The residents of Dearborn will see a slight reduction in taxes next year after the board of aldermen approved a decrease in the levy during a special meeting held on Monday, Aug. 26.
The next tax levy will be .4776 cents per $100 in evaluation, a drop from .4806.
Earlier in August, the board approved a few items during its regular meeting.
Dearborn became the latest town to transfer municipal court from the city to the county level.
The move, officially, is still three to six months away, according to city attorney Dan Fowler. There are only a few outliers that haven’t made this move, he said, as Platte City, Edgerton and Weston have all eliminated city court.
Judge Tom Fincham will oversee the Dearborn-related offenses. The city will still receive the fine funds, just not the court costs, Fowler said.
TALKING SNOW IN AUGUST
Alderwoman Breanna Cheadle brought up snow removal and a snow ordinance, which turned into a nearly 30-minute discussion in the 1 ½ hour meeting.
There was a lot of back and forth on which side of the street people could park, or if they would even be allowed to park on the street in the case of snow, a common theme this past winter.
Mayor Jamie Morey said there needs to be some sort of ordinance and Cheadle said communication with the residents is key. He added though not every house in Dearborn has an option to park in a driveway and some roads have on-street parking only.
There were questions raised about whether landlords or renters would be notified of snow alerts. Other discussions were about mass text alerts and who can send those and from where.
“It is hard to get the word out, but it isn’t impossible,” said resident Nigel Adkins, who suggested the city use the video board at the Bob Bryan Community Center.
Public works employee Alex Ball said if people park on one side of the street, he could clear that side and have them park on the opposite the next day to make sure a road is clear. He recalled instances where he knocked on doors asking residents to move cars, but stated many were ‘too busy’ or ‘they don’t want to come out’ to move cars.
Another option brought up is towing cars if they don’t move, similar to a practice in St. Joseph after an a snow emergency notice.
“Change in this town is hard,” Morey said in talking about a possible snow ordinance. “It would take a couple of years.”
Cheadle said her suggestion was not the snow removal, rather who determines what roads would get cleared or how the word would get out.
The board approved an acts of excellence recognition, where residents can fill out a form at city hall or the city website about good interactions with city employees.
Cheadle also guided that measure.
She also brought up other personnel items that include more human resources oversight and employee reviews, which are currently not a practice.
“I can’t believe that is not already in place,” alderman Steve Wilson said.
A rare happening occurred when Morey was forced to vote to break a tie.
A motion was made by Cheadle to renew the rental of eight acres of land to Farmland for $880. The motion failed after Morey’s tie-breaking vote.
The city has until the end of October to seek alternate uses for the land located near the holding tanks on the west end of town.
The land doesn’t have much tangible use right now, Ball said. Cross country runners from North Platte have practiced there but the land has been held back for use as a lagoon when the city expands its sewer system.
One idea pitched was to use it as a place to dump brush piles.
NEWS AND NOTES
A $200 clothing allowance was approved for public works after multiple water breaks this summer led workers spending hours in mud and water. Without a city uniform provided, alderman Cory Hott thought the workers should be able to replace clothes ruined while at work. The worker must provide receipts to get the money back.
Each alderman was tasked with what they would like to see in a new city hall and discuss it at the September board meeting.
Open burning of yard waste was approved, but subject to certain conditions.
A sink hole on 4th Street keeps causing issues and the board approved up to $20,000 to stop the cave ins, including digging down and filling it and adding four inches of asphalt on top of it.
A lengthy discussion was held about signs posted on the roadway and MoDOT right of ways. The city hasn’t hung the Purple Heart City sign that was received in May.
Board members brought up speeding to the Platte County Sheriff’s Office deputy at the meeting, but were told deputies can’t be ordered to write tickets but could patrol and each stop’s outcome is at the deputy’s discretion.
The city got a $602.77 refund from CenturyLink after the company overcharged the city for megabytes compared to what was promised by the company for Internet service.