The Hannibal City Council gave a Second and Final Reading Tuesday to a $12,960,000 bond issue for its water system. The bonds will fund projects including water treatment plant improvements, water main extensions in the western part of town, and a new South Side water tower.

Kurt Parsons

BPW General Manager Bob Stevenson says utilizing the DNR State Revolving Fund for financing will save millions in interest expense due to a rate below 2 percent. Stevenson says had the council turned down this plan, the BPW would have been forced to seek private financing at over 4 percent. This could have resulted in an immediate 15 percent hike for ratepayers.

Stevenson says funding of the water system improvements is separate from the water disinfection issue that has received much attention recently. The city has been out of compliance with federal drinking water standards since 2012, due to excess chemical byproducts from chlorination. The BPW recently changed to a new disinfection method expected to reduce the byproducts. It uses chloramines, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia. Even though the new purification process is underway, the DNR began fining BPW $500 a day in October. The issue is the current temporary location for water disinfection is not DNR approved, even though the water disinfection process is working as planned. The approved location is a building still under construction. Stevenson says the building is expected to be complete in about a month.

The council also approved a change order for $17,540 for the Hannibal Airport project due to unforeseen water line issues. The city will spend an additional $1,754 or 10 percent, with MoDOT picking up the remaining 90 percent.

Seventeen thousand dollars is also the amount awarded to the engineering firm Poepping, Stone, Bach and Associates. The firm will assist the City with Missouri DNR compliance at the landfill. Even though it has been closed for nearly 25 years, City Manager Jeff LaGarce says the landfill continues to be subject to ever-changing regulations. A settlement agreement with DNR required the city hire a professional engineering firm. PSBA will assist with compliance issues related to maintenance of the solid waste disposal area.

Two condemned properties will be demolished after council approval. They are located at 919 Church and 1006 Valley.

In other business, Finance Director Doug Warren addressed the council regarding the city’s agreement with U.S. Bank for depository and other banking services. The current contract expires November 30.  Warren recommended the contract be renewed for 22 months in light of his upcoming retirement, so that a new Finance Director would have some time before needing to choose a banking partner. The council voted to renew the contract with U.S. Bank for one year and then revisit the issue.

The council also approved:

• Demolishing two condemned properties located at 919 Church and 1006 Valley.
• Sale of a 1990 Fire Engine that was recently retired due to purchase of a new truck. The high bidder was the Ellington, Missouri Volunteer Fire Department. The engine will bring just over $12,000.
The following special events were approved:
• Closure of a small portion of Hill Street near the Y Men’s Pavilion for the Shine a Light on Autism event October 10.
• The Fall Concert on the Hill in the historical area the evening of October 17. The event will be similar to Music Under the Stars but will charge $5 admission as a fundraiser for the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.
• Band Day will kick off next Tuesday, October 13 with a parade down Broadway beginning at 3 p.m.

First Readings were given to:

• A Bill vacating a city utility easement on 2 lots owned by the Hannibal Clinic. The clinic wishes to construct a 25-30 thousand square-foot building in the middle of the lots, to improve traffic circulation. The request has already been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
• A request by Preferred Family Healthcare for a Subdivision to be known as the Chloe Place Subdivision. The proposed use of the land located off Palmyra Road is to build an apartment complex. The property is already zoned Multiple Family and Commercial.