The Hannibal City Council on Tuesday approved a motion for the city to enter into a $9,300 contract with MECO Engineering to provide design and construction phase engineering for a new lighthouse. The resolution passed unanimously.

Plans are in motion to have a new Mark Twain Lighthouse in place for Hannibal's Bicentennial in 2019.

The Hannibal City Council on Tuesday approved a motion for the city to enter into a $9,300 contract with MECO Engineering to provide design and construction phase engineering for a new lighthouse. The resolution passed unanimously.

Parks and Recreation Director Andy Dorian told council members that the lighthouse is a basic structure that is in desperate need of repair. Water over the years has penetrated the cedar shingles surrounding the frame, rotting the wood. It's estimated the lighthouse needs to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. The construction cost could range anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000.

“This is not something shocked us. We have been band-aiding it for quite some time,” Dorian said.

If all goes smoothly, Dorian said a new lighthouse could be complete by the end of this year, or at least in time for the city's yearlong bicentennial celebration in 2019.

Councilman Mike Dobson asked about re-dedicating the structure. Dorian said that has already been discussed with the bicentennial committee. The lighthouse has been the focal point of several dedications, most recently in the 1960s when the structure was last built.

Dorian hopes to introduce new measures to keep the icon looking like new into the future.

“The lighthouse, of all the things we maintain, is the most vandalized structure we have,” Dorian mentioned. The parks department has purchased a security camera to deter vandalism of the structure in the future.

In other business:

• The council approved a request to close Hill St. from Third St. to the pedestrian-only area during Music Under the Stars events on Thursdays this summer.

• The council approved amended requests for street closures for National Tom Sawyer Days beginning on June 27 and the Main Street Vintage Market Show on June 8.

• The council approved street closures for Toys for Tots Pedal Hannibal on Aug. 11 and a second Main Street Vintage Market Show on Sept. 28-30.

• Street Department Supervisor Mike McHargue received approval to acquire a pre-owned backhoe for city work. McHargue assured the council the cost to acquire the equipment would not exceed the proceeds received from a recent surplus auction.

• Michael Riesenbeck was re-appointed for a term on the Airport Commission. Ryan Rapp was re-appointed to a term on the Employee Benefit Trust Board. Patti Talbert and Jay Ghanti were re-appointed to terms to the Hannibal Housing Authority. Annie Dixon was appointed to a term on the Library Board. Bill Hatton was re-appointed to a term on the Board of Adjustment.

Reach editor Eric Dundon at eric.dundon@courierpost.com .