Stefanie Cope

Staff Writer

Uncertainty during storm season is causing the Columbus City Council Fire Committee to take another look at current emergency management procedures.

Hollie Young told the council at Monday's meeting the Columbus Fire Department and the fire committee had a work session on June 2. Young told the council there was some uncertainty of when to sound the sirens in the event of serious weather in the area. She said after seeing some of the emergency management procedures put in place in Joplin after an EF-5 tornado went through the area on May 22, there were some parts of the Columbus Emergency plan which needed to be re-evaluated.

Young also presented to the council a proposed revision to the city storm siren activation policy. Young believes Columbus needs to have a better emergency management system in place in the event of a disaster. The fire committee set another meeting for 7 p.m. June 14.

Columbus City Superintendent Jim Burton told the council he had received two bids for work to be done on the fishing dock at VFW Park. Burton said there was approximately $1,800 of grant money for the dock to be repaired. Both bids were well over the $1,800 dollars and had to be rejected. Burton said he will continue to look for someone to do the work on the dock at the set price.

Burton also told the council the Columbus Police Department’s air conditioner needed to be replaced. The council approved spending $5,888 for the new unit and taking it out of the property reserve fund.

Burton then told the council there were several problems with the air conditioner in the Columbus Museum building. After replacing certain parts on the air conditioning unit it was still clogging up. Burton said the only alternative was to buy a new unit, but it would only have to be a five-ton unit instead of a ten-ton unit. The council approved buying the new air conditioner for $4,500 and taking it out of the property reserve fund as well.

Burton also told the council he had purchased a repleacement fan for the air conditioner at the Columbus City Pool. He said he took the $850 out of the property reserve fund as well.

Fire Chief Brad Gleason told the council the fire department has had 189 runs. Gleason also asked the council to support him in telling the public the fire department no longer fills personal pools. Gleason said they will spray off equipment needed for public events, such as the benches at the American Legion Fair Grounds.

The consistent problem of pool house graffiti and vandalism on the old pool house has the council considering different options for the pool house. Cameras have been installed in the area as well as lights, but the new equipment has not deterred the graffiti. The council decided to speak with the Lions Club to see if they would like to help with cleaning up the structure. Burton said he would contact a structural engineer to look at the structure to decide what kind of work needs to be done to the pool house.

In other business, the council:

• Appointed Brad Gleason as fire chief.

• Appointed Steven Burton as assistant fire chief.

• Appointed John Mazurek as municipal court judge.

• Appointed Maradeth Frederick as prosecuting attorney.

• Appointed Robert Myers as city attorney.

• Approved hiring Brandon Alberty and Todd Conard as summer laborers at $7.65.

• Approved hiring Robert Martin, Zach Martin, Nathan Lopp, Brice Bennett, and Paul Morris as summer laborers at $7.28.