With new year just around the corner, Marshfield Alderman gathered on Monday evening, Nov. 22 to discuss current finances, potential growth and possible items in the 2022 budget.
The meeting started on a positive note, Parks Activity Director Marc Baker celebrated the successful completion of both the youth soccer and volleyball programs. As well as the positive feedback from the community in regards to the new leaf drop off.
GRO Marshfield President and CEO Duane Lavery reported on the recent developments and potential growth within the city. A undisclosed local industry is completing a small expansion; enclosing a building to make room for more equipment and creating the potential for more jobs in the area. Additionally, two ribbon cuttings took place. The El’ Imperial food truck opening this past week alongside the Prickly Cactus opening their new drive thru.
MBL shared a presentation in regards to transportation planning and working with MODOT in the future. MBL plans on working with local legislators to enhance Webster county and Marshfield’s opportunity for transportation projects. The New Infrastructure bill will play a vital role in this development and Lavery urged the council to be proactive with the allocated funds headed their way.
“We are looking at a lot of extra funding coming to Missouri that we need to be prepared for, like any time we have to have the planning done, and done in advance,” explained Lavery. “The money is coming and the better prepared we are, the better chance to get those funds to expand our transportation infrastructure here.”
GRO Marshfield continued to be a topic of discussion in regards to its contract with the city. As GRO’s three year contract with the city comes to an end, negotiations appear to still be in the works for it’s renewal.
Mayor Natalie McNish spoke on the 3.7% wage increases across the board for city employees. Employees would receive a 3.7% increase after a 6 months trial period. McNish, however, came up with an alternative plan. She suggested empowering department heads and city administrators to allocate the wage increase based on performance evaluations. The departmental heads would have the final say and the funds would be divided up based on the number of employees within the department. The employee would receive 2% and have the potential to receive the rest based on their annual performance. There would be no requirement to allocate all the funds.
An increase in city fees was also apparent in the night’s agenda. Marshfield cemetery fees increased across the board based on the research and comparisons to other cemeteries in the surrounding area. The city looked to Hazel-wood Cemetery in Springfield to reevaluate the current cost. It was noted that Marshfield’s cemetery fees had not been updated or revised since 2014.
The price for purchasing both a business and peddlers license in Marshfield rose from $18 to $25. These increases were also evaluated based on the comparison to cities similar in size. Both licenses received changes in regards to the violations and penalties. Additionally, hours of operation for peddlers has changed. The new hours include 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturday.There will be no peddling on Sundays.
The discussion of the potential 2022 budget was presented by the City’s Administrator, Sam Rost. Rost and Financial Clerk, Monica Robinson, worked hard with the departmental heads in coming up with realistic goals, efficient improvements and needs to present to the board. Items included in the proposed budget consisted of heavy machinery, a contract with IT services, animal control training, city hall improvements and various upgrades and spare equipment.
The parks boards also included a few items they are hoping to get out of the 2022 budget; frisbee golf, ping pong table, basketball court updates and walking trails are just to name a few.
The meeting concluded at 8:30 p.m. leaving the board much to think on before the next meeting and the finalization of the 2022 budget, but also hopeful for the potential growth in the new year.
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