Prisoners from the South Central Correctional Center in Licking have been released temporarily to work on projects in Rolla since 2005, and they'll continue to help out around the city for another term, the Rolla City Council decided Monday night.
"We ... have been very pleased with the program," Public Works Director Steve Hargis told the council during discussion of the supervised work-release program between the Missouri Department of Corrctions and the city.
"I've got to echo what he said," City Administrator John Butz added. "It has been very successful."
Butz said the prisoners have painted along curbs and painted stripes in parking lots for the city.
"They cut a lot of brush by hand," Hargis said.
The council approved with no negative votes a resolution authorizing Mayor Bill Jenks to sign an agreement that outlines what the city will do and what the state will provide.
Hargis said the Licking prison provides eight inmates in the work-release program.
"They get paid less than $1 a day and that money goes into a savings account," Hargis said. That allows the prisoners to build up money for a car or other need when they are released from prison.
"They're usually men in the last two or three years of their sentence," Hargis said.
In other business or discussion at Monday night's council meeting:
• The council approved a recommendation from Parks and Recreation Director Scott Caron that Ozarks Coca Cola be awarded the contract to provide beverages to be sold at city parks facilities for the next three years.
"Based on the prices provided, in-kind donations of 50 cases of product, free promotional items and $1,000 per ear in sponsorship, staff recommends awarding the beverage contract to Ozarks Coca-Cola," Caron said.
The Coke bid for premix in a 5-gallon container was $7.89, compared to Pepsi's $13. Coke similarly underbid Pepsi for cups, and cases of 20-ounce soda product in bottles, 20-ounce water in bottles, 20-ounc isotonic drink and 20-ounce fruit-based drink.
• The council cast no negative votes to pass a resolution to revise the fiscal year 2012 budget.
State statute requires that "actual expenditures may not exceed budgeted expenditures for any fund maintained by the city," Finance Director Steffanie Rogers said in her agenda commentary.
"There are a number of items paid after year end that are recorded in the prior year which can contribute to increased expenditures over budget," she explained. "The presented budget adjustments increase budgeted expenditures by $7,301,962 [primarily due to the energy efficiency expenditures of $117,417 (carried from past fiscal years), COP refinancing of energy efficiency costs of $2,120,603, GO bond refunding of $3,588,725 and depreciation expense for sewer and environmental services of $814,316]. These adjustments are intended to modify the budget to the actual year-end projections."
Page 2 of 2 - • Rolla resident Chuck Pederson told the council that he believes there is a serious safety issue on Lions Club Drive at the walking trail crossing.
A car parked at that site frequently obscures markings on the pavement, keeping motorists from noticing.
Mayor Jenks thanked Pederson for the information and promised that the public works department personnel will look at the area to see what can be done to enhance safety.
• Bob Stewart, an anti-fluoridation activist, spoke to the council about his continuing concerns about what he has called "poison" and "toxins" being placed in the water supply by Roll Municipal Utilities.
Stewart said the Food and Drug Administration has approved a sodium fluoride pill. That makes the substance that prevents dental caries a medicine, he declared.
"We have no right to put medicine in city water," he said.
Stewart said the only people in favor of putting fluoride in water are dentists and not even all of them believe in its value.
If the council refuses to do anything, Stewart said, "I'll have to do whatever it takes." He did not say what that course of action would be.
The council took no action on fluoridation.
• Councilman William Lindgren suggested that Highway 72 from Highway 63 to the city limits be renamed Gov. Mel Carnahan Memorial Boulevard.
"This city has never done anything to honor one of our great citizens," Lindgren said.