The groundwork is laid for National Tom Sawyer Days events in America’s Hometown. At Tuesday’s Hannibal City Council meeting, street closures were approved in the downtown area from June 30th to July 4th. With the 4th landing on a Tuesday this year, a number of events are scheduled the prior weekend.  Mud volleyball gets down and dirty beginning June 29th.  The 22nd Annual Hannibal Cannibal run/walk takes place Saturday, July 1st.  Independence Day activities include a parade, the crowning of the new Tom and Becky, and fireworks at dusk.

In other business, Hannibal’s new graffiti ordinance received considerable discussion.  City Manager Jeff LaGarce says the final draft removes language allowing city employees to remove graffiti from private property, citing lack of manpower as one reason. It also removes sections regarding possession and sales of spray paint to minors. It does prohibit possession of spray paint in certain public places such as parks. Second Ward Councilman Mike Dobson questioned whether that would conflict with events such as Arts in the Park.  City Attorney James Lemon told the council the bill is intended as a tool for law enforcement and discretion should be in order for special events.  The bill was given a First Reading.

City Manager Jeff LaGarce reminded the council that results of a water purification study will be presented at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22 at HLGU's  Roland Fine Arts Center. Jacobs Engineering will present the results of the cost study regarding the implementation of a Granulated Activated Carbon system as an alternative to the current treatment process using chloramines.  The public is invited to attend.

On March 20, environmentalist Erin Brockovich is planning to host a water quality meeting at 6:30 the Hannibal American Legion.  Hannibal voters will ultimately decide the issue (known as Proposition 1) when they go to the polls in April.