Editor’s note: On Monday, Dec. 31, El Dorado Springs City Manager Bruce Rogers took time to give his assessment of the past year and look ahead to 2013.
Q. How was 2012 for the City of El Dorado Springs?
I think it was a good year. We will receive a good financial report from the auditors. I’ve seen the rough draft. We finished in the black.
Q. What were the accomplishments during 2012?
We have the detention basin project underway. I don’t have an exact completion date. The contractor has 90 days from when they started, so it will probably be sometime in February.
Q. How is it coming along?
Really well. A hard freeze slows them down. So far, they have really been able to make good progress. They have been working hard.
Q. And that is designed to reduce the flood surge that hits downtown by how much?
According to engineering estimates, it would have stopped about half of that particular flood event. On lesser floods, it would stop more and bigger floods it would stop less. I don’t think you could say it would stop half of every flood.
Q. The sewage plant is done, isn’t it?
It was completed before 2012.
Q. How is it performing?
It is performing fine. It is producing an effluent that is well below our permit limits.
Q. How are the reed beds doing?
They are doing great. The guy we got them from, a company out of New York, I think he told us they were the best ones he has ever installed. They have grown better and faster than any others they installed.
Q. What else happened in 2012?
KAMO added onto their building on First Street.
Casey’s General Store came into town.
Q. Isn’t that a bright spot on that corner?
It will help stop more through traffic.
Q. Anything on the horizon in economic development?
We continue to work with existing employers where 82% of all new jobs originate.
Q. How are our big employers doing?
DairiConcepts was at 119 when I checked. Cedar County Memorial Hospital, Southwest Mental Health and the El Dorado Springs R-II School each have more than 100 employees. Barrington had 36 employees the last time I checked. Foam Fabricators and Witt Printing are each somewhere in the 40s. The City has 46 employees. Sac Osage Electric has 40. Summer Fresh has about 55 employees. Woods has about 48. Karl Allison has 29 employees at his three businesses. Fugate Motors has 21 employees. Shopco has 18.
Casey’s General Store has 35. Fastrip has six as does Allison Quick Lube. Evan’s Health Mart has 22 employees including 5 or 6 part time students and six other part time employees.
Pizza Hut has 26. Santa Paula Awning has nine full time employees and two part time students after school.
The four banks – Community Bank, Heritage Bank, Mid-Missouri Bank and Liberty Bank – were not open on New Year’s Eve night or New Year’s Day so we could not contact them, but each employees a significant number of people.
(Editor’s note: If we missed your business, please give us a call at the Sun office and we’ll do an update next week. The community appreciates every job. Maybe that would be a good project for the Chamber of Commerce – to list every employer and the number of jobs provided.)
Q. Any other projects?
We got a new storm warning siren from Rural Development. We replaced the one by Clemit Casey’s house (south of Hwy. 54).
We are going to look at the one we took down to see if it needs any work. We might add it as a fifth siren in another location.
Q. Any utility projects coming up?
The continuing water line replacement. We are a little over half way so we probably have another two to three years on that.
We painted the water tower. We cut a new door in the 250,000 bowl and added some safety features as they removed the lead based and repainted it with non-lead based paint. It was just under $300,000. It will cost significantly less the next time with the non-toxic paint.
Q. How is the sales tax doing?
I think it has held pretty well. We are up from the low of a few years ago.
Q. How much sales tax does the city receive each year?
About $800,000 from all three taxes – 1% for the general fund, a half percent in the recreation fund and half percent for capital improvements – a total of 2%.
Q. Anything big planned in capital improvements or repairs?
We have a grant from the Missouri Department of Aviation to work on the airport apron, runway and taxiway, about a $450,000 project. That will be completed this spring.
Q. Anything happening with the Civic Center?
We continue to maintain the programs for maybe 65,000 visitors a year. There are a lot of events where people don’t sign in.
We have a Senior Aerobics class that the Cedar County Senior Tax Board helps fund. Contact the office at 876-3393 to sign up.
We have Tai Chi for seniors. Anyone who has Silver Sneakers available through their health insurance needs to get in touch with us. It’s a benefit they have to encourage them to exercise.
We will probably see an increase in attendance after the first of the year.
Q. City taxi still going strong?
We have a new one that is small like a van. In the first week of the month we take the big taxi out to allow more room for groceries.