The Skidmore City Council met via Zoom in open and closed sessions, January 14, where one of the business items was presentations of water meter replacement proposals.

Three proposals were considered: BP Meters, LLC, Maryville; USABlueBook, Gurnee, IL; and Schulte Supply, Inc., Edwardsville, IL. The bids were tabled because of requests for more information.

The city is looking to replace 142 water meters. There is interest in a “drive-by” system to read the meters once a month. This will cut down on the amount of manpower and time. The USABlueBook and Schulte Supply were both drive-by. The BP Meters system is based on cell phone technology and can be monitored daily.

Skidmore has had trouble with water leaks and is hoping a new meter system will allow them to track the leaks. Skidmore purchases its water from the Nodaway County Public Water Supply District #1. Part of the problem with determining the water leak amounts is the difference in reporting dates. City Clerk Megan Morrow figures city customers bills on a first to the last of the month basis, while PWSD#1 figures the bill from the 23rd of the month to the 22nd of the next month.

No grants are currently available for the water meter project. Resident Tracy Shewey urged the council to undertake the project without raising the water rates for Skidmore citizens, many of whom are on fixed incomes. Since state-wide grants are not available, Shewey wants the council to look into local area grants for funding.

An annual audit from July 2019 to June 2020 was conducted as part of the process for Skidmore to qualify for the sewer project. Kenny D. Hales, CPA, conducted the $4,000 audit. This will need to be done yearly as a requirement by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources which is where Skidmore is obtaining grants and loans for the sewer project.

The city needs to open two new bank accounts with $15,600 in each as a reserve fund that the city can’t touch based on the loans for the upcoming sewer project and the past water tower project. USDA gave approval for the city to rename part of an existing CD with the exact title specified by USDA to fulfill the requirement. A copy of the audit may be reviewed at city hall.

The council approved the city semiannual report for July through December 2020. The report will be published in the city newsletter instead of in area newspapers, saving the city $250.

The audit also stipulated checks for city bills were to be signed at city council meetings instead of pre-signing checks which were kept at city hall.

No one had filed for the two council seats as of January 14 which will be on the ballot Tuesday, April 6. The last filing date was January 19.

Mayor Sandy Wright said there was good participation at the city’s new food pantry which is kept in city hall. Few items were left from the December food drop. The next food drop will be January 22 with the food pantry being open on January 25 and 26. Check with city hall for times.

The city paid Monroe Township $1,829.88 for gravel.

The DNR grant of $13,000 for park equipment will be paid to the city after DNR inspects the equipment and installation. The equipment is currently stored and installation is planned for spring.

In closed session at the December 10, 2020 meeting, the council reviewed city employees Marvin Sumy and Meagan Morrow.

Sumy will receive a 50¢ per hour pay increase, making his new hourly rate $11. The council also stipulated Sumy must maintain a 20-hour work week.

Morrow’s hourly rate was increased by $2 per hour raising her pay to $14 per hour. The council stated she “is good with the public, manages above and beyond, helping to improve the culture of the community and increase media coverage.”