SIKESTON - The old First Baptist Church on South Kingshighway won't be coming down quite yet.
Sikeston City Council members rejected bids for the demolition of the church and three residential structures for the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority during their regular meeting Monday.
Tom Bridger, public works director, said city staff "were quite surprised" the sole bid came in so high and over the amount budgeted in the Community Development Block Grant.
A total of 13 requests for proposals to demolition companies were made by the city but Ferrell Enterprises was the only one to respond bidding $223,888 for the church demolition and $5,629 each for the houses for a total of $240,775.
After reviewing the bid, both the LCRA commission and Joe Lane of the Bootheel Regional Planning Commission suggested rejecting the bid and re-bidding the project.
The city now plans to seek a bid for the demolition of the church and its associated asbestos removal as separate jobs.
The three houses will be removed from the project and addressed as part of the LCRA's ongoing demolition process.
Council members will think things over before coming to a decision on suspending alley pickup of residential solid waste.
The public hearing about alley trash pickup was conducted immediately before Monday's regular City Council meeting.
One city resident suggested putting some of the city's money into cleaning up the alleys. He added that even if the trash trucks do stop using the alleys, the alleys will still be used by the utility company.
City Manager Doug Friend said the city does have a maintenance budget for the alleys and has begun to hold adjoining property owners responsible for vegetation from their property growing into the alleys.
Part of the problem, however, is "the trucks are so large now and the alleys are so small," Friend said.
In addition fences, junk and parked cars blocking alleys and the problems of dust and wear and tear on vehicles, limbs have damaged trash trucks in the alleys indicating a safety risk, according to Linda Glaus of Sonny's Solid Waste.
She said, however, that it is just a request and "we will certainly abide with whatever the Council does."
Marshall suggested council members hold off on making a decision and take "some more time to think about this."
Another Sikeston resident said it is worth "a couple thousand dollars" in property value to have an alley available to place trash in. "I wouldn't want garbage in the street," he said.
"I have faith and confidence in the Council that we'll do the right thing," Marshall said in closing.
* Council members approved the redevelopment plan for the 60/61 Tax Increment Financing District which changes lots behind Lowes previously designated for commercial use to residential duplex lots.
The bill is the "final council action" on the change, according to Friend, "to allow that to proceed."
* The award of 2005 domestic violence shelter surcharge funding in an amount not to exceed $4,500 was approved by the Council.
In 2003 the city adopted as an additional court cost, the Domestic Violence Shelter Surcharge as authorized under state statute, according to Linda Lowes, director of governmental services. The $2 fee added to the fine of those convicted in court is used to fund the operation of local domestic violence shelters. Council awards the funding annually to a shelter or shelters that serve Sikeston residents.
The House of Refuge was the only shelter to submit an application for 2005 funding, according to Lowes.
Based on information provided in their application, the city's funding is projected to provide 2.37 percent of the House of Refuge's total 2005 budget.
Budget projections estimate the city will collect only about $3,800.
* Council approved a five-year lease-purchase agreement at 3.37 percent with U.S. Bank as recommended by city staff to finance the computer software integration project approved by Council during a previous meeting.
Staff sought proposals for $270,000 over three, five and seven-year periods, and the city received proposals from seven local financial institutions, according to Lowes.
Finance Director Carroll Couch analyzed the city's cash flow position and recommended a five-year term. He also calculated amortization which shows $27,297 in interest will be paid on the financing.
* The city's Local Law Enforcement Block Grant money will go to purchase seven tasers and about 18 cartridges. The tasers cost approximately $850 each.
Capt. Jim Hailey said the tasers have proven to be very effective at safely apprehending suspects as well as reducing injury claims.
The federal funding comes from the U.S. Department of Justice annually without being routed through the state, as is usually the case, according Hailey. The the city is eligible for the annual grant due to its status as a Weed and Seed community.
The DPS Public Safety Advisory Board reviewed and approved the proposal.
* A resolution declaring the 57 air bottles from the DPS fire division's old self-contained breathing apparatus units as surplus equipment was approved.
Hailey said the bottles should go for about $100 each. "I think we'll get rid of all of them," he said, as other area fire departments have already expressed an interest.