Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Adrian considers joint venture to build community storm shelter

Don Lile, Superintendent of 
Adrian R-III schools
During the regular session of the Adrian city council meeting last night, there was discussion of a community storm shelter- and of course property to build such a structure on would be the very first consideration before any plans could move forward. 

Talk of such a shelter has been a subject in the community for many years as currently, in the event of a tornado warning for example, it can be hit-and-miss determining if basements of local churches and other places  are available on short notice. 

Council guest Don Lile, Superintendent of Adrian R-III schools joined the discussion with an idea regarding the property problem,  noting that neighboring schools in Archie and Rich Hill both have structures that provide 'dual duty' purpose, a gymnasium and a storm shelter for the community to use in the event of disaster. 

He was clear in stating that a building serving both purposes is a win-win for both the school and the community and it nearly happened once before. Lile said Adrian schools were very close to getting funding for such a structure in 2016 but FEMA suddenly stopped the program. 

However, last night's discussion gave renewed hope.

"Together" he went on to say "we can make this work" as he reviewed renderings of the proposed 2016 project. "Cost then was around 4 million. Obviously it would cost more now. However, if the school provides the property and the city provides the construction, we'll all save and can benefit together". 

At any rate, discussion of such a project is in its infancy and more is expected in upcoming council meetings, including the December 12th regular session at city hall. Of course financing will be the key, and city administrator Ryan Wescoat will be reviewing available grants and other sources in the meantime. Financing for the 2016 project was via a proposed FEMA 75/25 grant and hopes would be for something similar.  

In other council news, it was reported that storm siren testing went off without a hitch and all units are working properly. Also noted by Fire Chief Gary Dizney, October brought about 50 calls for service for the department. Likewise, Sight & Safety night on Halloween drew some 800 or so to Main street and was deemed a success for all involved.

The passage of legal recreational marijuana in Missouri sparked a discussion with city attorney Sarah Oldridge regarding steps the city should take in preparation. Adrian has the opportunity to take advantage of a 3% tax on marijuana sales, but implementation of such as tax would be at the discretion of voters next April. Overall however, the city has the option to remain 'dry' and not allow sales at all; more about this to be discussed in upcoming sessions. In any case, ordinances will need to be adopted to address the marijuana matter.

It was decided that Adrian 'Chamber Bucs' can be used for payments at city hall. The money is purchased in the from of gift cards and already can be redeemed at local businesses; overall will work the same with payments at city hall from now on.

Permits will be required to operate ATV's on city streets in near future and the criteria will include they be insured, along with having a working horn. While it will not be a formal state inspection as in regular motor vehicles, mostly likely the city will require a quick inspection of the ATV prior to issuing a sticker showing compliance. Details are being worked out and implementation of the program is expected in coming months and a modification of the ordinance will be required.

Likewise, talk of the requirement for business licenses was held and included recommendations for home based businesses operating under the 'no impact' guidelines,  meaning that as long as the home based business does not cause traffic or other neighborhood issues, there will be minimal constraints placed on the owner. Overall, it is anticipated that Adrian will begin the business license requirement early next year.

The problem of having a full time code enforcement officer available appears to have been resolved, per a recommendation by Administrator Wescoat. This city approved a two year agreement with Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) where the city may use the company on an as needed, pay as you go basis. Overall it appears this arrangement will meet needs while saving money as no retainer or monthly commitment is required.

There will be openings for North and South Alderman, candidate filing will be open December 6 through December 27th. Candidates are urged to stop by city hall for more information prior to filing.

The city will be seeking RFP's for haying south of the lake and north of the gun range; about 65 acres will be up for grabs, bid information will be made available soon. The city will also seek RFP's for sewer system smoke testing and a water engineering report as well, details forthcoming.

While a nice idea, putting "Home of the Blackhawks" on both water towers, or even just one, may be too pricey. Even while the exact artwork was not proposed, a preliminary estimate per tower could run as much at 10 to 15k putting it out of the ballpark for now.

Remember, the Adrian city council meets on the second Monday, 7 pm at city hall and the public is highly encouraged to attend.


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