Calvert explained to the board and citizens in attendance that the American Postal Workers Union had placed a hold on any new contracts, and since Laurie had had a contracted office for 61 years, it was quite likely that the new post office would be a contracted unit as well. The moratorium will be in place until July of this year.

The City of Laurie held their monthly Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, March 14. The topic on everyone’s mind was the post office, which has been closed since January.
Laurie citizen Cecilia Bish took advantage of the time set aside for citizens to address the board to present a petition from Laurie residents. She told the board that a post office was badly needed, and many people had been severely inconvenienced by its loss. The petition was given to local Postmaster Pam Payne, who was in attendance.
The meeting began in earnest when Elisa Calvert, Postmaster of Moberly, addressed the board. She began by telling the board she was filling in for Cindy Bolles, Manager of Post Office Operations for the Gateway District.
“I am here to take any complaints, ideas and suggestions back to Cindy,” she said. “I would like you all to know that there is a moratorium on any new contracts, and no decision will be made here tonight.”
Calvert explained to the board and citizens in attendance that the American Postal Workers Union had placed a hold on any new contracts, and since Laurie had had a contracted office for 61 years, it was quite likely that the new post office would be a contracted unit as well. The moratorium will be in place until July of this year.
“We’re at an impasse at this point,” she said. “But your post office is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.”
Alderman Jeff Chorpening asked her if all options had been exhausted.
“We don’t have to have a 24/7 post office,” he said. “We were fine with the hours we had. We just need one that’s open on weekdays and part of Saturday.”
Some citizens in the room joined in, asking why they couldn’t have a real, permanent post office. It was pointed out that the population exceeded the number in some surrounding towns, and those towns had permanent post offices. Bish chimed in once more, telling the postmasters that the citizens of Laurie would be willing to meet whatever requirements were needed to establish a permanent post office.
At this point, Pam Payne stood to address the crowd.
“You can’t imagine how sorry I am that this happened,” she said. “Maybe because of the moratorium we can get a real post office. But there’s never been a post office with Laurie’s ZIP code.”
Mayor Allen Kimberling said that the board had sent letters out to every elected official, but had gotten only two responses, one of which was “If we see someone, we’ll talk to them.”
Chorpening once more spoke up, asking if the post office could be placed in city hall. Payne told him that might work, but a retail counter wasn’t guaranteed due to the moratorium. At the end of the discussion, all that could be done was taking complaints and suggestions up the ladder to the Gateway District Office.
“In my mind, the post office will come back,” said Payne.

Other Business
City Clerk Ron Clarke told the board that he had reviewed to Westlake Aquatic Center’s water usage accounts, and had found no discrepancies. He had also found that Article VI, Section 25 of the Missouri Constitution prohibited the city from donating taxpayer money to any private institution, non-profit or otherwise.
The public works department had also looked at the WAC, finding that the main culprit of their water woes consisted of older facilities, such has large-tank toilets that use lots of water when flushed and manual faucets that were occasionally left on. The official recommendation was for the WAC to update their facilities.
The sidewalk project is very nearly complete, with everything complete but a bit of gravel fill, dirt and grass seeding.
The board approved a fund transfer of $5,000 to supplement $45,000 they had set aside to purchase a new maintenance truck for the city. The city will purchase a new Ford F-350 and supplement it with a loading bed and hydraulics according to state-approved bids. The old truck will be traded in for approximately $8-9,000.
The sewer was fouled up by an unknown individual dumping nearly 100 gallons of diesel fuel along with antifreeze and used motor oil at the Laurie car wash. The chemicals forced a partial shutdown of the treatment plant and cost $1,000 to repair, along with a great many man-hours.
Sewer Department Head Steve Holloway told the board he would like to see them implement a punitive ordinance that would fine individuals who performed such acts that would fine them the cost of repairs.
In better news, Holloway told the board a new company was found that will significantly lower costs of pump maintenance for the sewer department. KCI, based out of Jefferson City, will perform the work that is being done now for less cost and a long warranty.
Laurie Police Chief Mark Black requested the board approve funding for new security cameras that would be located at the front of City Hall and at the city maintenance yard in the Laurie Fairgrounds. Black said after their success in locating the suspect who had burned the flags utilizing security footage, cameras in those areas would be a good idea. The board granted him $2,600 to install the cameras.
The board retired to a closed session, where the voted to hire reserve officer Larry Deves on as a full-time police officer.