Florissant to Contract For Umpires at Parks

Supports Old Town Drainage Project

By Carol Arnett

The Florissant City Council decided to contract out softball umpiring this summer. At the last council meeting, the council passed an ordinance authoring $40,000 to be used to contract with St. Louis Metro Softball Umpires Association to provide umpires for the summer and fall softball leagues. In previous years, the city has hired umpires.

Councilman Pat Stinnett said he supported the measure, but he questioned if there was any way that Florissant residents who have served as umpires in the past could be hired by the Umpires Association.

Mayor Tom Schneider called that Stinnett’s idea a “noble effort,” but said that the city “cannot force the association to hire anyone,”

Councilman Joe Eagan also weighed in. “I would rather have a good umpire than a Florissant umpire,” he said. “If there are two equally qualified, I would rather have a resident.”

Stinnett noted that if the umpires passed a qualifying test, they should be hired. “I know people who have passed the driver’s test, but they aren’t very good drivers,” Eagan responded.

Schneider said that he had no preference on the bill, but that “this is how leagues are going.” He said that the parks department suggested this “We used to hire our own, but we though this was a way to get better qualified people,” he said. The measure passed.

In other matters, the council passed a bill that appropriates $10,300 for the purchase of fleet management software. Stinnett asked if the new software would work with other software and hardware the city used. He also asked if the city’s IT Director had signed off on the bill. He also asked if the software would work over multiple platforms and if the price included updates. He said he would like to postpone the bill and ask the IT director to provide more information.

Schneider replied that he would be happy to accommodate Stinnett’s request for more information.  The council voted to postpone the bill until the March 11 meeting.

The council passed a resolution supported the city’s application to the East-West Gateway Council of Government Transportation for Old Town Street and Storm Water Drainage Improvement Project. City Engineer Tim Barrett told the council that he was applying for a grant that would be reimbursed 80%.

The project would cover a portion of Lafayette St., from Washington to Lindbergh. In this half mile, Barrett said, there are few storm sewers and few sidewalks. The project will address the drainage and make the sidewalks compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The cost estimate is just under $2 million, which would leave the city paying approximately $400,000, with the grant paying the rest.

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