The City of Hannibal is buying 8 pieces of property for $1 each. All 8 are tax-forfeited properties offered by the Marion County Trustee. Tuesday evening, City Manager Jeff LaGarce told the city council the parcels lie in the Vermont, Arch Street, and Ely Street areas. Five of the properties are in the flood plain.

LaGarce says the city already owns and maintains the majority of acreage in the Vermont and Arch Street areas. He says this will connect more city-owned properties together, thus alleviating some of the “checker-boarding” of public vs. private ownership.  Three lots have structures that will be torn down by the city, at an estimated cost of $2500-$3000 each.

Another property matter not resolved the way citizen had hoped:

Jodie Ketchum and her representative Doug Walker of Janes Surveying were seeking approval to acquire a portion of city-owned property adjoining Ketchum’s land on Birch Street.

Walker told the council it was discovered a garage believed to be part of the property Ketchum inherited actually sits on city property. Ketchum requested the city sell that portion for $1. The council objected to the selling price; several members noted similar land deals had been made for the selling price of $500. The council voted to offer the land to Ketchum for $500 plus transfer costs. Ketchum was told to contact the city if the deal was acceptable.

City Sets Sights on Completion of Palmyra Road Sidewalk Project:
The city will seek a MoDOT grant to complete the sidewalk project along Palmyra Road. City Manager Jeff LaGarce says only phase one of the project was completed, which saw sidewalks built from the middle school to Bay Avenue in 2014. The goal is to extend the sidewalks to Riverview Park, in order to enhance pedestrian safety.

If approved, the grant would fund 80% of the estimated $175,000 project, with the city picking up 20%, or $35,000. The council approved spending $1275 with Cochran Engineering for technical assistance with the grant application, since the firm provided engineering for the first phase and has plans already drafted for much of the remaining project.

Two purchases approved involving vehicles :
-Director Gail Bryant of the Hannibal Convention and Visitor’s Bureau received approval to purchase a 2017 Dodge Caravan for $18,000 from Poage Chrysler. The purchase will replace a van that was struck-- and totaled-- while parked at the HCVB office on North Street. The driver that struck the van was uninsured. HCVB received a payout from its insurance company of approximately $11,000.

-Fire Chief Mike Benjamin requested approval to purchase a 2015 Ford Explorer from the Police Department for $12,000. The council gave its blessing, noting the inter-departmental transaction will save taxpayers around $9000. The vehicle will replace a 2008 Dodge Durango that needs work estimated to exceed the value of the vehicle. The Durango will be declared surplus and sold by sealed bids.

Finance Director Karen Burditt receives approval to make budget changes:
-The City will pay $265,000 to settle the water quality lawsuit.
-The HCVB purchase of a new van leaves a shortfall of just over $7,000 after the insurance settlement. That amount will be deducted from reserves.

Street Closures approved for the following events:
-Wednesday, Oct. 3: HHS Homecoming parade in the downtown, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
-Saturday, Oct. 6: Pirate Pride 5K Run from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Palmyra Road, Wyaconda St. area.
-Saturday, Oct. 13: Oktoberfest in the Hill and Main Streets area of downtown, 1 to 8 p.m., pending certificate of insurance
-Saturday, Oct. 27: Living “Dead” Windows and Halloween Parade in the downtown area, 5 to 8 p.m.
-Saturday, Oct. 31: Main Street Trick or Treat, 2 to 9 p.m.