Minutes 05-16-2011

CITY COUNCIL

MAY 16, 2011

7:00 P.M.

 

The Council of the City of Augusta, Kansas met in regular session on May 16, 2011, with Mayor Kristey Williams presiding.  Council present were Holly Harper, Matt Childers, Michael Huddleston, Michael Wallace, Mike Rawlings, Sue Jones, Ronald Reavis, and Matt Malone.  Also present:  City Manager Bill Keefer, City Attorney David All, Assistant to the City Manager Josh Shaw, and City Clerk Erica Jones.  Visitors present were:  Michael McDermott, Martin Goedecke, Myrna Rogers, Linda Atkins, Russell Boone, and Kevin Cowan.

 

Prayer:  Pastor Steve Hollingsworth, Central Baptist Church, gave the invocation.

 

Minutes:  Harper made a motion to approve the minutes from the May 2, 2011 meeting.  Reavis seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Appropriations:                                   

May (5):  S. Jones inquired about the payment to 4Media Advertising.  Williams stated it was payment to the media buyer for the commercial spots.  S. Jones inquired about the payment to Goedecke Engineering in the amount of $4,380.  Keefer stated it was for several different projects, including the Levee project, Street Sales Tax projects, and for assisting in reviewing the site plans and drainage plans for the new Garfield school.  S. Jones asked if that was opposed to the school board hiring someone.  Keefer stated the city has an engineer assist with reviewing the plans in addition to the school’s person to make sure they meet our requirements.  Huddleston inquired about the payment to David All in the amount of $352.  Keefer stated it was to reimburse for a payment made to the register of deeds on the city’s behalf in the amount of $12 and to pay him for an appeal of a DUI case that went to District Court.  Wallace inquired about the payment to Augusta Ace Home Center.  Keefer stated it was a month’s worth of bills for various city departments.  Wallace made a motion to approve Ordinance 5 in the amount of $1,034,361.35.   Harper seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Visitors:

Myrna Rogers, President of the American Legion Leonard Whitehill Post #89, handed out veteran-made poppies to those present.    Rogers stated the poppies will be distributed in Augusta on May 28th.  Rogers stated that wearing the poppies honor the living and dead veterans as well as providing assistance to disabled veterans.  Rogers stated the veteran memorial will be displayed at Cooper Drug.  Williams thanked Rogers for all her work on behalf of our veterans and for our community.

 

New Airport Manager Lloyd Partin introduced himself to the governing body and stated he is very pleased to be here.  Partin stated he is very thankful to be out of California and is looking forward to developing the Augusta Airport.

 

Russell Boone requested the governing body consider a new ordinance allowing for the Sunday Sale of Packaged CMB and Alcoholic Liquor.  Williams stated the approximate cost for a special election will be around $6,000.  Wallace made a motion to have staff prepare a new ordinance and present it on a future meeting agenda.  S. Jones seconded the motion.  Huddleston asked how much revenue is lost on Sunday Sales outside of this community.  Boone stated he did not know.  Huddleston asked if the tax from liquor sales goes into the Special Drug fund.  Keefer stated it is split between the General Fund, Special Alcohol Fund, and Special Parks Fund.  Childers stated he supported this last time, but his concern now is with the $6,000 price tag for a special election and asked how long it would take to recoup that expense with the additional taxes that would be received.  Keefer stated he did not know, but that it would take several years.  Williams asked if sales tax is charged on liquor sales.  Keefer stated it is not.  Reavis asked since it would be a city-wide election, would we have to have four polling sites or could we just have one.  Keefer stated the voting records are set up by ward, but he would have to ask the County.  Mr. All stated the County might be hesitant to do that because the citizens may not know where to vote and still go to their usual polling sites.  Wallace stated this is the only legal business in town where we put restrictions on when they can operate.  Motion carried with Harper and Rawlings opposed.

 

New Business:

Executive Session:  At 7:18 p.m. Wallace made a motion to enter into Executive Session for 20 minutes to discuss Real Estate Acquisition as part of the Levee Enhancement Project.  Harper seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.  Rawlings did not participate due to a conflict of interest.

 

            At 7:38 p.m. Wallace made a motion to exit Executive Session with no binding action being taken.  Childers seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition. 

 

Public Hearing:  A Public Hearing was conducted to take input on the “Appraisers” report regarding the Corps of Engineers “Engineering Report” for the City of Augusta’s Levee Enhancement Project as a condition to issuing General Obligation Bonds for a flood control project.  After no public comments were received, the Mayor closed the public hearing.

 

