Council discusses COVID vaccines, trash contracts

Angie Talken
Linn County Leader

The Marceline City Council held its regular monthly meeting the night of Jan. 19 and discussed changing the personnel residency requirements, possibly refinancing the city’s GO Bond and honored former Fire Chief Larry Ervie with a moment of silence.

The meeting began with Councilmen and Fire Chief Jeri Holt asking for a moment of silence for former Fire Chief Ervie who died Jan. 9. Ervie joined the fire dept in 1974, was promoted to chief in 1988 and retired in 2006.

The council discussed COVID vaccines for city employees. Krumpelman said that most city employees are considered essential workers according to a list issued by Gov. Mike Parson. Parson listed law enforcement, firefighters, and first responders and government operations employees, among others as essential workers.

City Manager Richard Hoon and several council members stated they did not want to enforce vaccines for employees.

“Unless we are directed to mandate vaccines I do not feel like we can or should require employees to get the vaccine,” Hoon said.

The council agreed to wait to make a decision about the vaccine until after a Jan. 29 meeting of MIRMA (Missouri Municipal Trust) before making a decision.  Krumpelman, who also serves as a voting member of MIRMA, on behalf of the city, was told by the council to vote “no” on mandating vaccines, should she have to vote.

As of Monday night’s meeting, Krumpelman said her response to any employees asking about the vaccine would be, “Currently, it is voluntary (the vaccine) and we are still waiting to hear from MIRMA, but that is subject to change.”

Councilman Tyson Bryamer noted that if the city should decide to give an incentive to employees to get the vaccine, he would support that. However, the council did not discuss an incentive.

Councilman Gary Carlson said he would encourage everyone to get the vaccine; and Councilman Holt said he would not support a mandate from the city for vaccines. Councilwoman Lacey Meissen was not in attendance at the meeting.

After a discussion, the council has decided on the terms for which they are asking for bids for trash and recycling services within the city. The council will be seeking ids for trash service with both three and five-year contracts, with and without recycling and with twice a year, monthly or weekly bulk trash pick-up.

Following the meeting, Krumpleman described what would happen if the city chose to refinance a GO Bond, which is the general obligation bond approved by voters in 2016 and will be paid off in 2031.

“If the bonds are refinanced for savings, that savings would be passed onto the taxpayers in the form of a lower tax rate as the payments would be expected to be lower,” Krumpelman said. A current bid for refinancing could save the city as much as $69,000.

The council also agreed to move forward with drafting changes to the residential requirements for city employees.

Currently, most city employees must live within the Marceline School District limits, however, the council would like to change the requirements to a certain radius, yet to be determined, from the city limits. The city manager and police chief are the only two employees required to live in the city limits.

During department reports, Pool Manager Gary Birdsong announced that during the city pool’s one-hour lap swims Monday-Saturday the public is now allowed to come and walk the perimeter of the pool for $2. Anyone participating is asked to bring a separate pair of shoes that have not been worn outside to avoid getting the pool deck dirty.

Police Chief Bob Donelsonannounced that during the drive-up version of Christmas 4 Kids nearly 400 to-go meals and 230 gift bags were distributed.

Street Department Superintendent Ed Ewigman noted that he had been working with City Clerk Lindsay Krumpelman looking into a co-op program called Source Well that would make the process of going out for bids for some larger pieces of equipment easier and save the city money.

During their research, Ewigman noted that the city could save up to 6% of the cost or $2,500 of a mini-excavator that needs to be purchased.

SourceWell, according to Krumpleman allows co-op purchases for non-profits, school districts and governmental entities, and is beneficial for many of these groups especially when there may not be local vendors available, especially on pieces of large equipment.

Vendors send prepared bids to the company, who then gathers them depending on the group’s needs. There is no cost to the city for this service. At the February meeting, the council plans to make a decision on whether to enter into an agreement with the group.

Krumpelman announced four people had placed their names on the April 6 ballot for two seats on the council. Those filing include incumbent Sallie Buck, Perry Wiggins, Tracy Carlson and Jeffrey Gulley.