MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Maryville City Council on Monday approved the lease of a new fleet of golf cars for use at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park, along with GPS units that city officials said could add additional revenues.
At the council’s regular meeting Monday, council members approved a lease agreement for up to $270,720 over four years with Masek Golf Company for a fleet of 75 cars for regular use and two utility vehicles that will serve as a range picker and beverage car. The city’s existing lease, also with Masek, expires next month.
The city received three bids for the cars, with Masek’s coming in the lowest.
According to the council briefing packet, city staff received demo golf cars from Masek and another bidder, M&M Golf. Unanimously, staff and customers who test drove Masek’s Yamaha Drive2 model preferred it to the Club Car model provided by M&M Golf.
Additionally, Assistant City Manager Ryan Heiland said that the Drive2 makes noise comparable to an electric golf car because of Yamaha’s proprietary QuieTech feature, includes an independent rear suspension that results in a smoother ride and has a dashboard that is three inches wider than the Club Car staff tested. The Drive2 also gets 45 miles per gallon, improving on the current model at Mozingo’s 38.7.
Another point in Masek’s bid’s favor was that the company is the city’s current lease partner for the existing golf car fleet, and has committed to keep that fleet in place at Mozingo until the new cars can be delivered. That was an important assurance, city officials noted, due to worldwide supply issues caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new fleet is not expected to be delivered until early 2022.
Heiland said the city picked a metallic paint option — “moonstone” — for an added $2 per month per car to the base bid.
In a separate agreement, the city also approved a contract to lease GPS units that will be placed in the new golf cars. The units will help golfers navigate the course, as well as allow Mozingo staff to track each car and usage statistics to ensure more accurate maintenance timelines.
The agreement, also with Masek, is for up to $44,352. The GPS units, iPar 7 models, will come from GPS Technologies, the exclusive GPS provider for Yamaha golf cars.
Each GPS unit will also feature a display and notification system, allowing messages — like advertisements — to appear on the display. Heiland said that, for example, when a car reaches a designated hole, the GPS unit could display a menu for William Coy’s restaurant and allow golfers to enter their orders for when they get back.
Mayor Benjamin Lipiec, who is the council’s non-voting representative on the Mozingo Lake Recreation Park Advisory Board, said that board members were enthusiastic about the advertising potential. Heiland said he was optimistic that the advertising alone could pay for the cars over the life of the four-year lease.
The notification system could also be used in emergencies like severe weather, Heiland said, to recall golfers from the course.
The golf car refresh comes as Mozingo showed another year of revenue growth, the fourth straight year with $100,000 or more in additional revenue, according to a city budget presentation prior to the regular meeting Monday. All in all, the park is projected to bring in more than $3.2 million through the end of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30 — about $400,000 higher than the city had estimated at the beginning of the year.
The Mozingo budget is an enterprise fund, meaning that its expenses are paid for through its own revenue and is self-sustaining.
Street closure process
City Council members agreed Monday to tighten the process for street closure approvals after an impassioned castigation by Jennifer Gillespie, owner of the boutique La Chic in Maryville.
Gillespie, who does not live in Maryville, was irate over the council’s preliminary approval during its Aug. 23 meeting of a street closure for the Art, Rhythm and Brews fundraiser on Oct. 23 that would shut down streets around the courthouse square as well as Third Street in front of her business during a sales event of her own on that date.
City policy calls for anyone requesting a street closure to obtain the signatures of the property owners along the route of the proposed closure.
Because she had not been contacted at that point by the Maryville Public Art Advisory Committee, which puts on the annual event, Gillespie said she was surprised to see the item in the newspaper that week. In an Aug. 23 post online and in the Aug. 26 edition of The Forum, the closure was included in the notes section at the end of a larger City Council story. However, the note did not include the caveat that the council had only approved the closure contingent upon the submission of property owners’ signatures — an omission mistakenly made by The Forum, not in the measure passed by the council.
Even with the contingency, Gillespie said, the council should not have approved the street closure without signatures in hand. Instead, she said she wasn’t contacted for her signature — which she said she and two other property owners near her refused to give — until after the council had provisionally approved the closure.
“But the fact that it gets approved, and then a week later, (they) go and get signatures, that is a slap in our face,” Gillespie said.
However, street closure approvals with such contingencies are common.
“Council has approved events contingent upon receiving signatures since I’ve been here — a decade ago,” said City Manager Greg McDanel during the meeting. “This is the first time that it’s become an issue.”
