Kendra Montana

Grove Sun

The Board of Trustees for the Town of Bernice held their regular meeting last Monday night, approving taking applications for the hiring of a part-time employee and discussing the clean-up of local properties as part of business.

The board approved purchasing flowers and shrubs from Hollytree in Grove, in an amount not to exceed $125 ,to be planted at the War Memorial located in Bernice.

Next the board approved sending town clerk Connie King to a floodplain management meeting to be held in Langley on April 24.

“We need to have a local floodplain management program in place in order to secure FEMA funding in the case of a disaster or emergency,” said Mayor Bill Raven. “We are required to have a floodplain manager and an emergency management contact person.”

Having a designated community emergency and floodplain management contact person allows federal, state and county personnel in the event of an emergency one contact person. It also allows a community to be eligible for additional funds in the event that the community suffers a natural or manmade disaster.

The board then went into executive session to discuss and take possible action on two agenda items concerning the employment, hiring, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining or resignation of the dog catcher and of a town maintenance person.

Upon returning to open session the board announced that no action was taken regarding the dog catcher and then voted four to one in favor of taking applications for a part-time employee for the Town of Bernice.

Dave Dennis, the only board member to vote against hiring someone part-time, stated that he felt the board needed to hire a full-time employee for the position. Dennis explained that he felt a full-time employee who was cross trained to perform duties in all facets of the needs of the town would be a better move on the board’s behalf.

“I don’t disagree that we need an employee for the town, I just think that it needs to be better thought out,” Dennis said. “I would like to see an individual hired who is cross trained and can service all areas of the town in order to better meet our needs. I just feel that it would be better in the long run for everyone.”

Mayor Raven stated that additional training and qualifications are required when hiring a full-time employee.

“We are looking for a person who can do general maintenance, take care of the War Memorial, run errands for the clerk and things like that,” Raven said.  “We may consider a full-time employee at another time.”

An item calling for the purchase of one load of dirt in the amount of $145 was approved.

The board then approved taking the carbon fiber SCBA tanks to Joplin for hydrostating. The tanks are required to be tested every five years throughout their 15-year shelf-life. Ten tanks will be serviced at a cost of $25 each.

The pumps for Engine One, Engine Two and Tanker One for the Bernice Volunteer Fire Department will be tested on Friday by the Hickory Grove Fire Department, as approved by the board. The cost is $200 per truck.

A motion to purchase a 12 inch, ten foot tin horn at a cost of $65 was also approved.

In other business the board discussed the clean-up of three properties located in the Bernice city limits.

The Board of Trustees for the Town of Bernice meets the second Monday of each month beginning at 6:30 p.m. at city hall. All meetings are open to the public.