SIKESTON - Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden has proposed an ordinance which would enable officials to declare emergency curfews for situations in which unruly crowds refuse to disperse.
Juden presented the idea to the Sikeston City Council during their special meeting Monday morning.
The ordinance is being proposed to help DPS deal with situations like one earlier this year in which a DPS officer was pelted with bottles and chunks of concrete by members of a large crowd while attempting to break up an altercation. With such an ordinance in place, "we could basically order everybody off the streets at that time," Juden said.
Unlike curfews declared for natural disasters, these curfews would be short-
term events, "anywhere from 30 minutes to eight hours," Juden said. The curfews would also be smaller in size, "just to deal with that particular area that the unlawfulness is taking place in," he said.
In other business Monday:
* City Council once again reduced property tax rates 21 percent from the state auditor's ceiling for the 2004-2005 fiscal year following a public hearing.
The property tax rate reduction was promised by Council members in exchange for voters approving the 1-cent sales tax for general revenue.
"The state auditor's ceiling was .8748 cents per $100 assessed value, and the city's rate is .6911," said City Clerk Carroll Couch.
Even though the rate is the same as last year, those who have purchased a new home or vehicle may see an increase in their property taxes due to the increase in the their assessed valuation.
* The city will hold a surplus auction Oct. 8 at the Public Works Complex at 316 North West Street.
An auction is held by the city every two or three years to dispose of unclaimed property recovered by Public Safety such as bicycles, scooters and cameras as well as equipment no longer used by the city such as motor road graders, salt spreaders, a tire changer and a key machine.
Gates for the auction will open at 9 a.m. for viewing and bid registration. The auction starts at 10 a.m.
A complete listing of the items to be offered will be published in the Standard Democrat about a week before the auction.
* Further research is needed on a proposed amendment to city codes to require sprinkler systems in residential care facilities.
According to reports from DPS, there are three residential care facilities with no sprinkler systems and 10 daycare facilities that provide overnight care. Officials said some of the daycare facilities may just have a single child, however, and will research them further.
Additionally, officials have found the cost of retrofitting a building with a sprinkler system is currently $4 to $5 per square foot. Due to financial considerations, DPS officials asked for guidelines for the gradual phasing in of sprinkler system requirements within residential care facilities.
* Presley Sales and Service was awarded the contract to provide and install electric heat with air handlers at City Hall for $32,133. Presley was the sole bidder for the project.
* Juden was authorized to purchase three patrol cars for a total cost of $70,501.
The cars were purchased under an existing bid from Sikeston Motor Company to avoid an anticipated cost increase of 5 to 6 percent.
* The city's ethics code was re-adopted as an emergency ordinance following the bill's second reading as state law requires the code to be in effect by Sept. 1.
* Robert Byrd, wildlife specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is scheduled to be at the next regular City Council meeting Sept. 6 to discuss blackbird control measures.
"City staff has been working for Mr. Byrd for over 18 months on a blackbird control program," said Linda Lowes, director of governmental services.
City officials would like Byrd to hold informational seminars for property owners and discuss bird eradication which consists of baiting or other measures.
* Buck Smith expressed concerns about the condition of local cemeteries.
City Counselor Chuck Leible said he has checked into it and reported on action the state is taking with the cemetery owners.
* Property with tall grass and weeds on Ables Road that has led to citizen complaints is actually located in Miner.
Officials from the two cities are discussing the problem, according to City Manager Doug Friend.
* There are 33 board and commission positions to fill during the Sept. 6 meeting.
The city is accepting applications for the positions until Wednesday.
* DAEOC is requesting a five-year renewal on their contract for the Homeless Shelter.
Council is slated to take action on this Sept. 6.
* DPS is once again fully staffed, according to Juden. He introduced to Council members personnel who have joined the department since January including a dispatcher, firefighters, public safety officers and an administrative assistant.
* The first reading were conducted for a bill which would establish traffic control measures at Plaza, Dudley and Kennedy; and Willow Way, Tulip Trace and Col. George E. Day Parkway, and the first reading for a bill authorizing the sale of a small piece of surplus real estate located on South Kingshighway for $750.