SIKESTON -- Sikeston has raised its prices for providing fire protection services for the Sikeston Fire Protection District.
During the regular Sikeston City Council meeting Monday, council members approved changes to the contract as recommended by Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden.
The base price for the first 90 minutes was increased from $350 to $770; the hourly rate charged after the first 90 minutes was increased from $90 to $300; and the district is to provide a thermal imaging camera that will be used primarily for fires within the district.
The price increases are essential to cover increased costs for fuel, equipment repairs and personnel, according to city staff, while the thermal imaging camera has become a basic tool for fire service as its use makes fighting the fire less risky.
The city has maintained an agreement with the Sikeston Fire Protection District by which the city provides fire suppression, rescue, hazardous material response and dispatch services for the district with the Sikeston DPS being the primary responder to all structure fires with the district.
In return, the city offsets costs of providing the services by billing the fire protection district.
The contract is self-renewing unless there is a change.
The district includes areas just outside of the city limits on all sides of the city.
In other business during Monday's meeting:
* A decision on the request from Councilman Michael Harris to change Washington Street to a one-way street from Alabama to Westgate by Roberta Rowe Park was tabled for further study.
Steve Lee, street superintendent, said he spoke with citizens who use the park, live in the immediate area and an individual that is involved in the preparation of the Return to Sunset event and that Traffic Committee member Larry Tetley spoke with residents on Washington Street but neither found anyone in favor of the change.
Harris said "some measures need to be placed" as cars drive too fast there and are creating a hazard for children. The street is also known to experience occasional congestion.
"I think it needs to be one way; the families I spoke to think it needs to be one way," Harris said.
"Changing it to one way will not help the speeding problem," Juden said. He suggested further study as there could be "other options that may solve all the problems."
* The Council approved the sale of a 10-acre tract of land at the Sikeston Business, Education and Technology Park to Construction Trailer Specialists Inc. for $60,000.
The sale will be closed sometime in July after the end of CTS's fiscal year, according to Chuck Leible, city counselor.
The land is located immediately south of CTS's present location, according to Leible. The company has already purchased an additional 10 acres immediately to the north.
* A declaration of closed records was approved by council members.
With this declaration, any city record that can be closed, is closed, Leible explained.
Leible said due to a recent court ruling, governmental records are not automatically closed under the Sunshine Law and therefore must be specifically closed by an ordinance or resolution by the governing body.
* Council members approved a resolution of support for New Madrid County unity and authorized Mayor Mike Marshall to sign a joint resolution in support of all mayors in New Madrid County working together as a united group to improve the condition of New Madrid County for its citizens and communities.
* The low bid from Tan-ASC of Cape Girardeau of $19,632 for new e-mail server hardware and software was approved.
* Juden presented maps illustrating how a 2,000 foot "buffer zone" for drug distribution around all schools -- public, private and day cares -- would cover nearly the entire city.
* Councilman Jerry Pullen said constituents in his ward in the Tanglewood subdivision may be interested in paying to have open ditches in their neighborhood covered.
City Manager Doug Friend agreed to provide cost estimated based on lot size.