Preservation Commission asks for funding from city

bbashioum@demo-mo.comJuly 19, 2013 

The Harrisonville Historic Preservation Commission is looking to the city of Harrisonville for funding in the upcoming fiscal year.

Commissioner Carol Bohl made a budget request of $5,000 to city leaders during the Harrisonville Board of Aldermen meeting July 15 as they are in preparation of developing the city’s 2014 budget.

The commission was established in 1994.

“When you invest in historic preservation, it allows your city to do a lot of things in a positive manner, and mostly it’s economic,” Bohl said.

Bohl is asking the aldermen for assistance to help offset the cost for businesses located in historic buildings to purchase interpretive historical plaques to be placed on the exterior of their businesses, like the one located on April McLaughlin’s Law Office, on the Historic Square, and near the downtown murals and along the Jefferson Highway route.

“We offered this to other business members but I feel like maybe the cost was a little prohibitive,” Bohl said. “They’re about $500, so I was thinking if we had some money in our budget, we could partner with some of the people to offset some of the cost.”

The commission would also use a portion of the money to pay an intern to develop a web page for the organization.

“I think we could get a lot of content on there and get the word out that we have a jewel,” Bohl said, “But we don’t market it and use it as we probably should.”

In other meeting business, aldermen approved a resolution to renew the Harrisonville Police Department’s agreement with the Harrisonville School District to provide two school resource officers for the 2013-2014 school year, which runs Wednesday, Aug. 7 through May 28, 2014.

The city covers roughly 20 percent of the cost, while the district is asked to cover the remaining 80 percent.

The school district agreed last month to reimburse the city at an hourly rate of $28 per hour while the officers were in school, a $1 increase from the previous school year.

The police department’s actual average cost per hour for the two officers is $35.25.

There were no other modifications to the existing contract, Chief John Hofer told the aldermen.

The implementation of the Harrisonville School Resource Officer program began in 1998 when an officer was assigned to the high school. The objective of the program was, and still remains, the safety and security of the children, as well as an opportunity for the department to interact and build relationships with students, Hofer said. In 2004, the SRO program was modified by adding a second officer to the middle school.

Currently, Officer Steve Nichols is assigned to the middle school, and Officer Doug Rose to the high school.

The BOA approved Hofer’s request unanimously.

In a separate agenda item, City Administrator Keith Moody proposed a resolution to make amendments to the city employee pay compensation structure for the 2014 fiscal year.

Moody recommended a handful of changes based on the Mid America Regional Council's most recent Salary and Benefits Survey.

“I look for Harrisonville’s midpoint to be within $3,000 of the average,” Moody stated in his staff report. “If our midpoint is outside of this range I consider if we need to move the position into a higher or lower pay range.”

Moody recommended the following actions:

Change the director of codes administration position to a building official position, and moved down one pay grade.

Increase the public information specialist position be moved up a pay grade.

Increase the animal control officer and chief animal control officer positions by one pay grade.

Continue to monitor the recreation coordinator position and may recommend increasing their pay grade for 2015.

Increase other pay ranges to keep pace with inflation by increasing mid-point pay by $.25/hour (minimum pay by $.20/hour and the maximum by $.30/hour).

The BOA passed the resolution.

More budget topics will be presented during a special meeting 6 p.m. Monday, July 22.

Mayor Kevin Wood also took several moments during Monday’s meeting to recognize Neil Vergouven for 15 years of service as a member of the city’s tree trimming crew, along with Nichols, of the Harrisonville Police Department, for 10 years of service.

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