Proposition S lost by 12 votes

The Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW) will not seek a recount after seeing Proposition S defeated by a dozen votes on Tuesday.

"At this time we want to focus on providing the best customer service with our abilities, and continue brainstorming on options to give citizens moving forward," said Heath Hall, public works general manager.

Proposition S asked residents to allow a fee schedule to fund stormwater system repairs throughout the community. Because Proposition S failed, the Hannibal Stormwater Department lacks the funding to address large-scale infrastructure failures such as those on Martin, Chestnut and South Seventh streets. Instead, steel plates and other precautions will be taken to temporarily address the problems.

Hall did not rule out the possibility of placing Proposition S on the ballot again.

"We received a lot of feedback during our public education and community meetings," he said. "We plan to bring those ideas to the city council, (HBPW) board of directors and other stakeholders in the coming weeks and devise a plan moving forward to collect some revenue to specific to maintaining the stormwater system in Hannibal."

Options for long-term funding of the stormwater utility will be presented at the next HBPW Board meeting which is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, at the HBPW Service Center.

The slim margin in Tuesday's vote, which saw the measure approved in Marion County by a single vote but defeated in Ralls County by 13 votes, was not a shock to Hall.

"Based on many conversations we had throughout the community this past month, we really didn't know what to expect," he said. "We are encouraged that the vote was so close, because it demonstrates awareness of the issue."

Hall is not second-guessing anything the HBPW did to raise awareness during the Proposition S information campaign.

"We made information available on our website and social media pages, and encouraged citizens to reach out with specific questions," he said. "We also spent a great deal of time visiting community groups and educating on the topic."

Hall is hopeful that the upcoming discussions about Hannibal's stormwater situation is not limited to city hall and the HBPW offices.

"We would love to see citizens voicing their suggestions on a long-term funding solution and how to address any stormwater issues in their neighborhoods," he said.

danny.henley@courierpost.com