Welcome to our live coverage from the City Council chambers inside the beautiful historic City Hall in downtown Springfield! Tonight, two new Council members will climb the dais to join the wonderful world of local government.
Meeting called to order at 6:32 p.m. by Mayor Ken McClure.
1. ROLL CALL.
All in attendance
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES. APRIL 5, 2021 CITY COUNCIL MEETING
3. FINALIZATION AND APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDAS. CITIZENS WISHING TO SPEAK TO OR REMOVE ITEMS FROM THE CONSENT AGENDAS MUST NOTIFY THE CITY CLERK BY 5:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2021.
4. CEREMONIAL MATTERS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
5. Council Bill 2021-090 (Council)
A resolution recognizing the retirement of Director of Planning and Development, Mary Lilly Smith.
This is Smith’s last City Council meeting before retirement.
“She has so much knowledge, I don’t know how we’re going to get that out of her over the next couple weeks,” city manager Jason Gage said.
Councilman Ollis said he and Smith were connected first in the 1980s when he was part of forming a neighborhood association.
“I can’t think of another person who has been so instrumental in the growth and success of our community,” Ollis said. “If you look around and see what we have done with the Jordan Valley Park, the redevelopment of downtown, neighborhood preservation, I could go on and on.”
The measure passes unanimously.
The mayor presents Smith with the Key to the City.
“I don’t think there’s any career more satsifying than working in municipal government,” Smith said.
She thanked her colleagues for their hard work over the years, noting that she did not do it all on her own.
6. CITY MANAGER REPORT, PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR REPORT AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS RAISED AT THE PREVIOUS CITY COUNCIL MEETING.
More than 1,400 people have registered for Clean Green Springfield. More than 6 tons of waste have been removed from roadways and streams.
New Fire Station No. 4 will break ground on April 27.
For the first time in over a year, there’s no report from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
7. SECOND READING AND FINAL PASSAGE. Citizens Have Spoken. May Be Voted On.
8. Council Bill 2021-073 (Schilling)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately 10 acres generally located at 851 West Farm Road 182 from County R-1, Suburban Residence District to R-SF, Single-Family Residential District; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: Burning Tree Consulting, LLC; 851 W. Farm Road 182; Z-4-2021.)A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately 10 acres generally located at 851 West Farm Road 182 from County R-1, Suburban Residence District to R-SF, Single-Family Residential District; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: Burning Tree Consulting, LLC; 851 W. Farm Road 182; Z-4-2021.)
Councilman Schilling suggested the county be contacted about the entrances to the property and that perhaps a sign warning of oncoming traffic may be needed.
9. Council Bill 2021-074 (Schilling)
A special ordinance granting Conditional Use Permit No. 449 for the purpose of authorizing a car washing business to operate within the GR, General Retail District generally located at 204 West Plainview Road as a conditional use. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommend approval.)
10. Council Bill 2021-075 (Ferguson)
A special ordinance granting Conditional Use Permit No. 450 for the purpose of authorizing playing fields to operate within the HC, Highway Commercial District and Airport Overlay District No. 3 generally located at 6006 West State Highway 266 as a conditional use. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommend approval.)
11. Council Bill 2021-076 (Hosmer)
A special ordinance approving the mapping of the East West Arterial, generally located between US Highway 65 and Riverbluff Boulevard to Kissick Avenue, pursuant to Section 11.11 of the City Charter of the City of Springfield, Missouri, in order to preserve right-of-way for future public street improvements for an additional five years. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommend approval.)
Staff said it’s important for the city to preserve this corridor and stop development so there is a route across the southern part of the area. They mention Kansas Expressway, which has gone in and out of the city and county.
Councilman Hosmer asked if the first time the east-west mapping was done if it was a different route, and staff said no. They said they had a different route until five years ago when a different map was used.
Hosmer asks what happens if the Council does not approve the measure. Staff said they can’t stop a building permit in the corridor without the Council’s action.
Councilman Ollis is lamenting the city and county are not working together on this measure to give landowners a clear message as to the future intent of the government entities.
Staff said they “would be happy to re-engage with the County” if the Council tables the measure.
The current map is in effect until July 11, so there is time to table and work with the county.
If the county owner doesn’t want to be annexed into the city, it would have to be put into a vote for the city and county, and it would have to pass in each area.
If this council tables the measure, it will die because there is a new Council coming in. The Council will have to forward it to the next council if they don’t want it to die.
Councilman Ollis moves to table the bill until June 14, 2021 Council Meeting.
