Immunizations highlight Boonville City Council meeting

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

The Boonville City Council heard a lengthy discussion from Cooper County Public Health Director Melanie Hutton regarding last week immunizations at Rolling Hills park in Boonville.

With well over 1,000 residents receiving immunization during the two-day period for COVID-19, Hutton said before the council that at one point they were administering 100 doses per hour.

“We are so inundated with people calling wanting to get on the list that we can’t get any work done,” Hutton said. “We have a full-time person entering names on the list right now because some people don’t have access to a computer.”

Boonville councilman Albert Turner, who like all council members praised Hutton for the number of immunizations that were administered last week, asked if there was any communication that went out to the public to tell them about the immunizations.

Hutton said the CCPHC did not make a notice in advance because they were working off the priority list. She said the week before the CCPHC had their first round, where they got 250 doses from Boone Hospital in Columbia. That was designated to health care people so the nursing homes and assisted living facilities like Bristol Manor or Hartman were all covered under a separate contract to the federal government.

“That was Friday so we finished that up,” Hutton said. “And then on Sunday we get a notice that we are receiving 975. We thought we would have two weeks but they’re like it’s arriving on Tuesday.   We did not advertise because we did not want people to show up and increase. We were already booking 100 an hour because we knew we could do that. Probably 90% of Thursday, and about 60 70% of Friday, was all booked appointments, so we spent o we spent days and evenings, calling all those people. By Wednesday, we run out of time, but we still had some openings so we called the schools because the school population is part of the one B, also. We knew those school nurses could help get some teachers in.”

Turner said he read where Missouri was ranked last in this roll out. 

“What are we doing wrong?” Turner said. 

Hutton added that Pfizer has to be given at least 21 days after the first dose and Moderna 28 days but that it doesn’t happen on the 21st day or the 28th day. She said you actually have 42 days to give the vaccine. 

Hutton said this isn’t a one term shot. With 17,000 people in the county and the CCPHC has right at 1,300 doses. 

“This is going to be a long term affair, even if Walmart's gets it, and Summers Pharmacy gets it, it's still going to be a long term affair,” Hutton said. “People can still get on the list, though.”

Stormwater Improvements

Although the vaccine was the main topic of discussion during the council meeting, the board also considered a change order No. 1 from Concrete Solution, LLC in the amount of $2,675 for 11th Street Stormwater Improvements 2020, and considered a pay request order No. 1 from Concrete Solution, LLC in the amount of #39,967,20 for 11th Street Stormwater Improvements 2020.

Boonville City Administrator Kate Fjell said it turns out it the city needed a different kind of junction box for the storm water so it costs $2,675 more than they had planned, and then the second request was just a pay order.

Pre-Treatment Ordiance

The council also heard on the second reading of Bill No. 2021-001 amending Chapter 21 Pre-Treatment Ordinance.

Fjell said the pretreatment ordinance is for industrial users of the wastewater system. She said if a company is considered what's called a significant industrial user, which we have one is Caterpillar, they have to either treat the water or they have to monitor the water quality before they discharge into our water system. 

This provides limits for pollutants and all kinds of stuff, Fjell said.

Drug offenses involving medical marijuana

The council also heard a second reading for provisions for certain drug offenses involving medical marijuana. Fjell said what this did was turn small amounts of marijuana possession into a municipal offense. She said currently the city sends everything-all marijuana-to the county, and so now they just have it as a municipal event. 

“We'll be able to prosecute them through municipal court for small amounts,” Fjell said.

Vacant lots

Also discussed was the number of vacant lots in the city of Boonville. Fjell said the city put out five vacant lots for bid and only received one bid. 

“It was below the minimum asking, and that happened at the previous meeting, so we talked about what we wanted to do,” Fjell said. “There wasn't any consensus on whether they wanted to rebid it or not.”

Budget Work Session

During the budget work session, which was held before the council meeting, Fjell said the council discussed water and wastewater and how they are the city’s enterprise funds. She said the city charges fees for water and sewer.

“In terms of capital projects, example for water, we're going to try it and do a scale to upgrade, which is like a computer and computer programming that monitors the water treatment plant,” Fjell said. “We're going to continue to do our meter reader conversion, so we're buying new meters and then readers that do them. It's called what they call remote reads, so our meter reader can just drive down and then it pings all the meters, and they just populate automatically, instead of having to pop the manhole and look at consumption. We've done 1,246 water meters, and we have a total of 3,200, so we have 1,900 more to go. We're trying to do another significant chunk, or about $150,000 this year, and then we'll try to do another $150,000, so we're hoping to get those all converted.”

The council also talked about other capital projects and the loss of three significant users this year. Fjell said the prison has downsized and closed 15 houses, so that was a loss of $66,000 in revenue with 50 percent of that being water and 50 percent sewer. Then, with the closure of the hospital, Fjell said that was $93,000, which was 50 percent sewer and 50 percent water. And then the last thing, Fjell said the water district is completing their infrastructure project this year, so they will no longer be a customer. She said that was roughly $120,000, and that was all water.

“We're facing a $200,000 loss in revenue this year,” Fjell said. “On the sewer side, it will be $80,000, so in order to make up for that loss, the rate increase is going to be probably significant this year, probably about 10 percent. And the sewer will be about 5.7 percent. The hope is that then we can go back next year to more 2.5, 2.8 or 3 point percentage increases. There was some discussion at council about splitting that out over two years, but the council decided that it was probably made more sense that you didn't want to budget for a loss. We hate to forego the capital projects this year by reducing revenues because we didn't do anything last year because of the COVID.”