James Hark says he knows he has some big shoes to fill.  Hark is the new Mayor of Hannibal, after taking the oath of office from his father, Roy Hark, who retires after serving 15 years.  James was awarded a new gavel which he used to call the second council session to order. James Hark was elected Mayor in April after serving for 5 years as Hannibal’s 5th Ward councilman.  The selection process is now underway to fill the vacant 5th Ward council seat.

A plaque was unveiled that lists every Mayor that has served the citizens of Hannibal. Of the 76 names listed,  Roy Hark has the distinction of being the longest serving.  He was first elected in 2001 and served five three-year terms.  James Brady was Hannibal’s first Mayor, serving from 1843 to 1845.

In other business:

  • Public Works Superintendent Brian Chaplin received approval to award bids for Street Department materials. Chaplin noted lower contract prices for fuel and road salt due to the mild winter.
  • A resolution is approved to spend $37,000 for engineering services related to stabilizing the bin wall near the corner of Grand Avenue and Broadway. MECO Engineering will provide the design services.
  • The council approved a resolution recognizing the new entity involved in the redevelopment program at Clemens Field.   Clemens Field Management, LLC succeeds Hannibal Sports and Entertainment, LLC.  The original development company dissolved after financial difficulties. Warren says formal acknowledgment of the new developer could bring financial assistance through the Missouri Downtown Preservation Program.  The program would reinstate a 50% rebate of the general revenue portion of sales taxes generated within the facility to help the developer offset project costs.
  • First Reading was given to a bill that would allow the annexation and rezoning of property located at 8976 County Road 412 (West Ely Road Extension). Beth Haven is seeking to build senior apartments on the property.
  • The First Reading of a property rezoning request at 221 South Maple was turned down by a margin of 3 to 2. The owner was seeking approval to open an antique shop and event space in the two-story home. It was revealed that the Planning and Zoning Commission forwarded the proposal to the council after rendering a “No Decision” verdict on the request.  Councilmen Locke and VanHoose voted in favor of the proposal.  Councilmen Dobson and Lionberger as well as Mayor James Hark voted “No”.  Councilman Knickerbocker abstained from voting on the issue.