courtesy of the City of West Plains

New disorderly conduct ordinance on the books in WP

An ordinance adding a new section to ordinances prohibiting offenses against public peace passed at the regular session of the West Plains City Council on March 20. Ordinance 4734 was presented for a second reading and ultimately passed. A new section titled "Disorderly Conduct" has been added to city ordinances. The new section defines disorderly conduct as acts or threats of violence in public, failing to obey lawful order from police, harassing or abusing police, discharging paint guns or otherwise launching projectiles, or inciting a riot. 
Two other ordinances were passed during the meeting. The city administrator or mayor has been authorized to sign a contract conveying real estate known as Lincoln School to Crockett and Tonya Oaks. Council also passed budget amendments, including a net decrease in fund balance of $1,509,105 for the governmental funds and a net decrease in cash balance of $2,251,583 for the utility funds. According to a report from Earlene Rich, the city's Finance Director, these balances are offset due to the ending fund balances for 2022 being higher than those estimated during the 2023 budget process. 
The Council heard a proposal by the Finance Director and Utility Billing Supervisor suggesting deferring utility payment deadlines to result in fewer late payments and shut offs. A proposed schedule showed an increase from the current seven business days before late fees apply and a subsequent four business days before shut-off to fourteen business days before late fees and ten business days before shut-off. 
"[Late fee revenues] are estimated to decrease by 50% this fiscal year for a total decrease to revenue in the Utility Funds of approximately $13,120 per month from April to December 2023 (a total decrease of $118,080)," reads Rich's report. "We hope that this decrease in revenue is realized (a statement you are unlikely to hear your Finance Director say) resulting in a better experience for our customers and for our staff."
Council took no action on this in the March meeting. 
Prior to adjournment, Mayor Mike Topliff presented Councilman/Mayor Pro Tem Josh Cotter with a plaque for his eight years of service as a councilman. Last week's meeting was Cotter's final full meeting. Cotter has not filed for reelection.  
In other action:
-A liquor license for Oasis II Live Music Bar and Grill LLC, pending state approval was approved.
-A site plan request by Brian Johnson was also approved, from which Councilman Cotter abstained from voting.
-Council heard from Ronald Hyman regarding a request for the city to help the local Alcoholics Anonymous group find a building to hold meetings, pending the sale of their current meeting location which is the Lincoln School.
-A resolution authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement with the Howell County Health Department for Environmental Public Health Service passed. 
-A resolution authorizing the City Administrator to execute an Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement with the Southern Hills Community Improvement District for the purpose of funding and constructing eligible infrastructure improvements passed. 
-A resolution authorizing an agreement between the City of West Plains and Rick and Tawnya Rothermich pertaining to the use of airport land passed. 
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