Westphalia aldermen consider roof repair options

By Theresa Brandt, Staff Writer
Posted 6/7/23

WESTPHALIA — Westphalia aldermen are considering their options after receiving a bid to replace the roof of City Hall for $25,520 from All Season’s Roofing. An additional $3,200 would be …

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Westphalia aldermen consider roof repair options


WESTPHALIA — Westphalia aldermen are considering their options after receiving a bid to replace the roof of City Hall for $25,520 from All Season’s Roofing. An additional $3,200 would be required for tuck-pointing the rock and removing the chimneys.

“You are looking at $30,000,” Alderman Delbert Wieberg said. “Do we want to stick that much money into this old building?”

“I don’t think so,” Alderman Stanley Heckman answered. “That’s just the roof. We have another city building that would work for us.”

“For the same amount of money, you could do a lot with that place down there,” Alderman Jake Plassmeyer said, referring to the city-owned building previously used by the fire department.” I’d love to fix this building up, but it’s going to have a big price tag on it.”

“I love the old building,” said Alderman Lori Asel. “I think it gives character to the city. I think it has the history of being City Hall.”

“It used to be a bank, too,” Heckman said. “It’s been a lot of things.”

Asel agreed that it had been used for other things in the past but wishes the building was used for more than just one meeting a month.

“Then you are talking about a lot more expense if you are going to use it for other things,” Heckman warned. “You are going to have to do a lot more to the interior.”

Wieberg asked Asel what she thought the next phase of the remodel would include if the board agreed to renovate the building.

Everyone agreed that the building needed some sort of heat and air conditioning. Wieberg suggested an HVAC system similar to what Heckman has in his business.

Heckman noted that his system cost $6,000 but said the outside unit that would need to be added would distract from the building’s historical appearance.

Aldermen noted that maybe the building could be gifted to the Westphalia Historical Society (WHS).

Mayor Tammy Massman said that gifting the building to the WHS would not yield additional profits for the city.

“But even if we don’t get anything for it, we would still be money ahead versus sinking a whole lot of money into it,” Heckman said.

Massman explained that the old fire station would also require renovations to make it usable for monthly meetings.

“This is not going to be us walking down there and turning the key and using it,” Massman warned. “The utilities have been off for a decade.”

Regardless, Heckman argued that renovating the old fire station would be cheaper than renovating City Hall.

“It might be a little bigger than this building,” Massman explained. “It’s a metal-framed building, and I guarantee there is going to be a need for upkeep and improvements.”

“One way or another, one structure or unit needs upgrades,” Heckman said. “In my mind, the other building will be easier to fix and keep up with because you are going to have to repair that other building’s roof at some point anyway and the electrical. It is still going to have to be maintained.”

Massman noted that City Hall could be handled the same way as the sewer system and streets by breaking down the big-ticket items and fixing things up over the course of several years versus fixing everything up all at once.

Heckman responded that regardless of how the renovations are handled, the city will need to fix up the meeting room at the old fire station to use while City Hall is being renovated.

“I’m not saying to tear the building down or to let it go, but if someone else wants to fix it up and would utilize it more than we do now, maybe that would be better,” Heckman said.

Aldermen decided to table the issue of building renovations until the city could get two additional bids for the roof repairs for City Hall. Heckman and Massman will seek bids from two additional companies. Massman also invited aldermen to set up a time to look at the old firehouse and see what the meeting room looks like.

In other business, Asel would like to amend and update the city’s planning and zoning code, especially as it applies to home-based businesses. Asel has learned that the city of Pacific has recently adopted a new ordinance to update regulations to coincide with the new rules set forth by the state of Missouri.

“I think our current planning and zoning does not cover all of the home-based businesses,” Asel explained. “It excludes the food aspect of things. I think that needs to be included.”

Asel referenced the Missouri State cottage law that applies to foods produced in a residence.

“Cottage law can get you around some Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, but it doesn’t get you around planning and zoning,” City Attorney Doug Stultz explained. “It would take a pretty big rework of the current zoning provisions to get all that put together.”

“I don’t know about that,” Asel said. “Pacific just did it. They were able to take the new Missouri law and tie it into what they had. I’m looking for some way to simplify the process.”

“You would have to look at the planning and zoning ordinances, and there is probably a provision on how to amend them and follow that framework and put together a draft proposal,” Stultz said.

