Webb City to refuse vaccine mandate

Mayor opts to let the feds and states to settle the dispute

The federal requirement that companies with 100 employees mandate that all employees get the coronavirus vaccine or be tested regularly will be defied by Webb City, which has 102 employee positions.

“We’re going to aggressively do nothing,” said Mayor Lynn Ragsdale Monday during his opening statement to start the regular City Council meeting.

He cited lawsuits filed by Missouri and other states challenging the authority of OSHA to establish such a rule.

“We’re just not going to get into it (the dispute),” Ragsdale said.

“I am fully vaccinated, but I won’t ask you if you are,” he added. “That’s personal.”

RETIREMENT PLAN UPGRADE

The council gave the final official notice that the city is in the process of upgrading its participation in the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement (LAGERS) System Benefit Plan.

An council bill to make the change will be on the agendas for the council’s Sept. 27 and Oct. 11 meetings.

The improvements are meant to reward, retain and attract good employees.

Bids are sought for purchase of the former city mechanic’s garage at Hall and First streets.

MECHANIC’S GARAGE FOR SALE

City Administrator Carl Francis mentioned that a business owner had approached him about selling the old city mechanic’s garage, which is at First and Hall streets. It’s now primarily being used for storage of public works supplies.

The council agreed to advertise that the lot at 102 S. Hall St. for sale and to take bids.

In other action, the council:

• Accepted first reading of a special use permit for the portion of the old Elder shirt factory at Second and Webb streets to be used for receiving and distributing cycling apparel. 

Toby Teeter, representing Hustle & Flow Opportunity Fund, told the Planning and Zoning Commission on Aug. 16 that the growth of his firm requires relocating from a small store in Joplin to a larger facility. There will be two employees. The firm sells items on its website, urbancycling.com and through Amazon. It has also recently started ozarkcycling.com.

• Allowed the police department to add a printer to the existing contract with Copy Products Inc. and place it in the patrol room. The cost is $48.50 per month.

• Allowed the police department to purchase shirts for officers to wear under their vests at a total cost of $3,827 from southern Uniform.

• Accepted a $48,855 grant from the State Emergency Management Agency to pay one-fourth of the salaries of Police Chief Don Melton and Fire Chief Andrew Roughton, who are the city’s emergency management director and deputy director.

• Allowed the police department to accept a no-match grant in the amount of $45,232 from the Missouri Department of Transportation. It includes $21,032 for DWI saturation patrols, $19,400 for hazardous moving violation enforcement patrols, and $4,800 for electronic citation maintenance and tablet upgrades.

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