Improvement possibilities, streets, topics of New Franklin City Council

Regular session of the New Franklin City Council was brief, but efficient, Monday, Nov. 13. After approval of minutes and authorization to pay bills, there was no old business and the council moved on to new business.
A brief comparison of the current budget was reviewed. Overall, the council seems pleased, however it was suggested that a “line by line” review be done at the six-month mark in January to ensure things are where they should be.
The cost of water to the city versus revenue received is in question. Plans have been made to review further.
With the street overlay completed, the council received the final bill. Because the center crown of the streets that received the overlay was done previously with a chip and seal, some of the anticipated prep work needed to be revisited. The estimated amount of product which needed to complete the overlay project was short and the final bill was not quite fifteen percent more than expected. The city has the funds to cover the difference.
The electronic communication boards in the former water plant which kept the plant, tower and well ‘talking’ to each other are no longer in use. It was suggested to the council to remove these, photograph, package and prepare for sale. The equipment may be worth as much as a couple of thousand dollars in the right situation.
Mowing season is more or less over, but the issue of grass clippings on city streets was brought to the attention of city officials. There is an ordinance against property owners leaving their grass clippings on the city streets. The council would like residents to keep this in mind when they mow.
Mayor Jerry Thornton met recently with Ed Siegmund, Director of the Mid Missouri Regional Planning Commission. They discussed funding opportunities for sidewalks leading to schools and business districts. There are also Community Development Block Grants available for storm water system upgrades. Recently, this was done for the City of Armstrong, which then lead to paving of Armstrong’s streets.
Mayor Thornton and Siegmund discussed ways to increase the city’s general operating fund and keep it in the black. Siegmund shared the only way to guarantee this is to increase property taxes.
Siegmund’s recommendation for any project a city undertakes, such as grants, etc., requires three things to be successful; to show a need; for community buy in; and to provide solid commitment.
New Franklin Chief of Police Mike Wise reported the police department responded to 240 calls over the past month. Among these there were two domestic violence investigations, four child abuse investigations, four bullying investigations and a cyber threat investigation. Cyber threats tend to target the elderly and those who tend to be very trusting. Criminals may disguise themselves as friends, relatives, or acquaintances and draw out personal information such as addresses, age, phone numbers, social security numbers and if potential victims live alone. Potential victims may receive phone calls or emails stating their friend or loved one may be in need of money, etc. In some instances another person associated with those collecting the information may come to the potential victim’s door stating they need gas money or money for their children’s gifts, food, appointments, etc. Area residents are reminded to be vigilant and only provide money to individuals and organizations well known to you.
The police have had their first report of mail theft for the holiday season. Chief Wise suggests for residents to diligently track their packages. With electronic communication what it is, residents can receive a message (email or text) as soon as their packages are delivered. For those that do not have electronic communication, Chief Wise suggests notifying your neighbors if you are expecting a delivery. Along this line of thought, Wise also reminds residents to be aware of people or vehicles that are ‘out-of-place’ for their neighborhood. Report suspicious individuals or vehicles to the police department.
A request was made to the council by city employees to place Christmas decorations while the weather is mild. The council agreed.
The next regular meeting of the New Franklin City Council will be Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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