City recovers from week of battling issues caused by record-breaking cold

Webb City employees helped get water service resumed in Carterville

Let’s start this story about the Webb City Council meeting with City Administrator Carl Francis’ written report about the city’s response to last week’s storm.

City Administrator’s Report
February 18, 2021

Weather has been the main issue as everyone is aware. We have received approximately a foot of snow during this event and the record cold temperatures have caused many problems. 

Public Works has switched to 12 hour shifts to keep all 10 of our street plow trucks running 24/7 as the snow continued to fall. 

Now with the weather starting to warm up and the snow subsiding we are focusing on the water issues this storm has caused. 

Carterville requested assistance regarding their pump failure and we have opened up our connection to them to supply water. The flow was first thought to be frozen so the Webb City Fire Department brought out a pumper truck and crews ran a line from the two fire hydrants connecting the system. Fire department crews monitored the pump throughout the night as it pushed nearly 90 lbs. of pressure all night. Then on Wednesday morning it was discovered our main line [between the two cities] had started working properly. 

Problem is we are experiencing a drop in pressure on our system as we suspect there are frozen service lines and breaks in many residential and commercial locations. City crews are out actively searching for any leaks and we have also asked the police and fire departments to report any standing water. We will have personnel monitoring the water levels and pressure 24/7 until this event begins to get under control. We will open and close the connection to Carterville to supply them as much as we safely can without risking the loss of our own system.

The fire department has also been busy with about 10 calls of water and sprinkler line breaks, one of which was the housing building that was once the Jane Chin Hospital, several motorist assists, flue fires and other mutual aid related calls as a result of the storm.

The Webb City Police Department has also been very busy responding to emergencies during this storm. Officers have responded to 25 accidents and slide offs as of Thursday morning, another 23 motorist assists such as stuck in snow and stranded motorists. Officers were also instrumental in helping those displaced from the water break at the Jane Chin Housing building.


The City Council authorized the expenditure of up to $25,000 to improve the main baseball field in King Jack Park. 

Carnahan White of Springfield is the contractor for the project, which will total $49,170.

Webb City Little League suggested the improvements and has received a donation to help pay the other half of the contract.

The improvements include:

  • New yellow plastic fence capping with red protective padding.
  • New backstop with 30-foot net backstop (similar to the one installed last year at the high school field).
  • New concrete poured around the perimeter of the field.
  • Bleachers moved behind home plate. Webb City public works will remove the green building that’s currently behind plate.


Rather than hold another closed session to discuss real estate negotiations, Francis just gave an update prior to adjournment.

There’s still nothing to officially announce, but he said was expecting to meet this week with representatives of the family restaurant and large grocery store that are considering the purchase of from the city in Centennial Retail and Industrial Park (adjacent of the roundabout). He also reported progress on two other deals – with the mattress manufacturer and breakfast diner. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted last week to approve minor aspects of the mattress manufacturer plan, which are required even though the land is already zoned for industrial use.

In other action, the council:

  • Heard Financial Administrator Tracy Craig acknowledge Councilman Jerry Fisher’s statement that the city’s finances have never been better. Sales and use tax receipts continue to rise above expectations.
  • Allowed the police department to purchase three in-car video recording systems at a total cost of $10,120. Police Chief Don Melton received a Missouri Department of Transportation grant to cover the entire cost.
  •  Allowed the police department to purchase three light detection and ranging systems from Applied Concepts. Missouri Department of Transportation will cover all but $127 of the $5,048 total cost.
  • Allowed the police department to purchase emergency equipment for three new patrol vehicles. A Jasper County Law Enforcement Sales Tax grant will cover all of the total cost, $21,793.
  • Accepted first reading of a council bill to allign the city code with state law by allowing liquor to be sold as early as 9 a.m. on Sundays. The city code requires that sales be delayed until 11 a.m.

The next meeting will be Monday, March 8.

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