METS ambulance proposes new station, second full-time crew in Webb City

City Council agrees to negotiate a contract, hopes to provide better ambulance coverage for cities north of Joplin

The Webb City Council agreed Monday to begin negotiations with the METS ambulance service to construct its own building next to the Webb City fire station.

The new building would allow METS (Metro Emergency Transport System), a Joplin organization, to house a second full-time ambulance crew here.

City Administrator Carl Francis said METS recognizes the increasing population in Webb City and other communities north of Joplin requires increased coverage. One crew is currently housed in the fire station.

METS will pay for the project, with the city providing the land on the southwest side of the fire station at 500 S. Ellis St.

City staff will work out details of the agreement with METS and come back to the council with a contract.

STADIUM SIDEWALK CONTRACT APPROVED

Construction of the Stadium Drive sidewalk can now begin. 

The council authorized Mayor Lynn Ragsdale to sign a contract with Hunter Chase and Associates to build the sidewalk for $249,999. The Springfield firm was one of four contractors submitting bids, which were opened in December. Anderson Engineering’s estimate was $277,000. Under the contract, Hunter Chase has 30 days to begin construction.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is paying 75% of the cost ($187,499). The city’s share will be $62,500.

It will be the first phase of a sidewalk to extend on the south side of Stadium Drive west from Madison Street to Colonial Drive. This phase will stop at Golf Road.

EARLY COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT

City employees will be getting their typical 2% cost of living adjustment early because they didn’t receive one in 2020.

As the pandemic began, city officials were worried that the lockdowns would decrease revenue and held back on spending that had been budgeted.

“It was skipped because of worries, but then it turned out to be a banner year,” said Ragsdale.

Francis recommended the COLA at this time, which will cost approximately $34,500.

PANDEMIC LEAVE EXTENSION

The council approved a motion to extend pandemic sick leave for employees even though funding through the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act ended Dec. 31.

Francis said several employees have been “hit with quarantines,” and he didn’t want to see someone forced to return to work because they’re out of sick leave.

Francis reports that 17 employees have been infected with the coronavirus. Two of those are currently under quarantine.

Two ordinances were completed on second reading which:

Address a problem with prosecution of violations involving parked or stopped driver-less vehicles was accepted on first reading. City Attorney Troy Salchow has said that under current law only drivers can be ticketed, which allows the vehicle’s owner to deny driving it. The wording will be changed to allow charges against the vehicle’s owner or driver.

Approve Steve Finney’s request to change the zoning of a tract on South Hall Street, southeast of Cardinal Drive, from commercial(C-2) to single family dwelling (R-1) was accepted on first reading. 

Finney had initially sought to build duplexes. But he appeased adjacent property owners at the planning and zoning meeting to instead build single-family homes. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to send the request to the council.

COUNCIL CANDIDATES

As of Tuesday, only the incumbent council members up for re-election have filed to be on April 6 ballot.

They are Andy Queen (1st Ward), Gina Monson (2nd Ward), Jonathan Shull (3rd Ward) and Debbie Darby (4th Ward).

Tuesday, January 19, is the deadline to file as a candidate.

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