Houston City Hall

The City of Houston received nearly $11,000 from its insurance carrier on Monday to advance safety efforts and reduce risk.

The news was announced during a meeting of the city council.

Kelly Beets, senior loss control consultant with the Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association (MIRMA), explained to the council that funds will benefit two city departments. Police will receive $637 for less lethal ammunition rounds — basically bean bags — and eight stop sticks that are deployed by departments to disable tires on a vehicle when a pursuit occurs. The city’s sewer department will receive about $7,500 to be used toward the purchase of a camera to check lines and prevent problems with such things as potential backups.

Beets said all are good tools to prevent possible liability issues. The city has belonged to the self-insurance pool owned by members by about two years.

In other matters, members:

—Heard Angie Quinlan, executive director of the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce, outlined the organization’s activities this year and highlighted its upcoming schedule, including a membership dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9,  at its community building at the fairgrounds to receive input.

After the dinner, there will be a discussion on items the chamber offers members, as well as receiving input on ways to improve what the chamber does for local businesses.

The chamber has several activities planned for the Christmas shopping season, including the Annual Taste of Christmas event, a shopkeepers Christmas promotion for small businesses that offers monetary prizes for customers that can used at member location and a Christmas decoration contest. A bazaar is Dec. 4 and Houston’s Christmas parade is Dec. 11. The grand marshals are Don and Barbara Romines, who sold their long-time car dealership and have long been active in civic affairs.

Quinlan said the chamber is working on its 2022 calendar, and has set its annual banquet with a 1950s theme for March 5.

—Approved the purchase of $11,917 in rubber mulch for use in its parks system. The park board will select the color.

—Authorized the purchase of three certificates of deposit at West Plains Bank and Trust Company. The terms are 12, 24 and 36 months at $100,000 each. The plan is to keep $3 million in reserves — 30 CDs — with expirations that insure the city always has access to some of its capital, if it needs it. Under a city policy, the city must keep about $2.80 million on hand.

—Purchased a $15,569 gravel spreader for a dump truck. It was acquired through a state vendor contract.

—Approved an amount not to exceed $47,800 for splicing work on its fiber-to-the-home internet system that is under development.

—Okayed a $100 donation to the Houston Imagination Library that mails a book monthly to some students at the Houston School District.

—Approved an ordinance that aligns its municipal election filing period with state statute.

—Will hold a 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15 work session as part of its 2022 budget process. The first reading of the budget may also occur that night during the regular council meeting. As part of the budget process, the council also approved a part-time employee pay scale document and okayed participation in a firefighters cancer insurance pool. The latter would kick in — rather than workers compensation — if a firefighter develops a cancer on the list that is aligned with known carcinogens caused by battling blazes.

—Adjourned into a closed session.  

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