SIKESTON - While the city is dedicated to cleaning up its housing, it won't mean bailouts for slumlords as has been suggested.
"That's not our intentions, however it's a very complicated situation," said Mayor Mike Marshall during Monday's regular City Council meeting.
There are cases in which owners do not have the money to restore their homes, Marshall said, but the city will pursue those who do have the means.
"We're not going to bail out the slumlords," Marshall said. "I assure you the LCRA and the city are not interested in welfare for slumlords."
Responding to those who have voiced an interest seeing the old First Baptist Church restored, Councilman Jim Terrell said he, too, would like to see it fixed up but doesn't believe it is feasible.
In other city business during Monday's meeting:
* The DPS Advisory and Appeals Board is now simply the DPS Advisory Board.
The Board was developed in the 1970s to recommend administrative and legislative actions and never had any power to hear or act upon issues related to the hiring, firing or discipline of DPS officers, according to Friend, so it is really a "clean up bill."
The Board will continue to recommend programs to enhance public cooperation with and acceptance of the DPS. Additionally, the Board may also hear citizen suggestions, complaints and criticisms of the DPS's conduct and communicate with the city manager and Council.
The bill also repeals the section in city code that provided for a public safety reserve unit, which has been inactive for 15 years with no plans to revive it.
* Marshall announced the city will form a committee to screen applications for the position of director of economic development.
The position should be filled by around April 1, Marshall said.
Council members named Tim Merideth, Charlotte York, Keith Kirk, Steve Sikes, Steve McPheeters and Harvey Cooper as their picks. Councilman Michael Harris said he would name either Matt Marshall or Lisa Lane after contacting them.
The former director, Bill Green, is pursuing private business interests, according to Marshall.
* A rezoning request from Scott Matthews of Four Corners Development to rezone a 7.68-acre tract of land on the south end of Sikeston known as South Ridge Estates 9th Addition from agricultural to single family residential was approved along with the associated subdivision request.
Tom Bridger, public works director, said the subdivision will create six 1.25-acre lots for single-family homes with a minimum of 2,500 square feet on the east side of South Ingram Road near the junction with the Col. George E. Day Parkway.
* A bill amending the FY-04 Budget Ordinance was approved with the addition of a total of $70,643 in appropriations.
An interest payment of $31,338 on the Moore Property from the Capital Improvement Sales Tax Fund was added. The property is an addition to the industrial park, according to city officials.
Amendments to the general fund totaling $39,305 include: the restoration of the Sikeston Area Humane Society funding totaling $14,400; $16,150 in funding for the newly-created position of community redevelopment coordinator; and $8,755 in funding for a secretary-receptionist position.
An associated bill which amends the FY-04 Staffing and Compensation Ordinance to restore the position of secretary-receptionist that was deleted as part of cost reduction efforts undertaken in June 2003 and creates the position of community redevelopment coordinator within the Department of Public Works, Code Enforcement Division, was also approved.
* Council members are looking for a Sikeston resident interested in serving as the city's representative on the Scott County University of Missouri Extension Council.
State statutes mandate communities with a population of 10,000 or more shall have an appointed member on the county University Extension Council, according to city staff.
Having completed two full terms, the present appointee, Mark Hensley, is no longer eligible. His term ended Feb. 28. While the appointment was featured in the city's newsletter, no applicants have come forward.
The two-year term began Monday.
The Extension Council is a 14-member board that evaluates educational needs in Scott County and submits recommendations for University Outreach programming. It meets at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the University of Missouri Outreach Office in Benton in the winter, and at 8 p.m. in the summer.
* The city's Parks Division is accepting bids for the mowing season.
The bid includes services for the city's 12 parks, right-of-ways, retention basins, medians and city cemetery, according to Jiggs Moore, parks director.
Bids are due at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.