Weston looking at annexing properties, including McCormick Distilling

WESTON, Mo. -- The City of Weston may be growing with potential voluntary annexations on the horizon. At an uneventful regular meeting May 11, the Weston Board of Aldermen scheduled a special meeting May 20 to discuss the new potential properties.McGinness and Shaw attorney Bob Shaw will meet with the board at 5:15 p.m. that night at Wesotn City Hall to discuss McCormick Distilling’s interest in joining the city along with other nearby property owners. The voluntary process includes the petition for annexation with a detailed legal description of the property. To be annexed, properties must be contiguous to the existing city limits, and the city must be able to provide basic services within an acceptable timeframe.

A public hearing is also required.

The board will also discuss options for funding construction of updates at the city’s sewer plant and lagoon. The city recently completed a lagoon facility study as part of the terms of its Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order issued last year after an investigation turned up some compliance issues at the facility.

There are options available to the city to update the plant, but sewer revenue bonds will be required to fund construction.

Weston city clerk Kim Kirby informed the board May 11 that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has encouraged the city to seek a bond authorization election at the soonest possible date. If so, the city would likely have the only item on a special election ballot, which would come with a hefty price tag of its own.

Not everything up for discussion at the special meeting is quite so serious.

The city also plans to discuss the annual Applefest, held each year on the first weekend in October. Weston Chamber of Commerce president Pat Egan said the chamber board hoped to slightly reconfigure street closures downtown to reduce foot traffic congestion. He also told the board the chamber plans to host an Independence Day celebration, complete with a parade on Main Street on July 4.

The board also heard from boy scout Hank Bartee, who is working on his Eagle Scout award. He plans to install an existing “Welcome to Weston” sign paid for by Preserve America Grant funds near Sharp’s Market off Highway 45. The current sign at 45 and Highway JJ was installed as an Eagle project as well, Kirby said, and the base and landscaping cost about $3,000.

Kirby said about $1,000 still exists in the Preserve America fund and the city’s tourism fund can cover the remainder, up to a project total of about $3,000.

Kirby also brought the board’s attention to what is likely a miscalculation in use tax income for last month.

The city recorded more than $121,000 in local use tax revenue, likely from the KCP&L substation/transmission line project now under construction. Kirby said she is checking with the Missouri Department of Revenue on the unexpected windfall, as similar incorrect tax payments were made to the city during the construction of the Iatan II unit several years ago.