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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
At its Tuesday, Sept. 7, meeting, Barry’s city council passed a resolution to increase the base fine amount for all municipal ordinance violations.
The fines were raised from $75 to $150 in an effort, Barry City Administrator Jeff Hogge said, to bring Barry’s fee structure in line with neighboring communities.
“We noticed we were significantly lower than a lot of other towns,” Hogge said. “They hadn’t been raised in years.”
A special event permit request from Tiny’s Place was approved by the council. According to Hogge, the tavern requests the permit annually during Barry’s Apple Festival to allow for an outdoor beer garden to be set up on the establishment’s property.
“She does it every year,” Hogge said. “We never have any problems with it.”
The first pay request for work associated with the new water main to the Ascend cannabis growing facility was approved in the amount of $139,859.90. The total budget for the project is roughly $450,000.
The new water main will provide water to a significant new addition at Ascend. According to Hogge, the new addition is planned to be put online as early as Oct. With the addition, Ascend plans to hire a significant number of new employees.
“Right now, there at about 315 employees,” Hogges said. “By the end of the year, they plan to be at 400.”
Hogge added that the majority of Ascend employees are residents of Pike County.
“About 30 percent of the employees live in Barry, and another 30 percent live in Pike County,” Hogge said. “The rest drive in from Quincy, Hannibal, Jacksonville and all points in between.”
The council went on to have a discussion regarding the possibility of using CURES Act funding to upgrade HVAC systems in city-owned buildings. Hogge said, however, that there are limitations on how the money may be spent that may prevent the city from using CURES Act funds on the HVAC upgrades.
“A stipulation is that you can’t put anything new in,” Hogge said. “That’s what we were hoping to use those funds for. The money is supposed to be used for upgrades to improve air quality, like the addition of HEPA filters.”
Council members also discussed Barry’s TIF District Interior Rehab Program. Council members discussed the boundaries, within Barry’s downtown area, of the program. Hogge said that the conversation was prompted by a business – within Barry’s TIF district, but not immediately adjacent to the Lafayette Park Square – expressing interest in the grant program.
The grant program is available to businesses that wish to make improvements to the interior of their buildings. The city provides $25,000 to the program annually to assist businesses with the purchase of materials for the interior improvements. Businesses are responsible for all labor associated with the improvement projects.
Hogge said that Barry’s public works department has been busy with street patching throughout the community. Barry’s public works department is also preparing for its annual Motor Fuel Tax street improvements, which will entail resurfacing most of Main Street and all of Green Street.
In addition, Griggsville’s B-K Electric is currently running underground electric lines on the west side of Lafayette Park in preparation for the installation of new street lamps around the square.