News

HBPW meetings to start earlier


COURIER-POST FILE
By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: May. 17, 2020 9:30 am Updated: May. 17, 2020 6:47 pm

HANNIBAL | The Hannibal Board of Public Works Board is resuming a mid-afternoon start of its monthly meetings and will maintain live streaming and other means of informing the public of its actions.

During Monday's special meeting members of the board agreed to begin their meetings at 3:30 p.m., starting with the Monday, May 18, gathering at the HBPW headquarters, 3 Industrial Loop Dr. The day of the meeting will continue to be the third Monday of the month.

According to HBPW General Manager Ken Reasoner, it is up to the board to set the schedule for its regular monthly meetings.

“Over the years, board meeting dates and times have been changed to accommodate schedules for the board, staff, other entities and the community,” he said. “The third Monday of the month works extremely well with closing the financial statements and action items that require city council review and approval.

“Standard meeting times have been between 3 (p.m.) and 5 (p.m.). The board sets these times, so the change to 3:30 (p.m.) was established by the current members. This action sets the expected time for a normal board meeting over the next 12 months for planning purposes. If there is a need for a public hearing or some other determining factor, this time will be adjusted accordingly.”

Before the new starting time was set during Monday's meeting, HBPW Board President Bill Fisher stressed that any time change would have to work for the HBPW staff.

“I told you all I wanted to see you get home to your families and have evening lives without interruption from us,” he said. “It hit me that I better ask you all if that (meeting start time change) is going to interfere with your daily lives here. Is it drawing you away from things you need to do?”

Most regular HBPW Board meetings have begun at 5 p.m. since September 2018. Prior to that the starting time for most HBPW meetings had been 3 p.m.

Meeting times were shifted later in response to public criticism that many HBPW customers could not attend meetings that started in the mid-afternoon.

In February 2019 the HBPW began showing its meetings online.

“The live streaming and recordings of the board meetings have been very effective. No schedule works for everyone, but these enhancements pretty much allow anyone to attend,” Reasoner said.

The utility will continue providing that audiovisual service indefinitely. “The live streaming and recordings, along with email communications directly to the board for public comment, have been great additions in keeping the public informed,” Reasoner said.

Reasoner said the HBPW will do its best to keep its customers up to date.

“The Hannibal Board of Public Works is committed to making sure the community is informed of all activities,” the new GM said. “The board plans to use multiple media and communication forums to keep the community actively involved. This even allows things to be addressed or identified on a daily or weekly basis for better service to our customers.”

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