Hamilton votes to support the BAM tour

In a vote of 2 to 1 the Hamilton Board of Aldermen passed a motion to support the BAM bicycle tour next June. Alderwoman Sherria Kavanaugh was absent from Wednesday’s meeting. The bicycle riders are requesting to use Hamilton as an overnight stay on their route from St. Joseph to Hannibal. They will leave Sunday, June 12, and will spend their first night in Hamilton. It is estimated that there will be approximately 800 to 1,000 (no more than 2,000) bicycle riders along with an entourage that travels with them.

The group will require a campsite, fire hydrant, sewer, and dumpster. BAM brings with them a stage with entertainment, a beer garden, and two or three food vendors. They are asking for a $5,000 fee from the city to be a host city. The concept is that the city will benefit by having so many people in town. The city can have its own vendors to sell food and drink. A couple of churches in other towns last year took advantage of the crowd by having dinners to raise money. The overnight stay will be on a Sunday night. The city is looking at the Gas and Steam Engine grounds as a possible campground for the group. President of the Gas and Steam Engine Assn., Kendall Morgan, attended the meeting, and at the present time, the association is looking favorably towards the use of their show grounds.

President of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Jesse Green, said “there are obviously some great things that can come from this and there are also some giant headaches that come from this.” Green said that notoriety is the main benefit that the city will reap and that they would basically be buying marketing and advertising. Green said she believed that the $5,000 fee could be negotiable, and added that this would be a great opportunity to put Hamilton on the map. John Deis, who attended the meeting, said that the 36 Alliance has really worked to make this happen.

One negative aspect is that they will have to cross Highway 36. George Pease, the County’s Emergency Management Director, said he was vehemently opposed to the bicyclers crossing at the Business 36 junction, as it is the single most dangerous intersection on Highway 36 across the entire state of Missouri. Pease said he is supposed to meet with the group and determine a route through the county.

Commissioner Bud Motsinger said his primary purpose for coming to the meeting is to determine how much the county will have to set aside in the budget next year for the Sheriff’s Department to have officers direct traffic and to patrol the town for security. The bicyclers plan to travel to Braymer and there was a concern about A Highway. It was discussed that the easiest and safest thing to do would be to close the highway for a day, but that would be a MoDOT decision. A motion was made and passed to support the big BAM tour using Hamilton as an overnight host city.

In other city news, Allstate consultant, Cary Sayre, addressed the council concerning the water line bids. Seven bids were received ranging from $488,000 to $650,000 and the base bid and alternate bids were within budget. The contractor recommended by Allstate is Great Plains Contracting, but the board will make the final decision once the bids are reviewed. It is estimated that by the time the paperwork is completed, the time frame to start construction will be in January, which is not an ideal time to start. Sayre suggested they post date the contract documents for the project to begin March 1st. City Attorney, Robert Cowherd, added that the city cannot adopt an ordinance accepting the bids until they have approval from the USDA and the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Streets that will be worked on will be South Davis, North Prairie, East McGaughy and alley, East 8th, West 6th, with North Ewing as an alternate. Once the construction begins, completion is estimated to take 240 days. Attorney Cowherd added that there is another project scheduled for bids next year to do more streets and complete the rest of the project.

George Pease thanked the city for allowing him to use the old water tower site for the ham radio civil emergency services. He said the repeater site is up and working and it has really improved the overall emergency response communications for the entire area. “The antenna and everything there was a perfect match for the system and it is working extremely well,” Pease said.

Members of Larkin Engineering attended the council meeting to give an update on the city pool project. Kyle McCawley of Larkin said a study was done two years ago to assess the conditions of the pool and talk about upgrades. At that time, the water slide and filtration system were identified as the two main areas of concern. Two contractors attended a pre-bid meeting that was held today, plus two others are also interested in the project. The scope of the project is the addition of a water slide, addition of a deck on the southwest corner, addition of a shade canopy, replacement of the filtration system, replacement of the automatic fill function, and adding security gates to the inside of the bath house to prevent people from hopping the fence and entering the building. One of the non-compliance issues was ADA access to the pool. An additional set of stairs will need to be added and a compliant pool lift added to accommodate someone in a wheelchair. The diving board is an alternative issue that they are taking bids on. Larkin will commence work after they receive a notice to proceed. Their plan is to have the project finished by May 6th of 2016.

Two ordinances were passed at this meeting:

Ordinance 1585 was passed by the board approving a personnel manual for city employees.

Ordinance 1586 was passed calling for an election on the question of extending a capital improvement sales tax for use for city streets and sidewalks. Currently this tax is in place and expires March 31, 2017. The tax would be extended for ten more years.

A motion was made by the board to set the filing dates for the April general election.

Jim Luther said people in town are asking if the JC Penney mural will be put back up. City Administrator Wallace said that something else would be put up but that JC Penney would be incorporated into it. Alderman Trosper said that the mural was in poor shape when it was taken down and it is currently in storage.

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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