SIKESTON - Making Center Street a one-way road could be a good thing, according to some.
A public meeting to discuss the idea was held during the regular City Council meeting Monday.
The proposal to change Center to a one-way street between Stoddard and Kingshighway, the same streets that bound the westward one-way section on Front Street, was first proposed by the Historic Midtown Development Group as a way to stimulate economic activity.
After discussing the idea, the city's traffic committee made a formal recommendation to the Council that this not happen, City Manager Doug Friend said. As a result, council members have not formally discussed the notion, Mayor Mike Marshall said.
Marshall also said those who were upset by the idea should get more involved as downtown merchants are just trying to revitalize their area.
Bill Pickett, a former merchant in the downtown area, spoke in favor of the idea. "The original idea has been distorted," he said. "The idea is to have angled parking - nobody likes parallel parking."
Transforming Center Street into a one-way street would not be expensive or cause traffic jams, Pickett said. It would simply make downtown travel more friendly to the consumer.
"We're trying to do something for the customer," he said. "Anything we can do to help the customer flow downtown, we should do."
Pickett added that in order for a city to move forward, you have to be aggressive.
In closing the hearing, Marshall said that the issue deserves serious discussion.
In items during Monday's meeting:
* Council members accepted the bid of $33,776 from Bestech Env./FC Industries of Kansas City, Mo., for an incinerator.
The incinerator, which features a 550-pound capacity, will allow animal shelter personnel to dispose of animals that have been euthanized for various reasons. As the shelter presently pays a private party $450 per incineration, estimated savings should run between $5,400 and $9,000 per year.
"I think it will be a win-win situation for both of us," said Friend.
The city manager said he expects delivery and installation to be completed by the end of fall. "There will be training involved," he said.
Sikeston Area Humane Society board members advised they have an average of about 60 dogs and 40 cats at the shelter, although numbers vary by season.
The board members suggested they may even make some money by doing private burns and could possible be able to service the Department of Public Safety with contraband burns.
* Council members accepted the sole bid of $36,155 from Banner Fire and Equipment Company for a portable fill station and compressor for the fire division's self-contained breathing apparatus equipment.
DPS Director Drew Juden said with the purchase of a trailer, the total cost should be just over $40,000. The fire division was awarded a federal grant of $40,000 for the purchase after originally requesting $90,000.
The system will enable DPS to fill both high and low pressure tanks. "We'll have the only one in the region," Juden said.
The equipment will enable DPS to provide officers with a continual supply of air at major fires and can also be used by the Hazardous Materials team when operating for extended times in the fully-encapsulating suits.
* Recalling how Councilman Jerry Pullen has asked about getting a stoplight on Route 61 at HH and ZZ at the end of regular City Council meetings for several years, Marshall said he was pleased to announce the groundbreaking ceremony for the signal scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today.
Pullen was unable to attend the meeting Monday, "so if you see Jerry, tell him his determination has paid off," Marshall said.
* Council members approved replacing the yield signs on Moore Street at Wallace with stop signs as recommended by the traffic committee.
"I think this is the third request residents have made in about a year and a half," said Friend.
* The Delta Center in Portageville will hold a program in the fall to advise residents on how to keep flocks of starlings from roosting in the city, according to Friend.
"Also we asked to be a pilot community for any and all experimental things they're doing," he added.
* After approving a request to rezone the areas from AG to R1, council members approved the South Ridge Estates 11th Addition and 12th Addition subdivisions as requested by Four Corners Development.
The additions consist of a 4.96-acre tract of land and a 4.39-acre tract of land which are both on the south end of Sikeston south of Col. George E. Day Parkway and west of R.S. Matthews Park.
The additions will consist of two cul-de-sacs, one with nine lots and the other with 10.
Council members also approved the subdivision request from Sikeston Acquisitions to subdivide a 7.62-acre tract of land of the Sikeston Acquisitions Addition at the northwest corner of Main and Malone for a bank next to the Walgreens.
* Ward 4 Councilman Michael Harris' request for a leave of absence was approved.
The leave was necessary because the City Charter states a council member who fails to attend three consecutive regular meetings of the Council without being excused shall forfeit the office.
Harris' Army National Guard unit was activated.
* Council members accepted the donation of eight acres to the city from DeWitt Company.
The land is located between North West Street and Compress Road behind Riggs Wholesale Company.
* The bid award for the purchase and installation of surveillance cameras for DPS was tabled to the June 15 meeting to allow more time for bids to be reviewed.
* Ordinances establishing the budget and staffing and compensation levels for fiscal year 2006, which will run from July 1 through June 30, 2006, were read for the first time following public hearings.
Second readings and action on the items are slated for a special City Council meeting scheduled for noon June 15.
* A bill which will authorize the sale of three feet of Lot 7 of Anderson's Addition Lot No. 30 to Robyn Brashear for $200 was read for the first time.
This will resolve a property line dispute for Fire Station No. 2, according to Friend. A second reading and action on this bill are scheduled for the next regular meeting, he said.