SIKESTON - The Sikeston City Council fulfilled two more City Charter mandates by establishing the city's personnel code and investment policy during the regular Sikeston City Council meeting Monday.
Linda Lowes, director of governmental services, said the personnel code makes no significant changes to the city's existing practices, policies or procedures.
The investment policy was drafted from a model provided by the Office of the State Treasurer, according to City Treasurer Karen Bailey, which was developed from investment policies of the Government Finance Officers Association of Missouri and the Municipal Treasurer's Association of the United States and Canada.
"We modified it to our needs and feel comfortable with it," said Bailey.
The purpose of the investment policy is to ensure effective cash management using the city's funds in the most efficient manner while considering safety, liquidity and yield.
Bailey said the policy will not really change anything. "So you're just putting it down in writing," said Mayor Phil Boyer.
The City Charter required the passage of a personnel code within six months of the Charter's adoption and an investment policy to be passed within 180 days of its adoption.
In other business conducted by the council:
* Lowes described an amendment to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission adopted by the council as "a housekeeping item."
The change permits the mayor or a mayoral designee to be a member of the commission bringing it into compliance with state statutes and removes the position of "city planner" from the commission's list of appointees.
The total number of commissioners remains at 11 with 8 citizen members.
The council tabled an appointment to the commission until the November meeting.
* Council members approved the first amendment to the city's Fiscal Year 2003 budget.
Doug Friend, city manager, said each department of the city was instructed to cut their maintenance and operations budget by 10 percent. The budget amendment reflects the savings of $67,800 which will be used to offset the increase in workers' compensation insurance.
* The council repealed the city's Motorcycle Safety Trust Fund fees, bringing the city into compliance with state statutes.
Lowes explained the Missouri General Assembly amended state statutes deleting the provision requiring municipal courts to collect a $5 judgment on all violations involving motorcycles.
* Council members approved a replat request for the South Pointe Shopping Center from James Koch of CEI Engineering, splitting Lot B into two lots.
Tom Bridger, public works director, said one of the lots will be used by Arby's.
* A termination request for development of the old Missouri Department of Transportation building site at Main and Malone by NOVUS Development was accepted by the council.
Council members also authorized requests for proposals for the site.
"We'll see if we can interest another developer in that project," said Bill Green, director of the department of economic development. "We have some potential prospects."
Green said NOVUS still owns the property.
* A preliminary plat request, rezoning requests and a subdivision approval for Stone Creek Estates from developer Ben Bryant was tabled at Bryant's request due to technical issues.
* Council members extended the cable television franchise agreement with Charter Communications through Feb. 6, 2003.
"We have been trying for some time to hammer out an agreement," said Friend.
Friend said the latest holdups in negotiating a long-term agreement were changes in federal regulations and arranging a meeting with Charter Cable officials. "There are a few things that are negotiable," he said.
Charles Leible, city counselor, said negotiable items include services for the city and school district.
Resident Harry Sharp said the city needs to make Charter provide local newspapers with a current, accurate programming guide. "And we're paying too much," he added.
* Council members approved a liquor license transfer request for Cheers from Joyce Winchester.
Winchester plans to relocate her business from 1637 East Malone to 1212 Linn Street, formerly known as Styx.
* Council members approved issuing a cooperative agreement statement necessary for Weed and Seed's renewal.
Friend advised council members of a notice from Weed and Seed regarding re-accredation and advised the program's current five-year term will expire soon.
The Weed and Seed Steering Committee would also like to expand the Weed and Seed area east to School Street and south to include the Clayton Addition, Friend said.
* Carroll Couch, city clerk, confirmed that filing for the next city election opens Oct. 22.
* Boyer said he has been asked by city residents about the length of time allowed for demolition projects.
Bridger said the city usually allow six months, but expects to see progress. He added that city staff are looking into a provision by which the city would retain 10 percent of insurance claims to facilitate the clean up of properties, although it won't help in some cases such as when people move away without concern for the property they leave behind. "And some people don't carry insurance," Friend said.
Bridger also answered a question regarding derelict vehicles by explaining restoration projects need to be completed within a garage or carport, not out in the yard.
"We need to be working with people that are trying to clean up their neighborhood," said Boyer.
* Council members discussed options for collecting $11,000 in outstanding taxes on a building leased by the Department of Social Services from Bob Blades of Malden.
Surprised that the state does not have any stipulations regarding being current on taxes included in their lease contract, council members authorized Leible to use all available means to collect the outstanding taxes.
SIKESTON - If you get pulled over by the Sikeston Department of Public Safety in the near future, smile - chances are you are on camera.
The purchase of three Kustom in-car video cameras for DPS vehicles using the money from this year's Local Law Enforcement Block Grant was approved by Sikeston City Council members during their regular session Monday.
Drew Juden, DPS director, said the cost will be $18,301 for the three cameras, installation, and tapes.
With the three new cameras and the three already in place, DPS will have 70 percent of its fleet equipped with video, according to Juden.
The cameras include a feature which automatically turns on the officer's body mike so all conversations are recorded.
Law enforcement officials have reported video cameras to be invaluable in helping identify offenders in crowded areas, proving guilt in trials and ensuring officers act in a courteous and professional manner.
Videos from the cameras are also a good training tool and reduce the city's liability by providing an "eye witness" to vehicle pursuits, DWI arrests and similar offenses.
Council members also adopted a resolution creating a Multi-Jurisdictional Major Case Squad.
Juden said the Major Case Squad will also include Scott County, New Madrid County and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.