It was a mixed bag for the order of business of the Rolla City Council - re-zoning, appointments and new tasers for RPD.

The Rolla City Council approved several items of old business at their first meeting of 2018, on Tuesday, Jan 2.

The first item approved was their financial support of the Sustainable Ozark Partnership (SOP) in the amount of $12,000 per year for three years. The City also made the amendment to the ordinance to have the SOP provide a financial report on how the money is spent.

Next, the council approved an ordinance to rezone the .69 acre of land located just West of Oakland Drive and South Bishop Avenue. This ordinance was initially opposed by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The land to be rezoned includes a row of three houses built in the 1940’s, as explained in an article previously published by The Rolla Daily News. The houses have been vacant for years, and their non-conforming use status that allowed them to be used as residencies in a general retail zone is no longer applicable.

The proposal behind the ordinance is to create a multi-family residential zone and construct five “vertically attached dwelling units on each parcel.”

In a previous council meeting, residents raised some concerns regarding the potential increase of population density and traffic flow in the area, as well as the question of whether or not there would be sufficient parking.  The Planning and Zoning initially recommended the proposal be denied for these reasons.

It was presented that a traffic study showed the increase would not exceed Oaklane’s Drive maximum capacity, and the property owner was meeting the parking requirements.

The following ordinance was passed without much debate, consolidating several plots of land, 206 and 208 East 12th Street and 207 and 209 East 11th Street, for the purpose constructing a new 24-bedroom house for a Missouri S&T fraternity.

Two items of new business were passed as well. The first authorized the release of an easement, which allows one the legal right to use another’s property. A memo on behalf of Rolla Municipal Utilities was included in council documents, explaining the easement. 

“Rolla Municipal Utilities has an overhead electrical service supplying electricity to the building located at 1409 North Bishop…this electrical service is on a utility easement granted in 1989 granted…by the owners of that time.”

The current property owners, DW & MM Properties, LLC, has a planned building expansion that would take place on the area of land within the easement. In the memo, it is stated RMU no longer has any need for the easement, having cleared the equipment and they supported the released of the easement.

The council additionally approved a contract agreement with Playscape Recreation, LLC, for new playground equipment for Green Acres Park.

The council also awarded a bid to Oakley Services, of Okwaville, IL for the purchase of a new generator for the Rolla Police Department, who’s current generator has proven unreliable.

A contract for the purchase of new tasers was approved as well, pending an additional review by the City of Rolla’s legal office. According to Chief Sean Fagan, the contract would allow them to purchase 16 new tasers with a five-year warranty. Their current warranty on tasers is only a single year, with the additional cost of replacing the devices’ cartridges and batteries. The new plan would provide unlimited cartridges and batteries over the course of the new warranty.

Finally, the council appointed Ms. Susan Wrassman to the Parks Advisory Commission, and Ms. Amy Koenig to the Library Board. The Parkland Dedication Policy Committee to review city laws and policy relating to park dedication provision.