Oronogo rezones additional property for SMB’s new branch bank

It’s apparent that Southwest Missouri Bank is getting closer to proceeding with its new branch at Highway 96 and Route D in Oronogo.

Craig Tankersley, president of SMB, was present Monday when the Oronogo Board of Aldermen unanimously approved an ordinance rezoning additional property from residential to commercial.

The main property was rezoned to commercial on July 27, 2020, prior to SMB purchasing the property from David Collard. And then the historic rock house on the site was demolished more than a year ago, in January 2021.

Tankersley said it didn’t seem like a good idea to proceed then because of the pandemic.

The additional property to the south of the main lot was necessary because the proximity of a gas line requires the Route D entrance to be located farther south.

Plans for the facility aren’t available, but in addition to normal branch functions, city officials have said there will also be a community center.

Builder keeps license after 3-3 vote to revoke it

A public hearing, including the presentation of evidence and testimony, lasted more than an hour as the board determined whether the business license for Tyler Woods’ Allied Construction should be revoked.

There was no doubt that Woods installed plumbing and the HVAC system himself instead of subcontracting with licensed contractors as he said he would on the building permit for the house at 1076 Alexsandra Circle.

City Attorney Derek Snyder questioned Woods about whether he has liability and workers compensation insurance.

“Woods is in violation,” concluded board member Darrell Orender (3rd Ward). But “these people are relying on their house to be built.”

The house appears to be near completion on the outside and inspections have been approved.

Mayor Charles Wilkins, however, said Woods has shown a pattern of violating the building code and would likely do so again if his license isn’t revoked.

It was pointed out that Woods’ two other building permits in Oronogo have expired so he has no other active projects in the city.

Kima Francis (3rd Ward) said she’s not sure the prospective owners would be “held hostage” if Woods’ license is revoked and he doesn’t finish the house. 

Wilkins said another contractor could finish the house.

City Attorney Derek Snyder asked the question of whether Woods’ license should be revoked. 

The vote was deadlocked at 3-3. Voting to revoke were Jason Grossman, Orender and Rick Seeley. Voting against were Mark Lloyd, Tammy Talent and Francis.

Snyder said city code requires an affirmative vote by the board, with no provision for the mayor to break the tie.

“I hope the people (homeowners) get a quality home. We enforce the code. We don’t legislate quality.”

Also during the meeting:

• Wilkins reported on an 8-inch water leak that emptied into the house of a basement, for which the city will likely face a liability claim. He praised the public works crew for putting in a 16-hour day, working until 11 p.m.

• Representatives of Net Vision Communications presented information about their service of providing fiber internet service. They said they had been contacted by residents seeking better internet service.

• Voted to refer a proposed chapter on stormwater management to the city code to the Planning and Zoning Commission for review since it involves land use.