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Sturgeon hires new police officer

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at 12:15 pm

At least 20 people attended Sturgeon’s board of alderman meeting.

We’ve got a good crowd and a good agenda, Steve Crosswhite, Sturgeon mayor said by way of breaking the ice. Among topics dealt with were property taxes, negotiations on a new subdivision and the city’s new police officer.

Thomas Crawford

He started with a tax hearing. “Overall we’ve enjoyed over $1million assessed value increase since 2021.” Crosswhite said the city’s total assessed value has gone from $10,041,761 to 10,818,699.

The aldermen unanimously voted to increase the city’s property tax levy per $100 assessed valuation to .5336, an increase of .0175 Crosswhite said. “Our numbers are looking pretty good as far as growth is concerned.”

Next up was an ordinance setting pay for Sturgeon police officers, which the city now has. It passed unanimously and Thomas Crawford, the city’s new police officer, introduced himself to the audience. His first day on duty will be Tuesday, September 6.

They dealt with vacating right of ways, streets and alleys for a potential new development on Sturgeon’s west side. City Attorney Jackie Rodgers recommended they not pass the ordinance and instead try to work with the principals of the Bailey subdivision. “If things cannot work out, you could pass this on a later day,” Rodgers said.

Bailey’s attorney Daniel Simon said he agreed with Rodgers’ summation.

Mike Jacoby chairman of Sturgeon’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended re-platting everything and starting over, “I would be willing to wait another month and see if it works out for the best for the city and everybody else.”

Zane Arends, representing the City Infrastructure Committee agreed. “I don’t know what the attorneys have talked about, without that, we can’t make a decision, so I agree with waiting a month.

Simon said he understood there “would be back and forth,” before the developers and the city came to an agreement.

The motion to read the ordinance died without a second.

They also dealt with an ordinance dealing with vacating an alley off Hicks Street, adjacent to the Carmichaels’ property.

Jacoby said P&Z recommended that alley be closed. The aldermen agreed and passed it unanimously.

Next up was an ordinance setting pay for Sturgeon police officers, which the city now has. It passed unanimously and Thomas Crawford, the new officer, introduced himself to the audience. His first day on duty will be Tuesday, September 6.

District 44 Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch delivered seven flags, six US and one Missouri, to the aldermen as well as documents to Crosswhite and several aldermen regarding unclaimed state funds in their names.

Connie Leipard, candidate for presiding Boone County commissioner also spoke, introducing herself to the aldermen and audience. She said she was running “to serve the citizens of Boone County… it is the duty of the presiding commissioner to make sure towns such as Sturgeon are represented in county government.”

Gary Cunningham of McClure Engineering announced the DNR had approved a $50,000 grant to help them audit the city sewer system for faults, including the city wetlands and sewer basin. The aldermen voted 4-0 to accept McClure’s proposal and FRQ for the sewer project. Rodgers said the aldermen would vote on the contract next month.

In other business they heard a presentation from Derek Rapps, maintenance worker to purchase a side-by side vehicle and trade in the city’s mowing tractor on a zero-turn mower.

Jacoby and Alderman Kevin Abrahamson, said they were concerned the side-by side was not of sufficient quality for commercial work. They voted to purchase it for $16,000.

At Crosswhite’s prompting the aldermen discussed mowing the ditches on V and CC and what city residents were required to mow when their property is adjacent to those state highways. “The city can enforce its ordinance on property within the city,” Rodgers said. He said the state has easements on those state highways, but it is still residents’ property under the city’s authority. “I would have no problem writing a violation if our new officer writes a ticket.”

Crosswhite said MoDOT only mows those ditches three times a year. Thus, the city would continue to send violation letters citing property owners for tall-grass violations and charging property owners for the mowing. The aldermen informally agreed.

In other business they nominated Maryanne Jay to the parks and trees board.

They also discussed replacing the city’ park’s restroom, which aldermen described as “totally destroyed.”

Jacoby also discussed the latest P&Z Committee meeting. He asked the private stable ordinance be included with the city’s livestock ordinance and no longer be part of the city’s zoning ordinance.

He also asked them to appoint Scott Smith to the P&Z Commission, which they did.

There was also some discussion of refining the city accounting procedure due to the amount of what Crosswhite described as undesignated funds in the budget.

Zane Arends said last year, there was at least $88,000 in street funds that were never used.

They voted on three bids to rehabilitate the city patrol car. They selected R&S Auto out of Centralia.