SKIDMORE, Mo. — The Skidmore Board of Aldermen discussed how best to use a recent $5,000 grant from the Gary Taylor Charitable Trust designated specifically for Hillcrest Cemetery at its meeting last week.
City worker Cassie Partridge suggested that one possible use would be to buy a gas-powered blower or bag for the mower to use at the cemetery.
She explained that it would help keep the grass away from the gravestones, which she now has to walk twice to clean after each mowing.
Partridge told the board that it takes a full day to mow the cemetery and that might help reduce that time expenditure, especially since the two young men who were hired to help eat bad herbs have recently resigned.
Former Skidmore Mayor Robert Manning offered to eat weed as needed. Having suffered from health issues that forced him to step down as mayor, he joked that he had already died once and had no plans to do so again anytime soon.
Alderman Kim Fetterer reminded the group that the funds won’t last very long and suggested that some of the older damaged stones could perhaps be professionally repaired or cleaned.
Alderman Teresa Carter has suggested that some of the funds could be used to buy “signposts”, to help visitors find the graves of family members more easily. She noted that it might even make a good Eagle Scout project for any local scout looking for one.
Alderman Tim Slagle suggested City Clerk Meagan Morrow and Partridge could research and get with Mayor Jill Wieland, who has the ability to spend up to $500 without council’s prior approval for immediate needs.
Morrow and Partridge said they had found a gas-powered model for $250, but would take a more serious look at whether the council supports the idea.
“We need to help Cassie work smarter, not harder,” Carter said.
Water loss project and meter
Partridge told the council that a representative from Missouri Rural Water visited the city and was able to inform the city that it was losing three gallons of water per minute every day due to leaks, which totals about 137,000. gallons per month. However, after listening to the meters, he noted that the leaks did not appear to be in the pipes, but in the meters, which are the subject of a replacement project.
Fetterer asked for an update on the water meter project, which Partridge said could fix the problem.
Partridge explained that the project is still developing. The city is waiting for a service call for a radio hookup. Once they’re settled, she said the rep could come back to retest for water loss. He also suggested the city create a plan to replace water meters approximately every 10 years.
The rural water representative told him that if the city charged $1.50 more per meter for 10 years, it would bring in $150,000 to use to replace the meters.
“He opened one that he couldn’t believe was still in use,” Partridge said. “A cut on Monday that he could still hear water flowing.”
She said that once they had a list for pit repairs, she would start on that. She knows two pits that flood every time it rains.
“We’re going to do it,” Partridge told the board.
Council members discussed the possibility of closing the brush dump provided by the city.
“I don’t like that idea,” Slagle said. “I wish there was one open all the time.”
Concern for ruts at the current location prompted the council to consider moving the brush site further north, west of the ball field.
“You’re going to have to tell them how to go about it,” Alderman Marvin Sumy said.
Wieland suggested buying large signage to direct people to the space.
The council agreed that keeping it open helps the community and plans to move the location and will offer more information as the project continues.
- The Commission approved the payment of Partridge’s husband, Jason, for eight hours of work at the standard rate.
- Council members approved the end of the city’s non-payment policy. Carter said it would likely be easier for some Skidmore residents to pay their water bills this way. Morrow said she hadn’t processed enough money to worry him and he wasn’t staying in the building overnight anyway.
- The council was in favor of allowing the Punkin Show equipment to be stored on city property, but began a discussion to gather more information about the location and requirements.
- City Attorney Miles Figg told council he would contact Snyder & Associates to see if he could help the city purchase land to start its sewer project.
- Jonathan Eckstein of PeopleService Inc., told the council he thinks there needs to be more communication between the city before the sludge is removed. He said there should have been tests done on the sludge before it was removed. Fetterer said she was under the impression Bud’s sewer service, which was transporting the sludge, would have done the necessary testing. Council members were also under the impression that being carried by professionals, it did not need to be tested as it was not applied to the land.
- Board members discussed the need for all purchases made for the Skidmore Depot museum and museum-related businesses to receive prior approval from the city, which owns it.
- Community members spoke about several topics in the public comment portion of the meeting. Rana Killingsworth wondered if the community could get together and have a paint, roast hot dog event. Carter noted that the paint job would not necessarily match and the possible liability of a fall. “I see that side,” Fetterrer said.
- Partridge asked if Skidmore had a swimming pool. The council said this is something the city could consider with a future grant application.
- Two anonymous community members asked if their complaints had ever been investigated. One about sheep and old cars on a property and the other about a horse in town. The council told them that the horse’s owner had received an exception from the city and that they were still working on the previous complaint.
- The next board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 8 at Newton Hall.