Mt. Vernon Board of Aldermen pursues demolition of Alms ash heap

By: 
Steve Chapman

Work on the demolition of this building, owned by former dentist Thomas Alms, may begin before the end of March. (Photo by Steve Chapman)

During the March 10 Mt. Vernon Board of Aldermen meeting, city Code Enforcement/Planning Administrator Terry Moore spoke about the building at 115 Patterson—a former dental practice—which has been standing in ruin since it was destroyed by fire on Jan. 2, 2018. Moore reported he had sent Dr. Thomas Alms a notification on Feb. 18 informing him he had 30 days to begin demolition of the property. He said Alms responded with an e-mail stating he would allow Bruce Conway to enter the property for an evaluation.
Moore reported that Conway performed the evaluation on March 2 and submitted a bid for the demolition of the building, but Alms countered with questions about the demolition. Considerable discussion about the property followed; one of the main concerns expressed was that the basement of the property, if not collapsed, could collect water which could attract mosquitoes.
Alms is alleged to have set fire to property; he goes to trial on that charge in Dade County on Sept. 9.
New Mt. Vernon City Hall…
Also during the meeting, Mt. Vernon City Administrator Springer informed the board that city hall personnel planned to move into the new city hall building during the week of March 23. The new location is the former Mid-Missouri Bank facility on the east side of the Mt. Vernon square.
The Mt. Vernon Board of Aldermen passed two ordinances during the meeting. The first ordinance authorized the city to enter into an agreement with Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc. for the rehabilitation of the city’s wastewater treatment plant’s sand filtration system. Max Springer, city administrator, told the Board during their meeting on Feb. 25 that the system needed to be rebuilt, because the filters are currently only able to handle 630,000 to 840,000 gallons of water per day, or 15 to 20-percent of the capacity they were designed to handle. The filters were designed to handle 9.4 million gallons of water per day.
Under the agreement, the city will pay Aqua-Aerobic $396,279 to rebuild the filters. During the meeting on Feb. 25, Springer recommended having the system rebuilt, as new filters would cost $1.2 million.
The second ordinance authorized the city to enter into an Airport Aid agreement with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission (MHTC) “regarding the airport Master Plan Narrative and Airport Layout Plan Update.”
Under the agreement, the MHTC will award the city with grant funds in the amount of $59,805 for the purpose of creating the Master Plan Narrative and Airport Layout Plan Update. The city will provide matching funds in the amount of $6,645.
The board also approved the listing of the city’s surplus vehicles on the Purple Wave Auction Site at Springer’s request.

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Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712
www.lawrencecountyrecord.com

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