Wright City

Wright City Board of Aldermen considers bond issue, IT services at May 9 meeting

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 5/21/24

The Wright City Board of Aldermen started the process of securing their bond from the April 2 ballot measure.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Wright City

Wright City Board of Aldermen considers bond issue, IT services at May 9 meeting


The Wright City Board of Aldermen started the process of securing their bond from the ballot measure that was approved in the April 2 election. During the May 9 meeting, board members discussed how much the city could afford to pledge and what kind of loan terms they would be able to secure with the city’s finances. 

The funds are planned to be used for road improvements, specifically improvements to Roelker Road where the new Wright City High School is being constructed. 

Kurt Daniels of Cochran Engineering was in attendance to discuss the plan that his firm was submitting for the work on Roelker. They plan to expand the width of the roadway to add additional lanes in preparation for the increase in traffic once the high school is completed. 

“What we talked about for the bidding, we’re showing our phase one bidding exhibit and that will be the limit directly in front of the school,” Daniels said. “So that’s the one we will produce construction plans for and we will actually go out to bid on that one and try to get this accomplished prior to the school opening.”

The board approved his plan including a payment of $95,805 and authorized him to go out for bid on the project. 

Earlier in the meeting, Mayor Michelle Heiliger made a last minute addition to the agenda for a new IT services contract with NOC Technology. While the new contract would cost more than the current IT services, Heiliger and City Clerk Abby Ogborn were in agreement that the current services were insufficient.  

“The proposal includes managing our servers, managing workstations, hosting our phone lines, hardware for our phones and annual recurring technical assistance,” Heiliger said.  

Ogborn said she had run the numbers on their current IT provider and said the city currently paid roughly $2,997 monthly for IT services. The new provider would come with an increase to $5,355. 

Aldermen Don Andrews expressed some reservations about spending more on the IT services and felt it may not be necessary. 

“What are they offering that our current company doesn’t?” Aldermen Don Andrews asked. 

Heiliger and Ogborn assured him that the additional expense was justified. 

“It’s gonna streamline services, and the other piece is we’ve had significant issues with service, just helping us resolve issues,” Heiliger said. 

One of the last agenda items at the meeting was a 1% tax on local utility payments. Heiliger explained the tax had been charged on utility services since 1979 and needed to be reinstated since the city passed a new sales tax. 

She went on to say that it was a tax that citizens had already been paying. For the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to assess the tax, they had to amend the measure they passed for the new sales tax. 

Aldermen Karey Owens, Kim Arbuthnot and Don Andrews took issue with the measure and were concerned that by passing the utilities tax they would have misrepresented the sales tax increase to their constituents. 

“I’m having a real hard time with this, I just feel like my general thoughts on the sales tax, I have a choice of where I’m going to spend my money. I can choose if I’m going to support Wright City by spending my tax dollars here, … I’m having problems raising a tax on something that people have no choice but to use.”

Andrews concurred with her and thought it would be a better idea to spend some more time considering the measure. There were concerns that the money that would be assessed through the utilities tax was considered when they were looking for loan terms for the bond issue and those terms would be negatively impacted in the absence of additional utility revenue. 

The vote on the measure was tabled and will be decided during the board’s May 23 meeting.