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City of Mansfield holds December monthly meeting

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The City of Mansfield held its City Council meeting on Dec. 8.

The following are submitted minutes from that meeting with some edits made due to length.

Information was submitted by City Clerk Nancy Conley.

City employees present at that meeting were Tim Stuart, Allen Pritchard, Robert Snokhous, Mike Carter and Nancy Conley.

Mayor Blake Miller  led the meeting.

Mayor Miller Mayor Miller invited public comments with a time limit of five minutes to address Council.

Justin Thurman spoke about an extraordinarily high water bill during a recent month with a vast difference from his highest prior usage. Allen Pritchard has met with Thurman and saw the water meter appears to be functioning correctly. Alderman Brazaitis also reviewed the area with Thurman and saw no evidence of ground saturation from a possible leak. Pritchard and Thurman discussed potentially sending the meter to be tested. To do so and with a functional meter, the owner of the utility account would be liable for the expense. Thurman opted to check an upcoming month(s) usage and saw the typical usage again. Alderman Neal recommended the issue be further addressed in General Comments whereby actions would be taken for the benefit of the owner and the City.

This session’s New Business Topic involved Officer K-9 Sunni. Chief Tim Stuart informed Council that the local Judge Lynette Veenstra, has made a decision to not have evidence submitted in her courts when that evidence was obtained with a marijuana certified K-9, to which Officer Sunni has that certification. Chief went on to explain all K-9’s in our vicinity are in the same predicament. Chief Stuart explained the crime statistics and how beneficial Officer Sunni has been to making our City safer while exuding great community support via assisting the school, to the extent of a great fund raiser to help purchase additional needs of vet care, leashes, and mandated items for her duties as an officer. He went on to say she is a young, vibrant and ready-to-work canine to which it would simply not be right to retire her from service, even though funds were available from a private source. He detailed his reaching out to Sunni’s Trainer with the situation and mentioned there would be potential buyers (i.e., school systems in Arkansas), whereby Sunni would continue her duties. It’s estimated in the $6,000 range to do this. Stuart stated he strongly recommends the purchase of a non-marijuana certified K-9 since the City has seen a tremendously beneficial impact to the community, plus the City and Citizens have invested heavily in the equipment and special vehicle retrofitting for a K-9 Officer. Chief stated the trainer does have such a K-9 Officer readily available at the $9,000 price range. Alderman Neal made motion with a second by Alderman Delcour to rehome Officer Sunni and to purchase the new K-9 Officer, with price points of $6,000 to rehome and $9,000 for purchase. All voted yes. While on this very difficult topic, Alderman Delcour asked to address Corporal Robert Snokhouse. Snokhouse came to the podium and Delcour met him there while thanking him for his dedication for the continued training and going above and beyond standards for K-9 Officer Care. Ashley Snokhouse, Corporal’s wife was also acknowledged for her tremendous assistance in the care and devotion she has exuded. Applause by all was made.

The section of the meeting was Old Business. Jacob Dean of Great River Engineering detailed the seven areas of his flowchart, of which said chart is attached to these minutes. The 1st issue was continued DNR testing procedures to satisfy requirements and excel in State Mandated Regulations for testing and recording those tests. Second issue relates back to the first for a manual of Standard Operating Procedures to be completed by next month, which will tie in to DNR’s mandates.

For the computerized mapping of all City water and power with streets and properties is nearly completed and being fine tuned to Diamond Maps for the City to use for any and all Public Works Projects. This third item was presented to Employee Mike Carter just prior to this evening’s meeting.

The fourth area involves the denial of ARPA funds for Sewer Line work. Jacob mentioned there are avenues to investigate with assistance from the State Revolving Funds, which works along side DNR. His preliminary findings are finding the worst case to be a 50-50 match, but the Missouri Wastewater Review Committee may have additional fundings. He went on to add the outflow in areas near the treatment plant must be addressed no later than the end of calendar 2025, but the City may have fundings that could be planned for in 2023 with planning in 2024 thereby completion of that deadline. He also made aware that City is out of bonding capacity, which does require a vote. The earliest this could be placed on a ballot would be November 2023 in that election certification for April 2023 is next month.

His next topic was the Stormwater Improvements to 10 sites throughout the City. This fifth Project is preparing for bidding in January.

(Read the rest of this article in the Jan. 11, 2023 issue of the Wright County Journal)

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