Ethan Hatfield takes the office as a firefighter while his wife, Krystina, and daughter, Kinsley, record the event.


Ethan Hatfield sworn in as new firefighter

Fire Chief Andrew Roughton introduced Ethan Hatfield during the Webb City Council meeting Monday as the newest member of Webb City Fire Department.

After being pinned by his wife, Krystina, Hatfield was sworn in by City Clerk Kim DeMoss.

Hatfield, 28, became a Marine after graduating from Carl Junction High School in 2013. He has been in training with the fire department since November 2022 and graduated from the Joplin Fire Academy in June.

He said he is thankful to be a part of the fire department’s  “amazing brotherhood.”

Bob Foos

Portion of Highway 171 to be dedicated in honor of Marshal Leonard Rich, slain in the line of duty in 1902

The Webb City Council on Monday approved talks to participate in a statewide program dedicating roadways and bridges to honor honoring law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Police Chief Don Melton seeks to honor Marshal Leonard S. Rich, who was killed while responding to a disturbance in 1902 in downtown Webb City.

State Rep. Ann Kelley suggests naming a federally funded bridge or highway in Webb City for Rich.

Melton reports that the Missouri Department of Transportation has identified two possibilities: the bridge over railroad tracks east of the roundabout; or all of Highway 171 within the city limits.

A year ago, Melton led an effort to place a monument on Rich’s grave in Webb City Cemetery recognizing his valor.

Purchase of pump approved for deepened well

The council approved a $99,833 bid from Flynn Drilling Co. for the purchase and installation of a pump on the well below the main water tower on East Tracy Street.

The well, one of the city’s first, has been idle. But Flynn Drilling lowered the well further into the aquifer, and now it’s expected to add 350 to 400 gallons a minute to the city’s water supply.

Once the pump is installed, the public works staff will construct the well house, the same as they did for the city’s newest well, which came on line in 2021. It is located on North Homestead Drive.

During discussion:

• City Administrator Carl Francis noted that the new parking lot east of the soccer fields is relieving traffic in the area, particularly between the fields and the concession stand. The new lot is just gravel so far.

• Francis reported that city staff have removed the decades-old swimming pool at the Westhaven Country Club, which the city recently purchased. He said there was worry about the city’s liability in case of accidents at the empty pool. Getting the tennis courts playable is the next goal.

• Fire Chief Andrew Roughton was asked if the second elevator in Cardinal Towers has been repaired yet. He said no, adding that it’s not required by the fire code – “just the stairwells” for emergency exit.

In other action, the council:

• Heard an annual report about the Webb City Senior Citizens Center from Jennifer Shotwell, chief executive officer of the Area Agency on Aging Region X. She said Webb City is fortunate because the city supplies the building so that her agency can spend all of its funding on providing meals and other services. Francis acknowledged a persistent odor at the center which city staff hasn’t given up on solving.

• Accepted three rezoning bills on first reading:

– 1817 and 1825 S. Hall St. from agricultural (A-1) to commercial (C-2) for Chad Brooks to move the Chances of Hope administrative building, currently at First and Madison streets.

– 1919 S. Hall St. from A-1 to C-2, also for Chances of Hope.

– East side of Oronogo Street at 14th Street from single family residential (R-1) to duplexes (R-2). Matt Hodson said he might build a mix of R-1 and R-2 on the property.

All three rezoning requests were advanced from the Planning and Zoning Commission.