“You can’t just let anyone have a home-based business,” Wieberg said.

“Yes, you can,” Asel countered. “You cannot deny them. This is America. It is the right of people, homeowners, property owners, and citizens to start businesses if they want to.”

“I think you just want to make the process easier for everyone,” Stultz said.

“Yes,” Asel said. “I think the variance and the conditional forms or whatever are just ridiculous red tape for someone who wants to do something in their home.”

“But that is what we have in front of us now,” Stultz said. “That is the law in the city of Westphalia. We didn’t make it up. That’s what has been here. If you want that to change, you need to come up with a proposal and language. Then that needs to be vetted, and it needs to go through the proper steps to amend the ordinance. I don’t disagree with you that the application process might be a pain, but that was here before we were here.”

“It’s not just a simple vote,” Heckman said. “It’s going to be a lot of work.”

Asel repeated that she would like to adopt the new regulations the way she understands the city of Pacific did.

“I’m not exactly sure of what we need to change,” Asel said. “I just think the process should be easier.”

“In order to do that, you have to change the city of Westphalia’s ordinances as they are written today,” Stultz said.

“The planning and zoning codebook is the framework that was passed by an ordinance,” Mayor Massman said. “That’s the governing rule.”

“What part of that do we change?” Asel asked. “There is a lot in there I wouldn’t want to change.”

“You are talking about a big undertaking,” Stultz said.

“How do we work around that?” Asel asked. “You’re saying there is no possibility.”

“I’m not saying that,” Stultz said. “What I am saying is that what you are proposing is a big undertaking. If you think it is easy to put together a proposal, then do it. I promise you; it’s a little more complicated than what you are thinking. I’m not saying it’s not a good idea. It’s going to take a bit to get it all together. I’m not saying it’s not worth doing.”

“So, in the meantime, we just say no to everyone?” Asel asked.

“I don’t think that has ever been the case,” Massman said. “I think we really need to emphasize what Doug said earlier, which is, this is what we have in place. This is what we are to be following, and that is all we have.”

“We should be looking at and changing and updating a lot of our ordinances,” Asel said.

“I don’t disagree with you,” Stultz said. “If you think there are ordinances that need to be updated and replaced, you keep moving forward with what you think needs to be changed. Do as much of the legwork as you can, and when you think it is in a good place, get it in front of a lawyer. You have to put together a proposal.”

The other aldermen encouraged Asel to work on updating the ordinance.

• Aldermen approved Schwartz Roofing’s estimate of $2,162 to repair the shingle portion of the roof on the salt shed. Massman will reach out to the company to set up a schedule.

• The board also approved a three-year contract with Mid Mo Operations for the current rate of $3,200 per month.

Aaron Lachowicz with Mid Mo Operations reported that the plant is running well. He is working with Wieberg to replace the sludge decant line after the digester broke off. Wieberg and Lachowicz agreed that the best solution was to replace the pieces out of stainless steel to avoid future problems. The parts for the replacement will cost about $1,400 and will be billed directly to the city. The check valve has been ordered and will be replaced as soon as it arrives.

Lachowicz would also like to start working on repairing the air header at the treatment plant. He estimates that about a third of the air header is in bad shape. The city would like to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for this repair. Massman will check to make sure that the city is not required to have an engineering report on projects that use ARPA funds. She will ensure everything is in place for the ARPA funds before Mid Mo Operations proceeds.

• Aldermen approved the annual premium for insurance for city property from Missouri Public Entity Risk Management Fund (MOPERM) for $5,885. Last year, MOPERM’s quote was $5,395. The increase was attributed to the increased value aldermen placed on city buildings at the last meeting.

Massman is working on getting a quote for general liability insurance for the city.

• The following expenses were approved: city ($4,686.95), sewer ($8,997.49). and special road district ($369.40).

• Westphalia had the following receipts for the month: city ($8,038.20), sewer ($8,682.50), and special road district ($332.96).

• The city had the following account balances: city checking ($178,505.19), sewer system checking  ($60,117.44), special road district checking ($55,813.22), and special road district savings ($5,114.48).

• Westphalia had the following certificates of deposit: city ($441,313.53), sewer system ($524,628.76), and special road district ($524,981.51).

• The next meeting will be held on June 20 at 6 p.m., beginning with a public hearing regarding a conditional-use application. The regular meeting will start immediately after the public hearing.


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