Board discusses change orders, marijuana tax

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The Perryville Board of Aldermen had a busy night as they had lengthy discussions on several items on the agenda at its latest meeting Dec. 20.
The first of which pertained to the Fall Craft Festival application that was submitted by John Brown. Several year ago, John and his wife, Jill, owned JB’s Custom Furniture. Their business was located at 115 North Jackson. They approached the city and asked if they could close a portion of the street in front of their business and host a fall craft fair. The city readily agreed and the event was successful. They have since moved away from Jackson Street and closed their storefront in town. The City allowed John to host the event last year but drew some criticism about letting a private individual close an unaffiliated city street to host a for-profit event.
The board offered that the event be put under the Perryville Downtown Revitalization group because he is a private citizen.
Brown was not quite agreeable with that, but is willing to do anything so that the event can happen.
“I don’t get rich off this event, I just want to be able to work with my event that I started,” Brown said. “I’ll sign up with whoever and I would like the money to go to the ballfields because that is my passion.”
The event will not happen for another year so the board agreed to work with Brown so that he could have his event.
Another item on the agenda involved change orders. Currently, any and all change orders to city contracts are to be brought to the Board of Aldermen for approval, regardless of the size and scope. According to City Administrator Brent Buerck, this can be problematic, particularly for items that are time sensitive or very small in nature. For example, recently it was noticed a small part of the Perry Park Center was not included in our paint project. It totaled less than $1,200 and the painter was ready to do the work immediately. Staff approved it but, technically, a change order should have been done officially. Another example can be found above where Fire Department staff wanted to add a door to their training room during the construction of said room and paint a small portion of metal support beams so they would match the rest of the building. Staff would like to have the option to approve minor items, perhaps in a fashion similar to what is allowed in our purchasing policy, up to $20,000. All change orders could still be presented to the Board after the fact and the Board would have the opportunity to then consider the items to make sure staff did the right thing. Another option that has worked for the city is to include a small owner contingency on construction projects which would allow staff to review and approve minor change orders up to a certain cumulative amount or even a percentage of the total project. Either option could be a viable solution for a particular project and, if the Board is agreeable, staff would bring a policy back to the Board for final consideration.

Aldermen Clinton Rice noted that with all the ways to communicate in 2022, there are ways to quickly approve small changes.
“The time to do that sort of thing is when the painter or electrician is on site,” Buerck said.
“If the painter or something is on site, I say go ahead to do it,” Alderman Curt Buerck said.
Brent Buerck noted that he will bring a full policy to the board at a later date.
The voter’s legalized recreational marijuana in last month’s election. Included in this constitutional amendment is the ability for cities and counties to add a three percent sales tax to such sales. Even though Perryville doesn’t currently have a dispensary, staff would recommend putting the question to voters in an upcoming election.
“There are a rash of these all being done across the state,” Brent Buerck said. “I would reach out to the county commission to get something together. I really don’t think it would be a big number. One million dollars in sales would be about $30,000.”
The board also approved a change in part-time pay plan. The City’s current part-time pay plan is overly cumbersome and was really designed to get the city to 2023 when the required minimum wage increases settled out at $12 per hour. In January, it will reach that level and staff would like to work on a revised and greatly simplified pay plan.
In the consent agenda, the board approved a plan presented by Dillie Pollard for renovations to the Perry Park Center weight room and bathroom, and several payments for different projects.

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