Skatepark design agreement approved by city aldermen

Dave Marner

Owensville aldermen on June 18 approved an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into a “scope of work” agreement for a Tempe, Ariz., skatepark designer to  develop a facility for Memorial Park.

Aldermen unanimously approved Ordinance No. 1265 to pay Pillar Design Studios, LLC., up to $5,000 for their work which will include development of two conceptual skatepark designs. From those two designs, one will be selected for final development.

“Yes,” exclaimed Kyla Walters, a rural Owensville “skater mom” who is spearheading the project, after the 4-0 roll call vote was taken to approve the ordinance. “Now we are ready to start raising some money.”

Walters had approached the Owensville Park Board about helping develop a skate park earlier this year. The Park Board agreed to designate a location in Memorial Park for the facility if she was willing, as she had offered, to raise funds for its construction.

She then approached Owensville’s Board of Aldermen to see if there was support from elected officials. She obtained a $10,000 commitment in the form of a “seed money” contribution from the city .

Nathan Schauf, the city’s administrator, introduced the ordinance being considered for approval reminding aldermen the agreement was “equal or less than $5,000 as the first portion of the city seed money” being pledged for the project. 

City funds committed for veteran’s memorial park

Aldermen also firmed up another $10,000 commitment for providing “seed money” for a local veterans memorial project proposed earlier this year by a former mayor, E. Louise Baker. Schauf told aldermen that when the issue was being reviewed, no formal motion had been made to help fund the project.

The group promoting the memorial is currently seeking donations for pavers and benches to help fund the project to be located behind First State Community Bank along West Jefferson Avenue near the Fourth Street intersection.

“The wheels are turning and things are moving fast,” said Schauf.

Bobbi Limberg, the city’s clerk, reminded the board that some of the possible contributions the city could make with their pledge of $10,000 were “in-kind services” such as sidewalks or watering hydrants as needed.

Cathy Lahmeyer made a motion to contribute a maximum of $10,000 in “actual or in-kind” funding for the project. Kevin McFadden offered the second and it was approved on 4-0 vote.

OATS, Inc., agreement extended

Aldermen also extended for another year a cooperative agreement to provide city staff to be the “administrator of co-sponsored funds” from Hermann Area District Hospital and other grant sources which help fund the local ride service, OATS, Inc.

Schauf reminded board members the city has handled these services on an “in-kind basis” since 2007 and the agreement is renewable annually in June. HADH provides a third of the fund and grants from Walmart and Three Rivers Electric Cooperative are also used to support the bus service. According to the agreement, the Missouri Department of Transportation also helps fund up to 50 percent of the costs under obligations of public transportation covered in Section 5311.

Approval of Ordinance No. 1264 was unanimous.

Thermal imaging cameras bid awarded

Aldermen also awarded a $12,705.75 bid from Alex Air Apparatus for three thermal imaging cameras sought by the Owensville Fire Department. The firm is based in Minnesota and edged out two Missouri firms which submitted bids.

Schuhmacher Fire Equipment, Washington, Mo., bid three units at a total cost of $13,497. The Wentzville, Mo., firm Lee Ellebracht, LLC., submitted three separate quotes of $17,487, $22,287, and $26,397.

Station No. 3 Capt. Martin Schlottach attended the meeting and told aldermen two of the units would be used in the two stations in Owensville and one would be assigned to Station No. 2 in Mt. Sterling.

“This will be a huge upgrade for them at Mt. Sterling,” said Schlottach.

Jeff Kuhne, the city’s public works director, said two of the units the all-volunteer department has been using were donated in the early 2000s by local citizens and businesses. Another was obtained from another department which had been placed into surplus as that service upgraded their equipment.

Funding for the purchase will be split between the 2017-18 fiscal year which ends June 30 and the new budget which begins July 1.

Schlottach reported the department has already responded to 23 calls for building fires in 2018 and 152 incidents overall. “We’ve been pretty busy,” Schlottach said.

Among there calls for emergency response were 16 motor vehicle crashes with injury and 15 non-injury incidents.