More preparations for this year’s annual picnic were made as the El Dorado Springs City Council approved joining a grant request for a new Kaysinger Basin economic developer and heard more discussion on unkept properties during its Monday, June 3, meeting.

Resolutions engaging Kathryn Ferguson, Abby Waterworth and Nick Sibley for entertainment and MB System of Sikeston for sound and lighting during the El Dorado Springs Picnic Thursday-Saturday, July 18-20, were passed 4-0, with mayor Brad True, mayor pro tem Cory Gayman, and members Nick Bland and Nathan Murrell all voting in favor. Jimmy Luster was absent.

Sheridan Garman-Neeman was present from Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission requesting the city pass an ordinance approving a grant application to help fund hiring a new economic developer to partner with Cedar County and Kaysinger. This would be a fulltime position, split between Kaysinger for one-half time and the city and county one-quarter time each. City manager Bruce Rogers asked if the city would be able to assist in the hiring process and Neeman said yes, adding she hoped to get more grant funding to make it go further than the two-year grant being applied for. The grant application ordinance was approved 4-0.

In public forum, resident Glenda Baker asked about the city’s nuisance ordinance, wanting to know why a property at the corner of Main and McCrary streets was not being cited. The owner was fined three times in 2018 and paid the fines. Rogers mentioned the city could confiscate the property and hold it for 90 days, but by state law the city is limited to fines up to $500. Baker said the nuisance ordinance runs six pages long, but the city is not aggressive enough in enforcing it. Rogers said he wasn't sure if tickets have been issued this year but would check with police chief Jarrod Schiereck to see if the property in question has been cited.

Elsewhere, Rogers brought up the city’s water rates and asked if the councilmen had talked to any citizens about the recent increase. Gayman said he had talked to a few and were shocked to learn El Dorado’s base price is lower than other towns around. He also asked if Rogers knew how often other towns raise their rates and if Rogers could provide a survey of annual rate increases and make other cities’ information available. Rogers said he will have a public hearing for water rates.     

Rogers reported two remaining reed beds for the sewer plant have been planted. The electric department is still cleaning up behind Pizza Hut due to the storms a couple weeks ago which knocked down three poles. The department worked 24 hours straight to get the power back on with assistance from Sac Osage. A John Deere backhoe has been purchased for $101,000 and delivered for the water department through state contracts. The hoe comes with a 5-year warranty.

The next meeting is 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 17, at city hall.

Information for this story was provided by city clerk Kandi Alexander.

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