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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • BPW agrees to city attorney fee revision

  • The city of Hannibal’s ongoing efforts to reduce its operating costs took another step forward recently with the help of the Board of Public Works Board, which last week agreed to pick up a bigger chunk of the cost-share for the services of the city attorney.
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  • The city of Hannibal’s ongoing efforts to reduce its operating costs took another step forward recently with the help of the Board of Public Works Board, which last week agreed to pick up a bigger chunk of the cost-share for the services of the city attorney.
    According to a memo from City Manager Jeff LaGarce to the BPW Board, historically the BPW has paid $6,500 toward the annual city attorney’s fee, with the city paying the remaining $68,500 of the $75,000 total.
    The city also recently increased City Attorney James Lemon’s compensation by $12,000 to address new statewide traffic court mandates. However, LaGarce noted that all $12,000 is solely the city’s cost to bear.
    A breakdown of City Attorney James Lemon’s municipal workload shows a 2:1 ratio, with the majority of his labor being performed in behalf of the city. LaGarce’s proposal, which was accepted by the BPW Board, was a cost split of $50,000 paid by the city and $25,000 by the BPW.
    “The BPW has been paying 10 percent of the (city attorney’s) fee for years. I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Bob Stevenson, general manager of the BPW, regarding the proposed cost-share revision during the BPW Board’s Aug. 19 meeting.
    The BPW Board’s approval of LaGarce’s proposal puts the city that much closer to its goal of implementing changes that will save it $800,000 this fiscal year.
    “We recently eliminated the City Engineer position, passed Affordable Care Act taxes along to employees, and began using one-half cent street funds to augment regular road maintenance,” wrote the city manager. “We are reducing employees through early retirement incentives, simultaneously augmenting field-grade departments with summer help, and rethinking Fire Department operating models.
    “We also intend to lease hunting rights at the 130-acre landfill, and have our non-General
    Fund departments (Parks, Library, and Tourism) begin contributing toward certain overhead costs, like that of the city attorney.”
    At the Aug. 5 City Council meeting, approval was given an emergency reading to a payroll bill that impacted the Department of Public Works and Police Department. The changes included in that bill represented a net savings of just over $195,000.

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