SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield City Council is scheduled to meet today, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m. Here are some of the bills they will vote on and discuss.

As a reminder, the city council meeting is open to the public. It will be held at the City Council Chambers at Historic City Hall on 830 N. Boonville Ave.

Poverty “calamity” declaration

Springfield is again set to be declared “an economic and housing access calamity.” This declaration was first made in 2009 and has been declared seven times since then, with the last in December 2020. The declaration is made when Springfield’s poverty level is above the state’s. Missouri’s poverty level is 12.7% — Springfield’s is 21.7%. While this is in effect, individuals, churches, agencies, and not-for-profits will be able to provide food and lodging. This remains in effect until poverty in Springfield falls below the state’s average or until April 30, 2025, whichever comes first.

Funding for law enforcement equipment

The first item the city council is to vote on is whether to accept a grant of $192,486 to be given to the Springfield Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.

The SPD will get 60% of the funds and will spend it on cell phones, body cameras, a traffic drone, and two replacement canines. The GCSO will get the other 40% and plans to spend its cut on earpieces, external equipment carriers, shotgun racks, and a gun safe.

The other bills up for vote include:

  • David Mercer’s appointment as Springfield municipal court judge — a four-year position.
  • Allowing a logistical tax adjustment in the Idea Commons Project, a blocks-large future development planned for downtown Springfield.
  • Allotting $950,000 to be used in the Springfield Fire Station #7 reconstruction project.
  • Allotment of $834 to be used for neighborhood identification signage for the Brentwood Neighborhood.
  • Annexing 1.14 acres of private property and 0.38 acres of the public street at 354 W. Buena Vista St. The owner of the property wants to rezone to develop retail space.
  • Allowing an application to three ARPA grants: $2 million for an emergency vehicle traffic signal priority system and improved traffic monitoring cameras, $3.5 million for Springfield Art Museum renovation and expansion, and $3.7 million for the Renew Jordan Creek Project.
  • Adoption of the Forward SGF Comprehensive plan and Springfield’s legislative priorities for 2023.
  • Accepting $5,000 from Show Me Zero grant to pay for pedestrian safety education program SGF Yields.

To be discussed

Springfield City Council will discuss — but not vote on — several bills.

Perhaps the most significant is declaring the Grant Avenue Redevelopment Area “blighted” and approving redevelopment plans for it. The bill states that “its development [is] necessary for the preservation of the public peace, prosperity, health, safety, morals, and welfare” of the area. A map of the area can be found on the bill.

A permit for a 7Brew to be built at 404, 420, and 424 E. Sunshine St. has already made its rounds through the city council and was denied. The Springfield Planning & Zoning Commission is suggesting the denial of this permit again.

Other bills to be discussed include:

  • Rezoning .5 acres at 2000 W. Thoman St. from heavy manufacturing to a residential single-family district.
  • Approval of encroachments such as awnings, benches, and other items.
  • Entering a $1.2 million cost-share agreement to improve LeCompte Road from Division Street to the BNSF train tracks.
  • Revising requirements for firefighters’ pension board candidates.
  • Allowing a permit for a car wash at 600 S. Glenstone Ave.
  • Entering into an agreement with Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to maintain Kearney Street.
  • Appointing three people to the Ridge at Ward Branch Community District Board of Directors.