
The funding arrangements will be presented to Council as part of the budget Tuesday.
* Council members re-awarded the bank depository bid to Montgomery Bank, this time for a five-year period with a fixed interest rate on investments, as recommended by both city and Board of Municipal Utilities staff.
The bank depository bid was awarded to Montgomery Bank May 10 with the understanding that the city could decide annually to renew with Montgomery at the fixed rate in four subsequent years.
The bank, however, advised the fixed-rate offer was only good for a five-year period.
Noting that the city has $6 million in investments, and BMU has $28 million, Boyer said if BMU officials are happy with the five-year arrangement, the city should follow the recommendation and award the bid.
* City Treasurer Karen Bailey briefed the Council on participating in the State Treasurer's Office bid for credit card/debit card reader services.
Startup costs for the equipment will run between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on the number of terminals purchased.
Long term plans for the system include accepting payments over the Internet for everything from fines and tickets to building permits.
* City Clerk Carroll Couch reported on the results of the mailing to collect on overdue taxes.
Comparing receipts for February through March in 2003 with the same period in 2004, collections went up from $54,000 last year to $112,000 this year.