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WP council gives initial approval for permits to control nuisance animals with firearms


Fireworks at Zizzer home games; a streamlining of the permit process regarding the use of missiles, explosives and firearms; and the setting of a tax levy were all matters brought before West Plains City Council members Monday evening during their regular monthly meeting.

Council members gave the go-ahead for property owned by the West Plains Country Club to be redefined to allow for the installation of signage, changing a portion of the property from residential to commercial, and a section of property owned by Seth and Mallory Johnson was annexed into city limits to allow the property off of Luna Drive to connect to city utilities. The Johnsons previously told the council plan to build three speculative houses on the property, homes built with the intention to sell and which are typically move-in-ready.

First readings were given of two ordinances regarding the disclosure of conflict of interest by city officials and the setting of the city's tax levy and collection, both passing. The two issues are voted on yearly by the council to keep the ordinances up to date.

The tax levy, if passed on second reading in September, will remain at 0.3106 cents per $100 assessed valuation of real, personal and mixed property, collected for the city's general revenue fund.

A second reading and a final vote on the tax levy and conflict of interest disclosure rule will be taken this evening during a special session in order to meet a legal deadline, City Administrator Sam Anselm said.

First readings were also passed opening the path to an ordinance that will allow for permits to use firearms or explosive missiles or other devices. The issue the change will address has been most recently in regards to removing nuisance animals, including groundhogs that were damaging school district property and a flock of black vultures that have taken up residence in a neighborhood off of Summit Street. It would allow Missouri Department of Conservation Wildlife Damage Biologist Scott McWilliams to use a pellet gun or rubber buck shot to eradicate or disperse the birds as a nuisance species.

The permits will have to be applied for, to be granted by Police Chief Stephen Monticelli.

Permission was granted to the West Plains R-7 School District to allow Freedom Patch Fireworks, a local fireworks retailer, to detonate fireworks at Zizzer home games. A plan was submitted that sets aside an area near the banks of Howell Creek, off the southeast corner of the football field outside the stadium perimeter fence and away from overhead lines, and it was approved by council members.

Another first reading of an ordinance was had and approved to authorize the city administrator or city clerk to approve liquor licenses, provided the business meets the state liquor license requirements. Mayor Mike Topliff said the suggested change was presented because a business that had an established liquor license changed locations, but was delayed in serving alcohol by two weeks while waiting for council approval.

Consent agenda items and resolutions in support of a new housing development for senior citizens, and the use of the former Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology building off of Jackie D. Garrett Drive by local entities were also met with the approval of city council members.

Watch the Quill this week for information on those issues, plus a list of local board appointments.