The Stockton Board of Aldermen have yet to reach a final decision on whether to approve a contract with the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office for police service to the city in 2020.

The panel spent nearly half of its two-hour-plus meeting Monday, Nov. 25, going back and forth over the terms of the submission from Sheriff James McCrary, who asked for $181,500 for the salaries and insurance of five deputies.

Mayor Mary Norell believed McCrary’s bid is above the actual cost of services rendered compared on a percentage basis with the rest of the county. Mary Ann Manring said the figures need to be an “apples to apples” comparison and the contract should spell out the city’s obligations. Barbara Pate and Larry Koch wanted to negotiate for a two- or three-year contract to lock in costs. Mark Frieze, the newest member of the board, felt “they’ve (the sheriff’s office) got us over a barrel,” suggesting CCSO was not willing to budge.

In the end, Pate moved for Norell and other board members to meet with the county commission at the commission’s next regular meeting Monday, Dec. 2, to try to negotiate a compromise. The motion passed 4-0.

Elsewhere, park board members Becky Groff and Marilyn Ellis showed a mock-up of the city’s forthcoming Shared Street signs. The signs, along with special pavement markings, will indicate where motorists will share streets with pedestrians, bicyclists and golf carts. Groff said about 25-30 Shared Street signs will be posted throughout the city.

Groff and Ellis also requested permission for the city’s website include a link to a separate page for the Stockton Veterans Memorial fund. Manring moved to accept the request, which was approved unanimously.

The board approved a filing period for candidates for the Tuesday, April 7, municipal election. One two-year term in each of the north and south wards along with a two-year term for mayor will be contested. The filing period runs Monday, Dec. 17-Tuesday, Jan. 21.

The board voted 4-0 to approve an ordinance for the city to join the Southwest Missouri Joint Municipal Utility Commission. The board previous approved a motion to join the commission, but the group required an ordinance to accept Stockton’s membership.

Stockton Area Chamber of Commerce president Bill Crabtree requested permission to close the square from 4-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, for the Lighting of the Square ceremony. Pate moved to approve the request with the condition SACC secure permission from all other affected entities since the square includes state highways Mo. 39 and 32, and traffic from semi-trucks could be affected. The motion passed 3-1 with Frieze voting no.

The next board meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at City Hall.

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