Francis
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State Rep. Rick Francis of Perryville was a special guest at Tuesday’s meeting of the Perryville Board of Aldermen.

Francis, who represents the 145th District in the Missouri House of Representatives, was in attendance to receive a special award from the Missouri Public Utility Alliance in recognition of his work on the House utilities committee.

“In his work on the committee, Rep. Francis kept an ‘open-door policy’ that welcomed municipal utility leaders,” said Ewell Lawson, MPUA Vice President of Government Affairs, who presented Francis with the award. “He has been even-handed and supportive as we dealt with issues of concern to community-owned utilities.” 

The Richard E. Malori Public Service Award recognizes a publicly elected or appointed official whose activities have furthered the objectives of municipal utilities, making contributions that have lasting impact in the field. 

“It is a privilege to accept an award on behalf of doing the right thing by supporting our local municipalities,” Francis said, “and it is certainly an honor to do it in your presence tonight.”

The MPUA, a multi-state organization of municipal utilities, chose Francis for the honor for his work to pass a bill aimed at ensuring that a community knows its municipal utility’s full value when the system’s future is on the ballot. 

Francis’ district encompasses approximately half of Perry County, in addition to Bollinger and Madison counties. 

A farmer and former educator, Francis has served in the Missouri House since 2016. In the most recent session of the General Assembly, he served as vice chair of the House Agriculture Policy Committee. 

In addition to Francis’ award, board members also recognized city wastewater employee Neil Bert, who was recently named the Missouri Rural Water Association’s Wastewater Operator of the Year.

“We found out that Neail had received the award last Thursday night,” said Water/Wastewater superintendent Jeremy Myer. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Neail for over 20 years. I didn’t know much about wastewater when we started and he didn’t know any. We’ve grown together throughout the years and we’ve hit the level we’re at now.

“He’s one of the best guys you could ever ask to work with you.”

In other business, the board approved the city’s Capital Improvement Plan, which will lead city staff directly into next year’s budget preparation. 

The presented plan provides for full utilization of the City’s expected revenues and shows its projected needs may exceed estimated resources in future years.

In addition a number of traffic and parking matters were approved, including a request made by a citizen at a meeting last month requesting a designated handicapped parking space in front of his house. In addition, the board approved a recommendation from Assistant Police Chief Bill Jones regarding traffic warning devices at intersection of Main Street and Highway 51 North. 

The intersection has seen increased traffic and a number of accidents since the grand opening of Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial on Route AC.  

The city believes it will be MoDOT’s responsibility to add any such device. pending their  ultimate approval, since they maintain that section of the road.

This article originally ran on perryvillenews.com.

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