jail

The jail house door is seen here in the background.

Several community members had voiced concern inquiring about the old jailhouse door, which was in the old electric building being demolished. Rumors had spread around town the door was missing or could not be located. Mayor Jerry Potterfield assured those in attendance at the recent council meeting on December 3, stating, “I took the step to save the old jail house door. It is on city property until the board decides what to do with it.” Discussion leaned towards adding the door to the City museum, St. Jude’s Park or in front of City Hall.

Other topics for discussion at the evening’s meeting were the City’s property insurance with proposals from two companies, which runs out January 1, 2021. Currently the City holds a policy with MOPERM. Carrie Cooper, of LaRue Insurance Agency was present to present the renewal proposal. The City has held a policy with MOPep since 1995. This year’s premium renewal will see a 1.4 percent increase, going from $110,561 to $111,974. Cooper explained, “Every year property value goes up.” The other company present was MIRMA, represented by Matthew Brodersen. Brodersen shared, “If the City chooses MIRMA it would save approximately $45,000 per year and the City would become a full member immediately with no trial period.” The Board of Alderman tabled the decision for the December 17 meeting.

During the Mayor’s Report, the council discussed taking the City’s surplus property to auction verses advertising for sealed bids.

Monroe City Police Chief Tyler Wheeler expressed his opinion sharing, “Do we need an ordinance to send property to auction. I personally am more comfortable following the current ordinance to advertise for sealed bids concerning the police cars.” Mayor Potterfield stated, “We can get more return for the citizens at auction,” and questioned when the new cars will be ready.” Wheeler responded, “Travis Turpin is preparing the new patrol cars, installing the radios. He is doing it on his own time and charging us a discounted rate. Travis also responds to our calls free of charge if we need towing.” Fire Chief Rich Enochs and Monroe City Ambulance Administrator Blair Joiner shared Turpin’s Towing also assists them with towing free of charge as well, Joiner stated, “Travis goes above and beyond for emergency service workers,” and Enochs stated, “He definitely steps up to help in any way possible.” Mayor Potterfield stated, “I would like to remind everyone we are paying insurance on six cars waiting on these patrol cars to get done.” Alderman Jeff Botkins shared, “I believe there needs to be some sort of time restraint, we need these vehicles.” Wheeler defended, stating, “Travis comes out at all hours, keeps parts on hand, tows for free and gives us cheaper rates.” Alderman Connie Painter made a motion to go out with sealed bids for the old patrol cars, sharing she would like to do what the police chief is comfortable with. The motion did not pass with a 2-3 vote. Alderman Ralph Lemongelli made a motion to send patrol cars to auction, motion passes with a 3-2 vote.

The next scheduled city council meeting is Thursday, December 17 at 6 p.m. The Board of Aldermen normally meet at 6 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month at City Hall, 109 Second Street, but will be meeting via Zoom online to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Those wanting to attend can call City Hall to get a pass code to attend online.

 If the first meeting night of the month falls on the first or second day, the meetings for that month are held on the second and fourth Thursdays.  The Board may also change a meeting date at a prior meeting due to scheduling conflicts.  Board of Aldermen meetings are open to the public.  Citizens have an opportunity to express their concerns and give their input at the open forum which is normally the second item on the agenda right after the consent agenda. It is suggested that you advise City Hall of the matter that you wish to discuss with the Board of Aldermen at least two days prior to the meeting so that research (if needed) may be performed prior to the meeting.  If you do not know what ward you are in or have questions or concerns, please contact City Hall at (573)735- 4585.