J. Mark McManus says graffiti artists need a positive and legal venue to express themselves. McManus addressed the Hannibal City Council Thursday evening. McManus says rock cliffs along roadways south of Hannibal could be utilized for large murals. He gave the example of a riverboat mural that could incorporate advertising local businesses on the riverboat’s windows. The council took no action but suggested follow up with MoDOT would be in order since it involves right-of-way.
In other business:

  • A request to sell the riverfront amphitheater is under further review. Adrienne Abright of the Hannibal Jaycees outlined a proposal to purchase the steel structure for $5 from the city. The amphitheater has not been used for 15 to 20 years. The Jaycees propose to disassemble and move the structure to their property on South Third Street. It would replace the current stage, which is too small for some musical acts. She says the larger structure could attract national talent and bring in more revenue to the city. City Attorney James Lemon expressed some concerns with the proposal. He said further review is needed to make sure the terms do not run afoul of the state constitution regarding sale of public property. Lemon suggested a written proposal be drafted which he would then review.
  • The Big River Steampunk Festival returns to downtown Hannibal Labor Day weekend. The council approved several street closures in the historical district September 2-4. The event celebrates a melding of the Victorian era with science-fiction.
  • The city will swap land with Hannibal Regional Hospital in order to complete the Shinn Lane Roundabout. The council approved the execution of a Quit Claim Deed with Hannibal Regional Healthcare to obtain necessary right-of way in the area. City Manager Jeff LaGarce says the city will not pay for the acquisition. Instead, the city will deed back to HRH a couple of strips of city-owned property near the HRH walking trail. Construction on the roundabout is expected to get underway soon.
  • Plans are approved for seven properties to be demolished within the city. Martin Construction was the sole bidder for all seven. However, Building Inspector Joey Burnham says the addition of Street Department personnel means five of the structures will now be demolished by in-house labor. Don Martin will receive $27,000 to demolish 508 Oak and 1019 Valley. Properties at 1520 Park, 1120 and 1403 Valley, 506 Willow, and 905 Union will be demolished by the Street Department. Councilman Van Hoose questioned why the Street Department could not demolish all seven. Burnham said the two properties in question were more complex cases due to elevation, location, and/or the need for specialized equipment.
  • The council approved a service agreement with the Hannibal Nutrition Center that will appropriate over $18,000 for senior meals and programs.
  • A new paint striper is coming to the Street Department. The council gave the go ahead to purchase the striper for just over $47,000 from the sole bidder, Sherwin Williams. Street Department Supervisor Rich Dauma says $60,000 was originally budgeted for the item. Dauma says the new unit will greatly improve efficiency. He estimates a whole summer’s worth of striping can be completed in about 18 days.