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story.lead_photo.caption FILE: The Holts Summit Municipal Center is shown on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

The Holts Summit Board of Aldermen hustled through its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

Like many nearby municipalities, the board met virtually over Zoom — a service that offers free video conferencing with a 40-minute time limit.

The board voted to continue waiving utility disconnections and late fees for the month of May.

In other COVID-19 news, Mayor Landon Oxley told the board the city hasn't heard from many of its usual vendors about the annual fireworks display.

"I just wanted to put a bug in your ear about thinking about postponing that for next year," Oxley said. "The sponsor that wrote the check to sponsor that, I'd hate for them to waste your money, and we don't have adequate facilities for the citizens."

The city has been trying to update its sewer system for years, an effort that has finally gotten some momentum this spring. In order to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements, the city will have to raise sewer rates. The USDA is a large source of funding for the project.

"I know no one wants to hear sewer rates have to go up, but unfortunately, to meet our contract, it's mandatory that we do this," City Administrator Hanna Lechner said.

The city will hold a public hearing sometime next month for residents to ask questions and raise any concerns before the board votes on the increase.

Recycling was also discussed — the city closed its recycling bins months ago, citing misuse. Since then, the city has searched for a solution, with residents upset with the loss of the bins.

Lechner told the board a county partnership for recycling is not likely. Instead, she explained Republic Services could introduce curbside recycling, but it would have to be mandatory for all residents.

"So every house, every trailer house, everybody who has a trash can with Republic Services will be mandated to have recycling as well," Lechner said. "Now they don't have to use it, but they're going to get a can, and they're going to get charged for it."

The board did not like this option.

"I don't think I'll ever be in favor of that," board member Chris Redel said, referring to the mandatory part of the solution.

In March, Holts Summit Police Chief Kyle McIntyre told the board the department was hoping to get new cameras, citing technical difficulties with the current system. Now, he's proposing a less expensive fix.

"With the budget issues that we have right now, I don't see any way that we can do $137,000 for body cams and car cameras," McIntyre said. "However, we have body cameras, we just have some that are old that are starting to fail. So what I'd like to do is just replace those for right now until we're more stable on what's going on."

The department will purchase three replacement body cameras instead of buying new cameras for everyone.

"Yeah, I think we need to do that at a minimum; I hate not being able to do more, but I understand it," Redel said.

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