I can't believe another year is coming to a close. The city of Thayer has been busy completing and starting a few projects.
Our sidewalk project is very near completion, making it possible for residents and students to be able to walk from downtown Thayer to the Thayer High School building on the same side of the street on Highway 142 East. That was (made possible by) a matching grant from MoDOT. Many residents have wanted this done for many years. We are glad this has become a reality.
We are really happy for the completion of the water line extension under Highway 63 from Nettleton to the Thayer Industrial Park, being made possible from a grant from USDA. It improves the water volume needed for industry in the park as well as those on the east side of the highway.
A grant from MoDOT also made it possible to landscape and plant shrubs by the sidewalks and in the new park area and plant trees and shrubs making our newest park, Agusta Setting Gardens, at the top of First Street in Thayer, a relaxing, resting place for individuals or a place to chat with friends.
At the present time, it is decorated with a Christmas tree which is real, and with decorations that go up and down the entrance into Thayer. Volunteers Gene Blankenship and Virgil Clark made the wooden benches and Cover Lumber Co. donated the lumber to build these benches for everyone to enjoy. We are very glad that here in Thayer residents join forces to improve our town for everyone's benefit.
The recycling center parking lot has been paved at the Industrial Park and finishing touches are being completed through a USDA grant which was much needed for the recycling center.
The caboose museum welcome center is in the legal procedure and we are hoping it will be opened in the next few months at McDonald's for tourists to be able to obtain information about Thayer and the surrounding area.
Our Christmas decorations are in place and being admired be motorists traveling up and down Highway 63 and also in the downtown area. We have had many nice compliments on our decorations and how nice the city looks during this Christmas season. We are proud of our city workers who have worked hard to make our city look great.
The city of Thayer entered the first ever Chili Cook-Off, where 600 mayors were invited to cook their secret recipes and compete at Rockaway Beach. This will be an annual event. Thayer received first place, and Gary Barton, utility superintendent, received second place. Everyone will want to compete next year with their great recipes.
Steve Hall resigned as alderman for the south ward due to increased business commitments. I think Mr. Hall has done a good job as alderman and wish him the best.
Due to the flu outbreak we thought a person needed to be appointed to fill his position so a quorum could be met. I recommended to the council and they approved appointing Steve Alford to finish out the unexpired term. Alford has filed for that position.
With the resignation of Mr. Hall I appointed Fern Hickinbotham as treasurer.
She has expressed interest in helping keep operating costs down in the city. She recently took time from her business to attend a MIRMA Insurance meeting in St. Louis. By attending these meetings the city is given credit when it comes time for evaluations. Fern has also filed for re-election.
All in all, I think we have had a great year and am pleased with all the accomplishments we have made in our city. I am looking forward to a new year to plan new projects and accomplish as many things as possible in the new year.