12. Council Bill 2021-077 (Ollis)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to utilize U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds budgeted for the City of Springfield’s Comprehensive Housing Assistance Program to supplement Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funds allocated for Affordable Housing Assistance by Special Ordinance 27336. (Staff recommends approval.)
13. Council Bill 2021-078 (McGull)
A special ordinance declaring the necessity of condemning right(s)-of-way for perpetual sidewalk and temporary construction easements over, under, and through the properties herein described and located along East Division Street between National and Glenstone Avenues in the City of Springfield, Missouri, including 1310, 1320, 1324, and 1607 East Division Street, for the purpose of completing the Division Street Reconstruction Project, City Project #2017PW0036, funded through the 1/4-Cent Capital Improvement Sales Tax; and authorizing certain officers, or their designees, to do all things necessary to carry out the terms of this Ordinance.
City Works has reached a deal with the landowners and thus condemnation was not needed. Councilman McGull withdrew his support of the measure, meaning Council does not take action on the dead measure.
14. Council Bill 2021-079 (Schilling)
A special ordinance repealing Special Ordinance 27456; approving the plans and specifications for the Fassnight Trail Improvements and Luster Avenue Sidewalk project; accepting the bid of Liming Concrete, LLC, in the amount of $174,264 for said project; and authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a contract with such bidder.
15. Council Bill 2021-080 (Ferguson)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to acknowledge and accept $424,623 from the Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust, LLC, for the purpose of repairing sewer infrastructure in the vicinity of the former Tronox/Kerr-McGee Wood Treatment Facility located at 2800 West High Street; and approving a budget adjustment amending the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 budget of the Department of Environmental Services Clean Water Fund in the amount of $424,623.
16. Council Bill 2021-081 (Lear)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield City Code, Chapter 98, ‘Streets, Sidewalks, and Public Places,’ Article VII, ‘Encroachments on City Property,’ Section 98-323, ‘Certain encroachments authorized by the director of public works—Procedures related thereto,’ to waive application and permit fees for encroachment permits for temporary sidewalk cafés while restaurants are required to maintain physical distancing between patrons or restaurants are restricted from seating patrons at counters due to the 2019 novel coronavirus.
Councilwoman Ferguson said she’s voting on this measure because her restaurants do not have this kind of seating.
17. Council Bill 2021-082 (Ollis)
A general ordinance authorizing a variance to the Fuel Adjustment Factor for Under-recovery (Over-recovery) of Prior Fuel Cost Dollars (a/k/a “under-recovery (over-recovery) of fuel costs”), each as described or defined in the Fuel Adjustment Clause (Electric Rates Sheet No. 10 of General Ordinance 6139), to be calculated by City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri.
18. Council Bill 2021-088 (McClure)
A special ordinance adopting and authorizing the Mayor to execute the Second Amendment to an Employment Agreement by and between the City of Springfield, Missouri, and Anita J. Cotter, setting out the terms and conditions of her employment as City Clerk; and authorizing payment of salary and benefits to Anita J. Cotter in accordance with the provisions set forth therein.
20. PETITIONS, REMONSTRANCES, AND COMMUNICATIONS.
Lisa Meeks addresses Council.
Patricia Tursi addresses Council.
Gerald Keim addresses Council.
Councilman Hosmer makes a bold defense of the Council’s use of science in their decisions on masking.
Jan Dumas addresses Council.
30. RESOLUTIONS. Citizens May Speak. May Be Voted On.
31. Council Bill 2021-094 (Council)
A resolution removing certain tabled bills from the table and forwarding them to the next succeeding City Council for further consideration and review; and declaring an emergency pursuant to City Charter Section 2.12.
Without this measure, all bills pending before Council would die.
Councilman Ollis moves to add the measure tabled earlier tonight into this Council Bill.
Council amends the bill unanimously.
Amended bill also passes unanimously.
32. Council Bill 2021-095 (Council)
A resolution forwarding certain topics on City Council Committee schedules to the next succeeding City Council Committees for further consideration and review; and declaring an emergency pursuant to City Charter Section 2.12.
33. Council Bill 2021-096 (Council)
A resolution declaring the results of a General Municipal Election held on April 6, 2021, under the Home Rule Charter of the City of Springfield, Missouri.
34. COMMENTS AND PRESENTATIONS.
The two outgoing Council members make their final remarks.
Councilwoman Fisk is reading from a prepared statement.
She is talking about the Rountree neighborhood’s revitalization, and walkability’s importance.
She talked about economic development in the city like HyVee and Menard’s, along with the arrival of Costco.
She is enthusiastic about the development of the Grant Avenue Parkway.
