courtesy of the City of Willow Springs

Willow Board of Aldermen met twice last week

City Administrator Beverly Hicks gave her report on the state of the City's finances at the Monday meeting of the Board of Aldermen. According to Hicks, the most notable event in the first six months of 2022 was the City's ownership of the MoDOT buildings on Old Springfield Road. Hicks added that the City has been working with a surveyor and the school to reach an agreement regarding the conveyance of the South Building to the school to allow them to move forward with the various trade programs that have been previously discussed.
The City has been able to maintain stable rates for electricity for many years, Hicks said. This stability was challenged with the February 2021 weather event which resulted in ballooning costs of natural gas and renewable energy. She did suggest that renewable energy sources will not sustain the country, and that other fuels are necessary.   
Though last month's energy bill was at a record-high expense of $286,000.00, Hicks said this is the reason for moving forward with the MMMPEP group and the Missouri Electric Commission (MEC) to make contractual changes through the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA). These contractual changes will allow longer term contracts for electric generation including renewable energy, allowing the City to stabilize rates and provide more purchasing power flexibility.
Though revenue collections look strong at this point in the fiscal year, Hicks does anticipate to present the aldermen with budget amendments. 
Chad Watson with the Ozarks Family YMCA approached the aldermen for help with the expense of mowing the soccer fields. The YMCA is taking over the soccer program in Willow Springs starting with the Fall 2022 season. Sign ups are going on now. 
The aldermen voted unanimously to support the YMCA's cost of mowing the fields by increasing the stipend amount the City already provides to the organization. A motion to add $600 to the stipend amount in August 2022, $600 in January 2023, and $600 in August 2023 passed unanimously. 
Employee retention in the police department prompted an additional special meeting Thursday night. See the full story on the department's newly instated program to retain new officers on page XXX. 
The aldermen expected to hear an update from Main Street Willow Springs on their downtown building. No one from the non-profit was present Monday night, so the group was invited back on Thursday. Four board members attended the meeting on Thursday and gave an update. See page 1 for the full story of that discussion. 
City Administrator Hicks also discussed the Willow Springs Community Foundation's plan to ramp up the construction of single-family housing in town. See the story of that plan on page XXX. 
The Aldermen spent fourteen minutes in a closed session at the end of the open session, and adjourned for the evening at 7:29 p.m.
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen is Aug. 25 at 5:30 p.m.
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