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by Karen E. Culp

City Council opened its July 6 meeting and then dismissed in fewer than 40 minutes in one of its shortest meetings this year.

A first reading bill that deals with the distribution of the hotel-motel tax proceeds to four not-for-profit groups in Springfield was introduced. The bill will allow the Discovery Center, Landers Theatre, Dickerson Park Zoo and the Gillioz Theater to share equally the proceeds from a quarter-cent of the 2 1/2-cent increase. The money raised would be about $800,000 for each agency over 20 years.

The funds can only be used for capital improvements, and each agency is required to match 50 percent of the funds.

Each agency submitted the projects it plans to fund with the money to the city, and the plans are included as part of the ordinance text. The agencies will have the opportunity of taking the money on an incremental basis, or up front, with the city lending the money to be collected and the agency incurring an interest charge, said City Manager Tom Finnie.

The Discovery Center plans to use the money for various capital projects. The center has planned a total of $2 million in improvements to the center in the next five years. The Landers Theatre will make improvements to the theater building, including such items as a new roof, tuck pointing on the outside and inner stage house walls, replacing of exit doors and improvements to sound and lighting.

The Gillioz, like the Discovery Center, has long-range plans for making improvements to the theater building itself and has a total budget of about $2.5 million for those improvements.

The zoo plans to use the funding for improvements to its entrance complex and completion of its "Diversity of Life" project, an exhibit building that will house reptiles and primates, said Mike Crocker, zoo superintendent. The zoo hopes to complete both projects in the spring of 1999, Crocker said.

The cost for the new entrance complex will be about $425,000, and the Diversity of Life Center should be about $460,000. The tax will supply half of each of those totals, so the zoo will probably have some money remaining from the tax. Crocker said the zoo administration is not sure what will be done with the remaining funds.

"We want to make reworking the entrance a priority, because it's an image problem we face. The rest of the zoo has been remodeled and redone, but we have the same entrance we've had for years," Crocker said.

Another first reading bill deals with the location of a tower for the city's emergency communications system on top of Sun Villa, an SMSU apartment complex. The university has agreed to allow the city to locate the antenna and supporting equipment on the building, Finnie said.

The antenna would be part of the mobile data communications system the city is in the process of obtaining.

The costs of providing room for supporting equipment on the building, as well as installation of wires, cables and an alteration of the building, is to be split between the city and SMSU. The only known cost is for the room for supporting equipment; that cost will be $5,500 a year.

The council approved four resolutions, among them a resolution to support the Southwest Missouri Advisory Council of Governments for Economic Development District designation for the southwest Missouri region.

This designation would make the region and its communities eligible to apply for the economic development funding and technical assistance programs administered through the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The council also approved a bill adopting Ozarks Technical Community College's master plan as an element of the Springfield Comprehensive Plan.

The plan will be an outline for the college's long-term growth and expansion.

The college plans to acquire the remaining properties east of the existing main campus, continuing east to National Avenue. It also plans to acquire property north of Central Street from Texas Avenue on the west to National Avenue on the east. The main campus will be about 34 acres.

Summary of Actions

July 6, 1998

Council members in attendance were Mayor Lee Gannaway, Mayor Pro Tem Teri Hacker, Zone 4 Councilman Russell Rhodes, Zone 3 Councilman Conrad Griggs, Zone 2 Councilwoman Shelia Wright, Zone 1 Councilman Bob Vanaman, General Councilman Tom Carlson, General Councilman Gary Gibson and General Councilman Bob Chancellor.

Ceremonial Matters.

James Berry and Paula Kemp were sworn in to the Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development; Forest Lipscomb to the Special Business District Advisory Board; Piper J. Price to the Board of Equalization.

Response to questions raised.

Council agreed to refer an issue regarding sewer policy to the Plans and Policies Committee.

Council Bills for Public Hearing.

98-244. Annexes undeveloped property on the west side of the 3200 block of North Park Avenue.

First Reading Bills.

98-245. Establishes procedures to administer the Tourism Attractions Partnership for making capital improvement grants to the Discovery Center, The Landers and Gillioz theaters, and Dickerson Park Zoo.

98-246. Authorizes an agreement with the board of governors of Southwest Missouri State University for an antenna to be erected on Sun Villa Towers.

98-247. Approves the creation of a productivity- / performance-based incentive program for employees within the Department of Aviation.

Resolutions.

98-248. Authorizes Councilman Bob Chancellor to attend the Sister Cities International Annual Conference. Approved unanimously.

98-249. Adopts the City Council Handbook as a procedures handbook. Approved unanimously.

98-250. Supports the applications of the Southwest Missouri Advisory Council of Governments for Economic Development District designation for the southwest Missouri region. Approved unanimously.

98-251. Approves a project of The Industrial Development Authority of Greene County for the Forrest Institute of Professional Psychology, a Missouri nonprofit corporation, providing for the issuance of revenue bonds in an amount not to exceed $3.3 million. Approved unanimously.

Amended Bills.

98-215. Amends Planned Development District No. 202, 22 acres located along East Independence Street east of Fremont Avenue. Approved unanimously.

Second Reading and Final Passage.

98-227. Adopts the Ozarks Technical Community College Master Plan as an element of the Springfield Comprehensive Plan. Approved unanimously.

98-228. Adopts the Park, Open Space, and Greenways Plan Element as an element of the Comprehensive Plan for development of the city of Springfield. Amended and held over for vote at the next meeting.

Consent Agenda-First Reading Bills.

98-252. Amends the Springfield City Code by adding a new section to authorize the traffic engineer on an annual basis to erect and remove across-the-street banners at 124 South Avenue and across Walnut Street at South Avenue for the Greater Ozarks Blues Festival.

Consent Agenda-One Reading Bills.

The following bills, both one reading and second reading, were approved in one action.

98-253. Declares the intent of the city of Springfield to annex certain property described generally as the Seville Square property and Missouri Department of Transportation right of way.

98-254. Approves the plan for the construction of the drainage improvements in the 2700 block of South Grant Avenue.

Consent Agenda-Second Reading Bills.

98-229. Condemns right of way for the purposes of testing, installation of lighting, repair, maintenance, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge.

98-230. Authorizes acceptance of bids for the phase I, Biosolids Upgrade Project at the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant and amends the budget for the city of Springfield in the amount of $1,541,000.

98-232. Amends the City Code by establishing new contribution rates and establishing an effective date for said changes.

98-236. Approves the preliminary plat of Youngblood Plaza, at the southeast corner of Campbell Avenue and Walnut Lawn Street, as an addition to the city.

98-237. Establishes the boundaries of a sanitary sewer district located in the 4000 block of South Fairway Avenue.

98-238. Establishes the boundaries of a sanitary sewer district located in the 1500 block of South Oak Grove Avenue.

98-239. Establishes the boundaries of a sanitary sewer district located in the 2300 block of East Division Street.

98-240. Establishes the boundaries of a sanitary sewer district located in the 6500 block of South Winchester Avenue.

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