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The March 13, 2023, the City of Prescott council meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Councilman Rolland Grigsby was on vacation and did not come to council.

Karen Springer gave the Reach Out Food Pantry report. They continue to help many people and are grateful for all the help they get from volunteers and donations. This past month a donation of 757 pounds of personal hygiene and household products from Value Merchandise was, as usual, truly appreciated; a further 200 pounds of food came from the Jake Prettyman family and Dan Rice, the fireman from Overland Park, who actually lives in Missouri, dropped off 80 pounds of bread. This is also truly appreciated because the warehouse that a volunteer for the pantry used to collect bread from, has moved too far away for a pick-up from them to be feasible any longer.

When Mayor Kevin Wood commented on the lack of a chili cook-off as a fund raiser, Springer was sympathetic, but pointed out that it was a lot of work and all the board members are getting older. She added that as long as they have the funds they won’t need it. She mentioned one of the ways the pantry can keep helping people is from the $2,000 grant from Heartland Rural Electric “round up” program they agreed to give the pantry last year.

City Attorney Burton Harding started the discussion on old business by saying he has letters in the mail for a summons to court on Tuesday, the 25th of April for two “dogs at large” issues and one “trashy property” issue.

Only one other old issue was mentioned. The five year rental contract for the old city hall will be over at the end of April and a new agreement can be considered for May.

In new business, Angel Rice from Truly Insurance (representing EMC Insurance) came. She was most apologetic that because of the rise in property values, the insurance premium for the city will need to be raised by about $6,000. She had a couple suggestions for trying to keep the premium rise down by taking some buildings off the insurance altogether. Council member Fritz Norbury suggested that perhaps liability insurance could be kept, but take off the ‘replace the building in case of disaster’ costs. This led to a lively discussion of the pros and cons of having insurance of different kinds and what would happen if either the library or city hall burned down since they are both on the national registry of historical buildings and both irreplaceable. Since a decision really had to be made before the beginning of next week, Council member Ron Roberts said that $6,000 would not bankrupt the city, but if a fire really did cause a lot of damage, the cost of repairs would be far more than that amount, so he made the motion to accept and pay the rate increase for the coming year. Norbury seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

City Clerk Kathy Wood brought up the annual need to continue giving Council Member Rolland Grigsby permission to continue on as one of three directors with the KMEA (electrical company) with the authority to go to meetings and vote. He is a permanent director, with Mayor Wood as the third person. A motion was made and passed unanimously that Grigsby be given this ability.

Next, Clerk Wood reminded council members Grigsby, Norbury and Zach Gillis that they need to pick up paperwork from Mound City and fill out their election papers.

Then, Clerk Wood mentioned Memorial Day is coming up soon and a decision needs to be made about whom to honor this year. Mayor Wood suggested this get done next month, after he has an opportunity to look for the list of possible veterans that was put together in the past.

Clerk Wood also said she has contacted the trash people about coming for the citywide clean up between April 22-30 so if an item is not sold during the citywide garage sale on April 29, the owner has the option of throwing it out.

She has contacted the band about playing for Coal Centre Day, but not heard back from them, and the city is still waiting for the installation of the new water meters and the final connection of the new computer that will receive their input.

Harding wanted a quick look at the city’s dog ordinance. He said it looked pretty comprehensive, but said that possibly the council might want to raise the fines and rates to get dogs out of the pound. He really hopes the current problems are all resolved in the month of April.

Mayor Wood reported Todd Mead would like some new water meter re-setters. He figures he may need six to 10 of them because for some of them in town the ‘shut off ‘ function doesn’t really shut off. A leak when you thought the water had been turned off so work can be done is a distinct problem. They will be about $250 each. A motion was made and passed unanimously to start with the purchase of six of them.

Clerk Wood said that the brand new boiler, still under warranty, keeps breaking down so the city has to pay the hourly wage to get it going again.

Then the meeting was adjourned.

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