Mike Benjamin begins the role of Hannibal Fire Chief with 29-years of experience in the department. Benjamin was sworn-in by Mayor Hark in Hannibal City Council Chambers Tuesday evening. Benjamin has served as Deputy Chief, Assistant Chief, Captain, Engineer, and Firefighter. Benjamin replaces Sean Hampton, who is retiring. City Manager Jeff LaGarce thanked Hampton for serving as chief for the past three years.

In other business:

  • The Hannibal Convention and Visitor’s Bureau will move to a new $1.4 million facility in 2019. The building will be constructed on city-owned property next to the community pool. HCVB Director Gayle Bryant says the location has high visibility next to I-72/ US36 and will be the gateway to the historical district. The new location will also allow the HCVB to serve as a Missouri Affiliate Welcome Center. The council approved the low bid of $1,475,500 from Bleigh Construction. Architechnics will provide construction administration services for a fee not to exceed $24,500. Construction is expected to begin in November 2018.
  • A request to rezone property at a busy Hannibal intersection sparked much controversy. The Public Hearing, held just prior to the regular council meeting, involved a request to establish a restaurant at the intersection of St. Mary’s Ave. and Pleasant St. Wesley and Rhonda Knapp were seeking to rezone their home located at 3520 St. Mary’s Avenue to Local Business. A total of 8 residents spoke, with the majority stating a restaurant would only increase traffic in an area that already has bottlenecks. When the zoning bill came up for action, Councilman Veach made a motion to NOT give the bill a first reading. The council approved the motion; thus negating the request.

The council also approved:

  • Selling city-owned property at 505 Walnut Street to Joe Anderson for $1. Anderson will tear down the condemned structure and maintain the lot.
  • Vacating a portion of an alley near Singleton and Darr Streets in Oakwood.
  • Adopting the city tax levy for 2018, which is $1.2055 per $100 of assessed valuation, unchanged from 2017.