Bilbrey Remembered at Williamsville Council Meeting
By Lynn Schultz,
Williamsville City Clerk
The first meeting of 2022 took place on January 11. It was quite an emotional meeting for all who attended. As you all know by now Gene Bilbrey passed away on December 30. The mayor took several minutes praising him. As a wonderful tribute to Mr. Bilbrey his wife, daughter and husband, granddaughter and 2 of his great-grandchildren were present. This was very moving to all since no one knew they were attending. Mr. Bilbrey was an alderman for 36 years and was a great supporter of anything that lifted the town. The ball field, Lion’s Club and the Labor Day Picnic to name only a few were some of Gene’s pet projects. Did you know that Gene cut the grass at the Community Center last summer even when the temperature was well into the 90’s? He insisted on doing it and it always looked super. He was very encouraging to all and when a new alderwoman was elected, Mr. Bilbrey made a point to go to her home and inform her of the city’s main issues.
The mayor mentioned that Mr. Bilbrey and her father, Clifford Crites, were good friends. And though Gene was an avid fisherman, Mr. Crites was not! So, they enjoyed each other’s company while watching sports! The chief of police said that Gene always asked what he could do for you…never what you could do for him.
There were so very many stories about Gene, the conversation could have gone on all evening. The mayor thanked all who were in attendance saying that Gene will be very much missed for many years and the meeting proceeded.
The “paving” grant is still under an environmental study. No word on when this will be completed. Community Center Roof Grant-The city is in contact with Ball Architects who are working on this project. Deadlines are tight here, but we will not give up. Nutrition Center Grant-The city had to partner with the county on this grant, but there is no update. Rural Development Grant (wastewater)-The city was asked to contact the county for a portion of the ARPA funding, but has not heard from them.
The Court has officially been transferred to the county. There is no more city court, but the Chief of Police will still be patrolling the city.
The city will have Missouri Rural Water do a rate study. This will assist the city in knowing if we are charging enough for water. Prices may increase. You will be informed.
Mr. Meyer said that he feels that the new collector can handle the position, but he will be available to assist if called upon. City Hall will no longer be open on the second Saturday of the month for payments. The drop box, of course, is always available, but no cash, please!
And speaking of Mr. Meyer, he stepped into the Collector’s position with no problem. He always was a very pleasant voice at City Hall. We all welcome Cassi Terry and know she is very capable, but, Mike, you will be missed.
The lease for renting the Community Center will be changed. There will be a $75 charge for renting the building no matter how many hours it is used since most events require at least a day considering the set-up and clean-up. AND, if heat is required, there will be an additional $75 charge. Propane costs are so very high and the city is in no position to absorb this cost. (The tank was filled to only 30% in December at a cost of $650. And it needs to be filled again after only a few uses!)
A letter was drafted to begin the process to demolish some dangerous properties in town. Hopefully the American Rescue Plan Act funding can be used for this.
That seems to be all of the important information from the January meeting. The next city meeting will be February 8 at 6:30. We look forward to seeing some new faces in 2022.