MV aldermen agree to consolidate with Monett for 911 services, starts May 1

Steve Chapman

Board of Aldermen also green lights rezone for building of duplex home, despite neighbor protest
The Mt. Vernon Board of Aldermen voted during their meeting on Tuesday, April 23, to pass a resolution authorizing a memorandum of understanding with the City of Monett regarding dispatching services.
Under the agreement, which takes effect on May 1, the two cities will consolidate their 911 operations into one facility through Monday, Sept, 30 of this year.
Because Monett already has a 911 communication facility, the agreement calls for the facility to be used to provide dispatching services to both cities. Monett will also provide the radio consoles, CAD equipment, telephone lines and other equipment needed for the consolidated 911 operation. All personnel in the operation will also be employees of Monett. In return, Mt. Vernon will pay Monett $25,115 in five installments of $5,023 each.
The memorandum also calls for the expansion of the Monett E911 Advisory Board to include 13 members, including three from Lawrence County, one from Mt. Vernon, one from Pierce City, one from Verona, one from Miller and one from the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District. The board, which will be renamed as the Monett-Lawrence County E911 Advisory Board, will be able to give advice and input on the management of the E911 system, though decision-making authority will rest with the Monett City Council.
The board also received a petition from residents in the Stemmons East Meadow Subdivision in opposition to the rezoning of Lot 76 in the subdivision from R-1 to R-2. Code enforcement officer Terry Moore told the council all requirements to rezone the property had been met, but the residents who signed the petition objected to the rezoning.
 Moore also stated Linda Woolery with ReeceNichols Real Estate had requested the rezoning on behalf of Stemmons Land Company, who wished to sell the lot to a woman who intends to build a duplex on the lot. The woman buying the lot intends to live in the duplex and eventually, if she needs home healthcare, have her caregiver live in the other part of the duplex.
Woolery, who was also present at the meeting, stated that as far as she knew, there is not another lot in town where the resident could build a duplex. She pointed out the lot and others alongside it were originally zoned for duplexes before being brought into the city. Woolery also stated that the request was for one lot only, and that the woman purchasing the lot would not be requesting any other lots be rezoned.
Mt. Vernon resident Eric Johnson spoke for the petitioners. He told the council he and the other petitioners’ concerns were the precedent that would be set if the rezoning took place.
“What happens if we decide we want to do that again in the future?” he asked. He said there could be a possible increase in crime and traffic in the area if more duplexes, as rental property, were built.
Johnson also questioned what would happen to the duplex if the woman purchasing the lot would eventually need more care than could be provided there.
“What happens when her care exceeds that which can be reasonably obtained in the home and she requires placement somewhere?” he asked. “It’s inevitable; happens to a lot of families. I foresee that duplex being sold into private ownership (to someone who) doesn’t see beyond the checkbook. As long as they’re getting that monthly rent, they really don’t care who lives there, because they’re not impacted by that. But you have a lot of families in the area that are. And we certainly know that the more rentals that you have, the higher the incidents of those crimes go up.”
After some discussion, the board voted to approve the rezoning. Before the vote, a board member noted that the rezoning would set a precedent, but that would not obligate the board to rezone any of the other lots.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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