She’s now thanking Mayor McClure and previous Mayor Stephens for their support while she served.
The Mayor presents her with a plaque to recognize her service on Council along with a key to the city.
Councilwoman Ferguson makes her final thoughts.
“I thought when Mayor McClure asked me to say something that it would be easy because I’m never short on words,” Ferguson said. She went on to say how hard she found it to write the words because of the number of people’s going to miss.
“My time on Council has been the most life changing of my civic endeavours,” Ferguson said.
She is speaking of her love of the city staff and their focus on the welfare of the citizens.
“Don’t stop. Speak up. Show up. Give consideration and expect the same.”
She’s now thanking her family.
“For now I’m going to say so long and I’ll see you around.”
35. ADJOURN SINE DIE.
Vote is 9-0.
There will now be a short break while Fisk and Ferguson leave the dais, and the new Council members come forward to be sworn in.
36. ADMINISTER OATH OF OFFICE TO NEWLY ELECTED OFFICIALS.
Angela Romine and Heather Hardinger were sworn in as well as Simpson, Hosmer and McClure for another term.
37. ROLL CALL.
All here obviously. 😉
38. MOTION TO TABLE BILLS (made by Ollis)
These are the bills that were tabled to the next Council, and this retains them.
40. Council Bill 2021-097 (Simpson)
A general ordinance amending the Springfield Land Development Code, Section 36-306, ‘Official zoning map and rules for interpretation,’ by rezoning approximately 0.07 acres generally located at 1640 East Sunshine Street from R-SF, Single-Family Residential District to GR, General Retail District; and adopting an updated Official Zoning Map. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission both recommend approval.) (By: 3410 Kingshighway LLC; 1640 East Sunshine Street; Z-9-2021.)
This is to expand buffer space because they expanded parking.
41. Council Bill 2021-098 (Simpson)
A special ordinance granting Conditional Use Permit No. 447 for the purpose of authorizing an automobile washing business to operate within the GR, General Retail District generally located at 1640 and 1650 East Sunshine Street as a conditional use. (Staff and Planning and Zoning Commission recommend approval.)
This is the car wash expanding to the lot beside it to the east.
Vote in two weeks.
42. FIRST READING BILLS. Citizens May Speak. Not Anticipated To Be Voted On.
43. Council Bill 2021-099 (Ollis)
A general ordinance repealing General Ordinance 6585 titled “Suspending enforcement of portions of sections 36-368(9) and 36-473(e) of the Zoning Ordinance.”
They had previously suspended in-person public meeting for rezoning cases, etc. because of the COVID outbreak, this measure repeals that suspension.
Councilman Lear asks if Zoom meetings are still acceptable, and staff said yes, but this also requires an in-person meeting.
Councilman Ollis asks if Zoom meetings and other technology can be used in the future. Zoning ordinance would have to be changed if online replaces in-person.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
44. Council Bill 2021-100 (Lear)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a Surface Transportation Program-Urban Program Agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission; and amending the budget of the Department of Public Works for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, in the amount of $360,000, for the purpose of partially reimbursing the base salaries of up to six City employees who operate and manage the Transportation Management Center.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
45. Council Bill 2021-101 (Hosmer)
A special ordinance authorizing the City Manager, or his designee, to enter into a Professional Service Agreement with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Marshall University Research Corporation on behalf of Marshall University Forensic Science Center to provide independent review of privately tested Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence kits.
The Council has previously approved the funding for the testing of the sexual assault kit backlog, and this will make the deal to get the tests moving forward. Marshall will review all the tests for technical review of the tests. A third party verification of the results.
“It will be less costly than I anticipated,” Police Chief Paul Williams said.
Chief Williams says by the end of 2022 he expects to see a 119 kits tested with the results returned.
Public hearing closed. Vote in two weeks.
50. NEW BUSINESS.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following appointments to the Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development: Shawna Batty and Mary Nichols with terms to expire May 1, 2024.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following reappointments to the Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development: Alexandra Sheppard and Kate Stockton with terms to expire May 1, 2024.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following reappointments to the Citizens’ Tax Oversight Committee: Charles Cowherd and David Troyer with term to expire May 1, 2024.
The Public Involvement Committee recommends the following appointment to the Police Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System Board of Trustees: Justin Setser with term to expire April 30, 2024.
As per RSMo. 109.230 (4), City records that are on file in the City Clerk’s office and have met the retention schedule will be destroyed in compliance with the guidelines established by the Secretary of State’s office.
Motion to adjourn approved 8-1, with Hosmer (as usual) voting no.
Thanks for joining us tonight for our live coverage of Council! We’ll be back in two weeks!