July 10, 2003

City Council Rezones Property To Open Way For New Casey's Store

Casey's General Store may have a new look in the near future. Pete Robertson of Hinds Realty was present at the July 3 meeting of the Memphis City Council on behalf of the store to request a zoning change. Robertson informed the council that Casey's had bought the property directly to the north of the existing store and was planning to build a new facility on the property.

Robertson asked the council to rezone the property from residential for commercial to allow the project to proceed. The company has presented their building permit and drawings for the proposed new store for the council's consideration.

After considering the request the council voted 4-0 to make the requested change, re-zoning the property at 116 N. Clay to commercial.

In other business the council voted to solicit bids for a new two-year banking contract for the city's financial services.

Citizen Participation

Beverly Newman was joined by a group of adjoining neighbors present at the council meeting to present information regarding the property on Washington Street owned by Garry Briggs. The group presented photos of the property showing a bathtub full of water, broken windows, abandoned vehicles, tall weeds and other debris.

Newman told the council that she had signed a complaint against the property four years ago and indicated that she felt nothing had been done by the city to force the property owner to bring the property into compliance. The group asked the council to take action to have the property cleaned up.

Marshall Steve Snodgrass stated he would contact the health inspector and schedule an appointment to have the property reviewed.

In other citizen participation, Dave McKinney and Dorothy Wright were present at the meeting to ask the council to grant a variance on their building permit to square off their house and garage, which would be eight feet from the property line. City ordinance mandates all buildings be no closer than 10 feet to the property line.

Alderman Teresa Skinner suggested the council review the ordinance book and the guidelines pertaining to existing buildings prior to issuing a final decision on the request.

Ronnie and Lorna Robinson attended the council meeting to discuss this proposed building on their neighbors' property. The council indicated it would contact all the involved parties once the decision is reached.

Department Reports

Light Crew Superintendent Dave Kittle told the council the hospital project is progressing. He indicated the project to install power for a new mobile MRI unit should be completed by the middle of July.

Kittle also presented information regarding a mutual aid proposal from the Missouri Public Utility Alliance. The agreement brings power providers together in order to provide assistance to any members that experiences a disaster that requires additional manpower and equipment to return customers to service in a timely manner. The paperwork was turned over to city attorney David Peppard to review and present to the council at a later date.

Street Superintendent Roy Monroe reported the department is continuing to make progress on the storm drain project on east Madison Street.

Alderman Reports

Alderman Mike Stone applauded the efforts of the community to support the Relay for Life fundraiser in Memphis. He also asked about changing East Jefferson Street in front of the Regional Planning Office from a one-way street and opening it to two-way traffic. The council instructed Stone to do a survey of the property owners on the street to find out what they wanted.

Alderman Lucas Remley asked the city to donate the use of its endloader for the 2003 Scotland County Fair. He noted the county had loaned equipment for use in preparing the grounds for the fair. Superintendent Monroe stated he would contact the fair board about using the machinery.

Remley also asked the council to consider installing new siding on the fire station. The council asked the fire department to generate price estimates for the job and report back to the council.

Mayor's Report

Mayor Alexander stated Northeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission has received a $500,000 grant to aid local small businesses and further economic development.

He presented a request from Schelle Cooley to have the north side of the square closed during the evening of August 1 for a 150th anniversary celebration for the First Baptist Church of Memphis. The council approved the request.

The Mayor also noted that the Antique Fair Association is sponsoring rollerblading and skateboarding on the north side of the square every Wednesday evening.

Public Hearings

Marshall Snodgrass reported all properties that had been notified for nuisance issues had been mowed with the exception of the property at 377 S. Knott. The council voted to have the property mowed with the costs being attached to the owner's city taxes as a special charge.

Snodgrass indicated the property at 102 W. Missouri had been purchased by an adjoining landowner and is in the process of being cleaned up.

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