$2.7 M contract signed to begin Oronogo sewer improvement project

The Oronogo Board of Aldermen on Monday authorized Mayor Charles Wilkins to sign a contract with G&G Construction Co. for construction of improvements to the city’s sewage system.

The total base bid is $2,737,000. Curtis Garner, representing G&G has presented a bond and insurance guaranteeing his performance.

Work is expected to begin soon. The completed project will make it possible for developers to continue building houses in the city.

Meanwhile, the process for Spire to purchase the city’s municipal natural gas system continues.

The council approved an ordinance amending the purchase agreement to include the gas transfer station property. Terms of the sale remain the same. The city is to receive $620,000 plus reimbursement for costs involved with extending the system to homes in the new subdivisions, Greystone II and Hawthorn Hills.

Voters approved the sale, which now awaits scrutiny by the Missouri Public Service Commission.

The board also approved the installation of two streetlights in the Hawthorn Hills subdivision. Developer Schuber Mitchell Homes will reimburse the city for the installation. While the city’s monthly bill from Empire District Electric for streetlight usage will go up by $78.68.

The board voted to renew a special tax bill in the amount of $1,315 plus costs and interest for Robert S. and Melissa F. Utley, owners of 247 Baker St.

Ward 2 board member – not city administrator – needed

At the end of the open portion of the meeting, board members discussed whether a city administrator needs to be hired.

Wilkins began the dicsussion by saying he had asked to bring it up by Matt Kroutil (2nd Ward).

Kroutil gave an overview of the role of a city administrator with information he had received from the Missouri Municipal League.

Kima Francis (3rd Ward) noted the mayor of Oronogo is a paid position and that Wilkins plus three department heads already do the job of a city administrator.

Rick Seeley (1st Ward) objected to the $70,000 to $80,000 suggested salary for a city administrator. “We don’t have businesses to support that.”

“I don’t know how we would justify” someone making that kind of money, added Francis.

What the city does need, according to Francis, is the vacant 2nd Ward board seat filled.

Wilkins agreed but admitted, “I’ve had zero luck” filling that seat. He said he’s followed up on references he’s received but so far has had no takers.