Chamois aldermen approve funding for summer activities

By Theresa Brandt, Staff Writer
Posted 5/25/22

Chamois aldermen at last month’s meeting authorized Mayor Elise Brochu to spend $200 per month to provide activities for the kids in the community over the summer. The first event is scheduled …

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Chamois aldermen approve funding for summer activities

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Chamois aldermen at last month’s meeting authorized Mayor Elise Brochu to spend $200 per month to provide activities for the kids in the community over the summer. The first event is scheduled for June 18 and will have a water theme.

“We’re calling it the ‘Water Olympics’ right now, but I don’t know if that’s the name we’re going to stick with,” Brochu explained. “We don’t have it all completely worked out.”

Several community organizations will be involved in the event, including Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA), the Osage County Health Department, the Osage County Sheriff’s Department, the Chamois Fire Department, the Osage County Anti-Drug Community Action Team (OC-ADCAT), and the University of Missouri Extension Office.

“We’re looking at a dunking booth, slip-and-slides, water balloons, wading pools, water gun target shooting, a bounce house, and possibly popsicles and food trucks,” City Clerk Meghan Birmingham noted.

“Hopefully, it all comes together, and everyone has fun,” Brochu added. “We’re still working out all of the details.”

Future events will be scheduled for July, August, and October. Aldermen plan to skip an event in September to focus on Chamois Day.

In other business, Missouri Rep. Bruce Sassmann and his wife, Jan, attended the meeting and told aldermen he will soon be serving all of Osage County after redistricting changes take effect in January.

“I’m running unopposed in the primary and in the general election,” Sassmann said. “I think you are all stuck with me, and I’ll try to help you as best I can.”

Sassmann noted that two grants might be helpful to the city of Chamois, including the Transportations Alternative Program (TAP) and the grants available with the state’s American Rescue Plan (ARP).

“The governor has set aside $1,000,000 for rural economic development funding,” Sassmann said. “I think it is something to watch out for, and I was pleased that the governor was setting money aside for economic development in rural communities. I think oftentimes we get overlooked. I hate that because all the money seems to go to the big urban centers.”

Jan Sassmann also thanked aldermen for their service. 

“Every community needs volunteers to step up and try to keep all of the ducks in a row,” Jan Sassmann said. “My hats are off to you. It’s not easy.”

“It can be a thankless job, and you can’t make everyone happy,” Rep. Sassmann agreed. “I have a passion for these small communities. I know everyone has the same needs, wants, and dreams, and I hope I can help in some way.”

• Resident Bobby Simkins addressed aldermen about water damage to her property that she believes is caused by a neighbor who made changes to their property.

“I just wanted to know if the Board of Aldermen has considered coming down by my place and looking at the damage caused by the runoff,” Simkins asked.

“Danny (Kirsch) and I have talked about going over there, but we haven’t been able to mash up our schedules,” Brochu said of the maintenance supervisor. “Hopefully, this week, we’ll be able to do that.”

“I need to be able to plant for my family, and the growing season is coming to a close,” Simkins said.

“I understand that, but it hasn’t been very long since you talked to us before,” Brochu explained.

Simkins explained that her property was too wet to mow the grass with either a push or riding mower.

Brochu assured Simkins that they would be checking out the situation soon.

• City Attorney Amanda Grellner does not believe it is necessary to have an election in August for aldermen since the number of candidates equals the number of open seats. Everyone will retain their seats.

• The city plans to submit the city’s water project for available state ARPA funds.

• After additional investigation, it has been determined that Heritage Bank had only owned property with an outstanding water bill for two months. Heritage Bank will pay the bill for the two months as agreed upon by the aldermen at the last meeting.

• Brochu noted that there have been multiple complaints about people parking in alleys, speeding through alleys, and general problems associated with the city-owned alleys.

Brochu noted that the issue comes back to ordinance enforcement and that the city needs to continue to move forward in securing a city marshal to enforce the current ordinances.

• Alderman Jeffrey Connor has discussed crosswalks the city would like to build to make it safer for kids to cross to Riverside Park.

“It’s our responsibility to make the crosswalk ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, which means we would have to put in curbs and ramps on both sides before we would be able to file for a permit,” Connor explained. “Once we have them in place, getting a permit is not a problem, and most of it is reimbursed once we get started. But it will be expensive to start.”

Connor will get the ADA requirements from the state, and the aldermen will look into it.

• Chamois Lions Club members planned to clean up the property donated to the city on May 21.

• Aldermen approved expenses for the month totaling $7,920.70.

• Chamois has the following balances in its accounts:  cemetery fund ($10,286.17), general fund ($30,050.10), water fund ($167,695.17), sewer fund ($80,276.78), city -Community Development Block Grant Program in and out ($1,250), city park ($2,621.59), ARPA funds ($38,606.84), sewer bond reserve ($26,650.30), sewer repair ($6,916.43), city cemetery ($20,253.97), meter deposits ($22,181), and water repair ($28,923.97).

• The next meeting is scheduled for June 15 at 7 p.m.

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