Grass-roots citizens groups are making an impact on Hannibal City Council business. One example is the modified riverfront plan floated at Tuesday’s council meeting. The original development plan called for elimination of the marina. The amended plan keeps 48 boat slips, but moves them to the south end of Nipper Park.

The new proposal comes after a citizens group launched a petition to save Hannibal’s marina. The group recently submitted over 1100 signatures to the City Clerk for validation.

Mayor Hark called the new proposal an “adequate compromise” but said the city should remain open to other ideas. Some affiliated with the citizen’s group believe the marina should remain in its current location.

The council tabled a motion to approve the plan after Councilman Jim VanHoose suggested the “Save Hannibal’s Marina” group be allowed to review revisions and give feedback.

The decision by the city council to do a water treatment study comes after action by another citizens group.  The council voted on Tuesday to spend over $78,000 on a cost study regarding drinking water disinfection alternatives.  The Concerned Citizens for Safe Drinking Water raised health concerns after the city switched to chloramines as a disinfectant in the fall of 2015.  A petition seeking removal of chloramines landed enough signatures to bring the issue to a vote of the people in April 2017.

The council voted to contract with Jacobs Engineering for a cost analysis of alternatives to chloramines.  The study will explore the feasibility of switching to GAC (Granulated Activated Charcoal) in conjunction with UV light and chlorine.  The results are expected to be revealed in February.  City officials say the study is needed to allow residents to make an informed decision when they go to the polls in April.

In other council business:

  • An amended anti-smoking ordinance received a first reading by the council.  The new ordinance drafted by City Attorney James Lemon allows certain residents in nursing facilities to smoke inside in limited circumstances. The revision comes after representatives from Levering Home addressed the council October 18 regarding complaints the facility was violating the ordinance.  Levering officials argued some of their residents have behavioral issues and could endanger the public and employees if allowed to smoke outside.  They also stated special smoking areas have been set up with smoke walls and separate exhaust systems as well as other features.
  • Fire Chief Sean Hampton received approval to purchase 20 sets of firefighter gear at a cost of $47,380.
  • Hong Kilmer of the Rialto Banquet Center at 603 Broadway asked for the city's help to raze an adjacent building at 607 Broadway that burned in an August fire.  Kilmer cited safety issues and says she has had to suspend operations at her recently remodeled business. The council decided to forward the issue to the Building Commission at its next meeting November 7.
  • A request to close streets in the downtown area from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, November 12 is approved for a Veteran's Day Parade.
  • Contracts for demolition are approved for: 417 Oak, 807 Paris, 820 Bird, 1916 Spruce, and 2314 Chestnut.
  • Approval was given for the city to acquire property on Gordon Street from the First Presbyterian Church.
  • Second and Final Reading was given to a bill providing for a municipal election to be held Tuesday, April 4.