(Willow Springs) – The Willow Springs Council approved a mutual aid agreement between the city fire department and the 11 Point Rural Fire Department at Monday’s council meeting. Ozark Radio News spoke with Willow Springs City and Rural Fire Chief Larry Foster, who talked about what the decision means for residents of the districts:
The approval of the agreement helps put to bed some ill-feelings between the 11 Point Fire Department and the Willow Departments that have brewed for years. Chief Foster says that the decision was a mutual one between the departments that happened for a number of reasons:
Foster says a meeting will be held in the near future for residents to ask questions and find out where they are in the district layouts.
CITY ELECTRICITY RATE DISCUSSED
Also at the meeting, the council heard an update on the city’s electricity supply. Treasurer Beverly Hicks said that the new rates are revenue-neutral for the city, meaning that they will not make any money on the rate increase. Willow Springs approved a temporary surcharge of .0084/kw that will be charged now through May 2013, to help recover costs from the first invoice from the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) and help with the recovery of funds for peak costs, which can fluxuate during high power usage.
The city’s wholesale costs with the MJMEUC over the next five years will increase to 1 3/4 cents from 1 cent, which is considerably less than the proposed contract with Sho-Me Electric, which would have increased from 1 cent to 3.5 cents over five years. Hicks says the city is working with engineers with BHMG, a consulting engineer company, on a rate study to help recommend a better retail rate structure to ensure the city is doing all they can to minimize the burden on citizens. Hicks says that the city is also working with the Missouri Public Utility Alliance to ensure that the distribution system for the city is working efficiently.
A CHANGE TO NUISANCE ORDINANCE PROPOSED
Also at the meeting, Police Chief Dan Dunn brought a possible update to the city nuisance ordinance and make a “public nuisance” violation, which would allow the city to stop the nuisance. With the recommended change, the police could state the reason for shutting the nuisance down, and if the nuisance is not stopped, the matter would be forwarded to the circuit court, after a hearing that would determine if a nuisance occurred. If the nuisance continues, the city could suspend utilities for a year, and order a property vacation for up to a year. Chief Dunn says the police are currently drawing up a violation notice for the council’s approval.