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story.lead_photo.caption File photo: A sidewalk along High Street in Jefferson City is shown as cracked and uneven. Photo by Greta Cross / News Tribune.

The Jefferson City Council held off voting again on a bill that would require adjoining property owners to repair sidewalks when a vertical displacement of a quarter of an inch exists within any sidewalk.

Ward 3 Councilman Ken Hussey said Tuesday evening the Jefferson City Public Works and Planning Committee will discuss staff recommendations on addressing the City Council's previous concerns at the committee's Sept. 12 meeting.

City code currently allows an offset of 1.5 inches. The change would allow the city to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act, Jefferson City Public Works Director Matt Morasch previously said.

It would also make several currently compliant sidewalks no longer in compliance.

The bill remains on the informal calendar.

If no action is taken, items on the informal calendar expire after three meetings. The item is set to expire Oct. 7.

Resident Gary Stroup addressed the council Tuesday evening regarding the sidewalk maintenance.

He said he previously provided council members with photos and a statement of current violations of city code and ADA compliance in the 910 block of Oakwood Drive.

"The original purpose of my attending the last meeting as well as this meeting was to point out the fact that if the city is going to hold private property owners to a higher standard than the present, that the city should be held to at least existing maintenance standards for city site improvements of curbing and site improvements that meet ADA regulations and city codes," Stroup said.

He added that the lack of maintenance by the city is happening in other neighborhoods, and the city should "clean up its own backyard before placing any additional burden on the property owners."

For several decades, city code has required adjoining property owners to repair and maintain sidewalks, whether that be clearing them of snow or ensuring they are level, Morasch previously said.

Morasch agreed to further discuss the issue.

Salaried staff emergency pay on pause

In other business, a bill was placed on the council's informal calendar that would allow exempt city staff who work over their salary hours to receive compensation time on their additional hourly rate when the president declares a state of emergency and when the Emergency Operations Center is activated and staffed.

Under city code, exempt employees are typically not paid for time worked beyond 40 hours per week.

City employees worked overtime during recent natural disasters and cleanup, but no additional pay or compensation was given to exempt employees.

Ward 3 Councilwoman Erin Wiseman motioned to place the item on the informal calendar.

The Jefferson City Council Committee on Administration recommended the personnel policy change last month.

Council OKs FY2020 budget, discussed future projects

Also on Tuesday, the council approved the $65.1 million fiscal year 2020 budget. The general fund budget for FY2020 is more than $32.9 million. FY2020 begins Nov. 1.

Ward 4 Councilman Ron Fitzwater said the lean budget covers the city's responsibilities.

Ward 2 Councilman Rick Mihalevich did not attend Tuesday night's meeting.

Pump station improvements proposed

A bill on upgrades to the Binder and Indian Hills Pump Station was also introduced Tuesday evening. The city is considering a contract agreement with Horner and Shifrin for the $246,340 project.

Two pump stations are beyond their useful life, according to the bill. The station located at the southeast corner of Binder Park Lake, north of Rainbow Drive, was installed in 1983.

A new design will bring the station into electrical compliance and create a more aesthetically compatible installation with the scenic park area, the bill says.

The Indian Hills station was installed in 1979 and is located at the intersection of Mohawk and Tomahawk drives. Funding for the project would be used from the Wastewater Capital Fund.

Neighbors request to purchase adjacent city property

A bill allowing city surplus property to be eligible for purchase by adjacent property owners when the land proves difficult to sell was introduced Tuesday.

Jefferson City Counselor Ryan Moehlman said neighboring property owners are often interested in adjoining lots owned by the city. However, they are uninterested in going through the bidding process.

Currently, the city puts all surplus pieces of property up for public bid but does not receive bids because of the limited value of some property.

The value of the lot to be sold would be calculated by "applying the neighboring lot's appraised land value, determined by the county assessor, to the lot to be sold on a per-square-foot basis," Moehlman previously said.

If the potential purchaser does not agree with the price of the land, the city would revert to the bid process.

The bill will be further discussed at the next meeting.

Council will meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 16.

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