Two officers of the Hannibal Police Department received special recognition for leading a major drug sting operation.. Police Chief Lyndell Davis presented letters of appreciation to Sergeant Matt Wilt and Detective Victor Mathews for leading a major drug bust in Hannibal. The two men are members of ACES (Anti-Crime Enforcement Squad)..

The bust took place November 3, after 39 year-old Ahmed Elder fled from an attempted traffic stop. He was apprehended a short time later. A search of his residence at 503 North Hawkins Avenue turned up an estimated $100,000 in narcotics, three handguns, and $83,000 cash.Chief Davis says Ahmed Elder is believed to be a major source of illegal drugs across the state.

A second person, 41 year-old Rachel Elder was also taken into custody. The two face a number of drug-related charges as well as Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Chief Davis says the apprehensions went smoothly, and no one was injured.

In other council business:

$6 Million Riverfront Renovation to Begin Soon

Renovation plans for Hannibal’s riverfront took a major step forward Tuesday evening. The Hannibal City Council approved a resolution to contract with Bleigh Construction for the $6.6 million project. Financing the renovations was also approved  in the form of a bill authorizing a bond issue of up to $7 million to fund the riverfront project and also the new Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to be constructed near the Hannibal Aquatic Center. Parks and Recreation Director Andy Dorian says some of the work will begin almost immediately, with an estimated completion date of September 2019, depending on weather and flooding events.

Council Engages in Trash Talk

Street Department Supervisor Mike McHargue says the contract with Sutton Disposal for trash pickup of the downtown area has expired. The expired contract was for $12,000 annually. The only company that submitted a new bid to service the 63 trash cans was Republic Services at $43,000. The council discussed several options, including accepting the sole bid, negotiating a contract for fully automated trash pick-up, and reopening the bidding window. A fourth option explored was hiring a full-time street department employee who would divide their duties between streets and trash pickup. Some council members expressed concern with the cost of adding another employee, estimated at $53,000. In the end, it was decided to reopen the bidding and explore the possibility of hiring a part-time employee to supplement pickup during major events in the historical district.

HRH To Acquire City Property on Shinn Lane

City-owned property at the corner of Shinn Lane and Highway MM will be sold to Hannibal Regional Hospital at a profit.  The property was purchased in 2014 for $220,000.  HRH will acquire the property for $245,000, and execute a Right-of-Way to the City at no cost. The memo from City Manager Jeff LaGarce does not specify what the hospital's plans are for the site.

Final Bill for Shinn Lane Roundabout is $44,000

The council approved a final change order for the $1.6 million roundabout construction project recently completed.  City Manager Jeff LaGarce says the final statement had some adds and some deductions, but results in a final bill of $44,385.

Improved Internet Service Approved for HPD

The council approved a bid waiver to enter into an internet service contract with Bluebird Network at a cost of $565/month, $6780 annually.  Police Chief Lyndell Davis told the council the new service will provide faster, more secure service and better connectivity between city departments.  Currently Marion County 911 Dispatch and the Hannibal BPW use Bluebird. Chief Davis also says over a 5 year period, the department will actually see a cost savings due to decreased need for new hardware purchases.