Nonetheless, in response to Gillespie’s complaint, McDanel said he has already contacted those who usually hold annual events in the city to let them know that in the future, signatures should be submitted prior to the council’s approval of a street closure.
Council member Tye Parsons said the idea behind approving street closures pending the submission of signatures is to allow for some latitude, rather than be tied to the letter of a policy.
“So, when Downtown Trick or Treat, for example, comes to us, and they’ve forgotten to get their signatures, and if we come down heavy-handed and say no, we’re not allowed to have that event because you failed to get their signatures — that’s why the contingency is in place,” Parsons said, referencing the Oct. 26, 2020 meeting when the council did approve street closures contingent upon receiving signatures for the Downtown Trick or Treat event despite missing nearly all signatures from affected property owners at the time of approval. “So I just want to take the heat down just a little bit and understand that there’s some nuance to the issue.”
Council member Rachael Martin said that Gillespie might consider trying to work with the public art committee on a solution that could also help her store’s foot traffic problem that has not abated since the pandemic began, which Gillespie had cited several times during her discussion with the council as a significant source of frustration.
“Instead of viewing this as ‘this’ or ‘that,’ we can view this as an opportunity for collaboration, and we can say hey, Maryville public art committee … (has) this whole group of volunteers who are going to have people from Maryville, who you are saying aren’t spending enough money in your shop,” Martin said. “They’re going to be at your front door.”
Gillespie said she was open to the idea, but reiterated that she would like better communication about street closures in the future.
Street closures are ultimately at the discretion of the council, whether or not signatures are incomplete or submitted at all.
The council took no further action on the closure at Monday’s meeting.
Also Monday, council members approved a contract with Pope Dirt Work, LLC for up to $20,000 to perform grading for the RV park expansion project at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park.
The nearly half-a-million-dollar expansion will add 43 new, full-hookup RV site, two new shower houses and an expanded RV dump station.
Grading work was being done by city crews, but McDanel said chronic understaffing in Public Works has meant slow progress. To ensure the grading is completed before the season is over, the city opened bids for a contractor to take over that part of the project.
Assistant City Manager Heiland said Pope plans to start next week and the grading on the south side should take 7-10 days. While on-site, Pope will evaluate the north side of the project and give the city a quote for grading that side as well. Completion of grading will allow for installation of utilities this year.
As the council begins the FY 2022 budget process in earnest, it approved the strategic goals that will guide spending for the next fiscal year:
- Efficiently implement improvements to the South Main corridor
- Redevelop the physical, economic, and cultural viability of downtown Maryville
- Improve the overall quality of water from Mozingo Lake
- Maintain and improve infrastructure and facilities
- Ensure fiscal sustainability and good governance
The list sees two holdovers from last year, listed below, and a broader goal for improving water quality:
- Efficiently implement improvements to the South Main Corridor
- Strengthen economy by promoting and elevating tourism assets
- Redevelop the physical, economic, and cultural viability of Downtown Maryville
- Improve community livability and quality of life
- Enhance source water protection efforts and management practices at Mozingo Lake
Each fiscal year the council reviews the previous year’s goals and assign new ones for the coming year to better reflect community priorities.
Other City Council notes
- The council approved a request by the Northwest Missouri State University Homecoming Committee for a street closure for the annual homecoming parade. All signatures were submitted prior to council consideration. The parade will run from near the football stadium along College Avenue and West Fourth Street, heading east to North Main Street, turning north on Main Street to West Fifth Street and back to the university where the parade will disperse. The parade will be held starting at 9 a.m. on Oct. 30, with barricades put in place at 6:30 a.m.
- Council members approved the purchase of a new pump, cast iron impeller and sluice gate at the Southwest Lift Station from Allied Systems, Inc. for a total of up to $49,561.58. The Southwest Lift Station carries the majority of sanitary sewer flows for the western half of the community. Sewage gravity flows to the lift station, where it is then pumped northeast to the Maryville Wastewater Treatment Plant for processing.
- The council approved the appointment of Amy Gessert to the Maryville Tourism Committee. Gessert started as the executive director of the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 1, and will serve as that organization’s representative on the board, replacing former executive director Lily White.
- The council approved the appointment of Mitch Coffelt to the Maryville Parks and Recreation Board of Directors, replacing Charlie Clodfelter, who moved out of town. Coffelt’s term will expire on June 1, 2023.