William Hughes seated to succeed Musgrove on city council
The Purdy City Council, operating with one member short until next April, this month waded back into business last taken up in May, only to find numerous roadblocks on the way.
The election in June did nothing to fill the vacancies left by the resignation of Mayor Bo Prock at the beginning of the year and the death of Alderman Dan Musgrove, who was re-elected. Council members opted to let East Ward Alderman Brian Bowers remain as mayor pro tem, a voting position, rather than see Bowers resign his seat and assume the position of mayor, a nonvoting position. At the July meeting, William Hughes became the new West Ward alderman, succeeding Musgrove, through what City Manager Debbie Redshaw said was a combination of recruiting and volunteering. Hughes, a former pastor at the Purdy Assembly of God, has lived in the area for the past 10 years. He presently serves as bereavement coordinator for Three Rivers Hospice in Mt. Vernon.
Business undertaken by the council since the election has been minimal. Aldermen placed a measure on the Nov. 2 ballot allowing voters to decide not to hold a city election if enough candidates filed to fill all the seats and no races developed. Freistatt was the first community in the area to adopt that approach after the Missouri General Assembly changed the state law over two years ago.
Aldermen in August also adopted a property tax levy of $.3972 per $100 of assessed property for the 2020 tax cycle. The amount represents the ceiling allowed by the Missouri state auditor and is the same rate approved last year.
The major business returning for discussion at the Oct. 13 meeting came from J.R. and Umar Akhtar, who are building the Akhtar Estates subdivision in their former mobile home park property on the west side of Highway 37. The Akhtars want to continue to provide city water to houses on the six one-acre lots they are building, installing a new water main network.
The problem that surfaced in May centered on the water supply, which had come from a two-inch water line under the highway. The mobile home park dating back to the 1960s, when the highway came through the center of Purdy, now Business Highway 37, the western route the highway now used at the time had been a dirt road. Lonnie Lowery, public works foreman, said it was very unlikely any casing was placed around the water line when the highway was built, particularly since there were no regulations at the time, since the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) did not come into existence until 1972.
The Akhtars learned of the problem at the May meeting, when they revealed plans for installing fire hydrants in their subdivision. Alderman Scotty Redshaw, a professional firefighter, told them then a two-inch line was too small to support a hydrant and would collapse if used. The Akhtars were directed to contact DNR and explore options for accessing the water line.
Returning at the October…