At its regular meeting, Monday, Oct. 2, the El Dorado Springs City Council voted to allow Jeana Oschner to start a Community Garden on West Fields Street.
Oschner said she would write grants and apply for 501C3 status. She said she would also have an email address. She plans to put info in the newspaper and set a meeting for volunteers. She said any produce from the Community Garden would go to the Senior Center or the Food Banks.
Oschner said she wanted a meet and greet with the neighbors.
She asked City Manager Bruce Rogers if there was water on the site. He said there was water available, but there needed to be a couple of hydrants installed with locks.
Rogers told Oschner that all volunteers would have to sign a liability wavier. He also told her that his only concern was if the city needed the space back in the future that the grant money might have to be paid back.
Oschner said she was trying to get a portable building donated. Rogers said that was not a problem as long as it wasn’t on a permanent foundation. He also said that no building permit is required if the building is 100 sq. ft. or less. He said it would need to be anchored to the ground.
Rogers and Oschner are to get together next week to look at agreement paperwork.
All councilmen were present: Mayor Brad True, Jim Luster, Nick Bland, Randy Bland and Jerry Baldwin. City Clerk Lisa Allison was also present.
The council approved on the first and second reading an ordinance vacating the Cherry Street right-of-way in blocks three and four of the Philips Addition to the City of El Dorado Springs.
Rogers presented the draft budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year stating the operating budget remains basically the same with capital projects including Phase II of the sidewalk project, water tower painting, new well and construction and engineering cos
ts to rebuild the substation. The proposed budget does not include a cost of living increase. A major impact on this budget is the $60,000 increase in work comp premiums due to the firefighters that were injured some time back fighting fire at the city dump.
Fire Chief Owen Elliot said that he had no problem with the budget. He requested a thermal imaging camera and four suits of protective gear which is a standard request. He also asked for five pages to replace outdated ones.
Lt. Ben Francis with the El Dorado Spring Police Department requested five new radios for the patrol vehicles. He said that all the agencies around El Dorado Springs have gone to digital radios and the ElDo Police Department can’t hear them.
He said that the department needs new body cameras because the ones that they’ve had since 2013 are out dated. He also requested a part-time patrol officer and a video camera for the police station
Director of Municipal Services Brian Koger said the street department needs a new loader and new tires for the dump truck as well as a snow plow for smaller areas. He also said the shop roof is leaking and needs to be replaced. Riley Julian, head of the Parks Department, said the park department could use a chain saw and a pole saw for the cemetery. He said the pool needs to be painted and the steps in the Park at the spring basin were crumbling. He also said he could get a used mower for the golf course for between $10,000 and $15,000. He said a new one would cost about $40,000.
Rogers said that the water and sewer revenue remain flat and it might be time to address the water rates.
Luster commented that the department heads continue to say that the city has outdated equipment. Rogers said that the whole focus of the budget is to replace the oldest equipment.
Rogers told the council that the water tower contractor started last week. He said that bids are out for the labor portion of the electrical substation with the opening on Oct. 12. Rogers said bids for the new well should go out next week, He reminded the council that it is possible to drill a well and not get water, or not get good water.