Beardstown Mayor Steve Patterson had to break a surprise tie vote at Tuesday's City Council meeting in an effort to get the property tax levy to Cass County before the end of the year. There was no discussion at the preceding public hearing and no discussion at the committee as a whole meeting, however when the call came for the vote which ended up to be an increase of 12.77% in property tax levy there was a tie. Voting against the increased property tax levy were Katie Vitale, Mary Davis, Mitch Webster, and Kennia Erickson. Voting yes were Tom Penwarden, Leslie Harris, Bob Burget, and J.D. Grafford. The increase is due to the funding of the police and fire pensions. The unexpected tie vote then became the vote of Mayor Patterson who wanted to table, but was reminded by City Clerk Petie Ruch that a special meeting would have to be called within a few days. Patterson then voted yes. The levy total is $640,810.
City property at 1302 Wall in Beardstown, a former Casey Store, will be a dog grooming business. Vicki Stevens was awarded the purchase. The Council had received two bids earlier, however last night Don Large withdrew his bid on the property where he intended to put a liquor convenience store. Large's bid had contained the exchange of property he owns near public works and fire station where the city parks equipment. The discussion now will be the city's purchase of the property from Large in the amount of $15,000. The vote to award the bid to Stevens came on a 6 to 2 vote with Vitale and Grafford casting the "no" votes.
Several landlord property owners appeared before the council to discuss the city's ordinance on rental water usage. According to Ernie Bolen there was a request by the city to put the water bill in the tenant's name rather than include it in the rent. Bolen says that now the water may be late for several months prior to it being turned off and it goes back to the landlord to pay. He stated that if it is now paid by the tenant it should be turned off on the second billing as the ordinance states. He had requested that the City Attorney Luke Thomas be present, however City Clerk Petie Ruch said that he had talked with the City Attorney and his response was that the tenant and landlord are both responsible for the water bill.
Shop with a Cop is this Saturday at Walmart at 7am. Officer Rodney Wilson invited council members to help with the expected 160 children expected to participate,