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story.lead_photo.caption Holts Summit police officer Coltin McGowan received the first Medal of Valor in Holts Summit during Tuesday night's board of aldermen meeting. Photo by Danisha Hogue / Fulton Sun.

During Tuesday's Holts Summit Board of Aldermen meeting, members appointed Hanna Lechner as permanent city administrator.

Lechner had been city's clerk for about eight months when, in December, former administrator Matt Harline resigned and Lechner agreed to serve the role in the interim.

City employee Brittany Berhorst has served as city clerk since the transition.

Harline previously said that Mayor Landon Oxley asked for his resignation.

"It was his right to ask for it," Harline said at the time. "He's doing what he thinks is best and in the best interest of the city of Holts Summit."

Born and raised in Holts Summit, Lechner said she never saw herself involved in city government.

"This is not where I saw myself landing in my permanent position," Lechner said. "Working here part time, I kind of fell in love with the government and politics."

Now, she is excited about working on the city's sewer projects and helping to grow businesses, she said.

Oxley said the city received about eight applications for the position. However, the board felt Lechner had proven herself in the position.

The two-year contract includes a $60,000 salary, Lechner said.

In other business, Holts Summit Police officer Coltin McGowan received the first Medal of Valor in the city. He had been asked to attend Tuesday's meeting under the guise of a "department appreciation speech," so he was very surprised with receiving the award.

On Jan. 21, Evergreen Condos were destroyed in a fire, displacing nearly 40 families, and McGowan was the first officer on the scene. He led the evacuation of the three-story structure, knocking on every door to remove families from the burning building, officials said.

While in route to the 2:05 a.m. call, McGowan developed a plan of evacuation and communicated to other responding officers, Assistant Police Chief Shannon Jeffries said.

"He verbally communicated that plan to other officers, even to the point of 'hey, when you pull into the parking lot, leave your sirens on; let's wake these people up,'" Jeffries said. "No lives were lost, and we honestly believe it's due to his quick reaction."

McGowan was nominated by Lt. Nick Stobbart, Jeffries said. The award was approved by Chief Kyle McIntyre, who said the medal is the second-highest award an officer can receive.

The 28-year-old officer has been with the police department for almost three years.

"It was unexpected," McGowan said. "I was just doing my job; I think any officer would have done it."

In other alderman business:

The city administrator stated the new polling location for the June 18 special election will be Union Hill Baptist Church at 460 S. Summit Drive for Holt Summit Ward 2 voters. Polls are open 6 a.m.-7 p.m.

The board approved liquor licenses for local businesses.

Angela Silvey was appointed as alternate municipal court judge.

The band Murphy's Ford was named to perform at the Holts Summit Fireworks Festival on July 3.

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