Wallace made a motion to approve Ordinance 2022 providing for the construction of flood control improvements and authorizing the issuance of up to $2.075 million in General Obligation Bonds for this project. Childers seconded the motion.  Malone asked if Piper Jaffray has looked into issuing this debt through the Public Building Commission (PBC) so it doesn’t go against the city’s debt ratio.  Kevin Cowan, the City’s Bond Counsel with Gilmore & Bell, stated they had not discussed it because we don’t have any debt issue concerns.  Cowan stated the issue was time sensitive, which is the majority of the reason it is being handled this way.  Cowan stated in order to run the debt through the PBC the governing body would have to pass a charter ordinance.  Keefer inquired whether we could issue the temporary notes now and look at the PBC when issuing the final debt.  Cowan agreed and stated that is not a bad thought.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Wallace made a motion to approve Resolution 2011-06 authorizing the Sale of Temporary Notes for the Levee Enhancement Project.  Childers seconded the motion.  Huddleston inquired about how the rate and cost of the temporary notes are determined.  Cowan stated the rate depends on where the market is at the time of the sale.  Cowan stated he hopes the interest rate will be set by June 6th, and that the current rate is pretty low so he expects to get a good to very good interest rate.  Cowan stated the cost of the bond issue is set deal by deal and that their costs are based on their fee schedule.  Cowan stated the underwriter’s discount is probably less than 1% of the issuance.  Keefer stated the majority of the cost will be capitalized interest.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Rawlings made a motion authorizing the City Manager to execute a document with Piper Jaffray & Co. recognizing the change in their role from the City’s Financial Advisor to Underwriter for the issuance of General Obligation Temporary Notes, Series 2011.  Childers seconded the motion.  Wallace asked if this was a permanent action and Keefer explained it is just for this issuance.  Malone asked Cowan if MSRB (Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board) passed the new rule yet.  Cowan stated they have not yet and explained to the governing body that there might be a rule change in the future that they may only be able to serve as either the underwriter or financial advisor indefinitely.  Keefer stated the city has historically required competitive temp note bids, but the timing of this project has caused us to accelerate the process in order to meet the Corp of Engineer’s deadline.  Keefer stated this is not the norm.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Engineering Services Agreement:  Council considered an Engineering Services Agreement with Goedecke Engineering for construction inspection services for three waterline relocation projects related to the Levee Enhancement Project.  Wallace asked if we took bids for this.  Keefer stated we do not normally take bids for engineering services.  Wallace inquired about the moving of the waterlines.  Keefer stated those will be bid as part of the construction project, but that this agreement is for engineering services only.  S. Jones stated that in reading the document she was surprised by the generalities throughout the document.  S. Jones referenced the term “General Conditions” in 6.a. under I. SCOPE  on page one of the agreement.  Goedecke stated that in the contract the city will have with the contractor there will be a section called general conditions and some sections that deal with engineering, testing, and inspection.  S. Jones stated that under the terms of the agreement Goedecke will be working on behalf of the city, but that this agreement says he doesn’t have any responsibility or liability for errors.  Goedecke stated he is not liable for the acts of the contractor.  S. Jones stated there is a lot of the term “in general” and “generally” throughout the agreement and that term is what bothers her most about the agreement.  Goedecke stated this is a standard contract agreement that is drafted and recommended by the Nation Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC), and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  Goedecke stated his staff will check at certain points along the project to make sure the waterlines are made of the right material, placed at the right depth, etc. but will not be checking all along the way.  Goedecke stated they will not say that the line is exactly in the right location, but that it is in and functioning as it is supposed to.  S. Jones asked how they verify that and what criteria is used for progress payments.  Goedecke stated the line will be pressure tested and that books will be kept on the project.  Goedecke states per the contract with the contractor, we will hold 10% of the funds until the project is complete but that progress payments will be made as long as the project is moving forward. 

 

Wallace asked what would happen if a year from now we discover something is wrong and stated he feels the Engineer should be liable for that.  Goedecke stated the contractor is the one who is building the project, so they would be the one liable.  Wallace stated that Goedecke is saying he will be checking to make sure it is correct so he should be liable as well.  Goedecke stated there are fees that you can pay for that type of inspection, but that the city is not paying him for the type of inspection Wallace is asking for.  Williams stated the contractor would be required to have liability insurance.  Mr. All stated that if an incident occurs it will depend on the specifics of the incident to determine where the liability is.  If it is something that was there that could have been seen, the court could find Goedecke liable.  But it depends on the circumstances.  Mr. All stated it depends on if the engineer failed to provide the services they are contracted to do.  Mr. All stated we would have to look to the contractor for liability first.

 

Wallace started to speak and Williams called him to order.  Wallace asked why Williams would not give him the same courtesy as the other council members and let him finish his thought.  Williams allowed Wallace to finish his comment.  Wallace stated he wants to avoid something we should have foreseen, and that “in general” is up for interpretation.  Mr. All stated that that this is a standard contract that came from national engineering organizations.  Williams stated this is a standard contract and it does not exempt Goedecke from being liable.  Keefer stated that depending on the timeframe when an error or problem is discovered the contractors have a warranty period.  Goedecke stated contractors have a one year warranty bond upon completion of the project.  Reavis made a motion to approve an Engineering Services Agreement with Goedecke Engineering for construction inspection services for three waterline relocation projects related to the Levee Enhancement Project.  Childers seconded the motion.  Motion carried with S. Jones opposing.

 

Convention and Tourism Bureau Grants:  Rawlings made a motion to approve Convention and Tourism Bureau Grants for Downtown Augusta, Inc. in the amount of $300 for the annual Grasshopper Festival, Augusta Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $1,000 for the annual Homecoming Fest, and the Augusta Historical Society in the amount of $500 for the annual Yesteryear Fair.  Wallace seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.

 

Informational Memorandum:

Wallace – Wallace inquired about the length of time for the easement for the portion of the old hospital property where the walking path was constructed.  Keefer stated it is a permanent easement. 

 

Final Comments:

Huddleston – Huddleston asked staff to explain future water usage in the City with the lake levels, drought, and spillway and dam project.  Keefer stated the city lake typically supplies a third of the city’s water supply annually.  Keefer stated the lake levels are very low due to the on-going drought since last July, the lack of runoff, and evaporation.  Keefer stated over the last several months we have not taken any water from the lake and have primarily relied on water from the City of El Dorado, but that we will have to draw from the lake this summer to meet our peak demand days which could be a challenge.  Keefer stated the improvements to the Frontier Waterline and the purchase of the new VFD’s should help though.  Keefer stated he will be talking to El Dorado about our take-or-pay contract with regard to drought and the lowering of the lake for the spillway/dam project and that he should know whether or not they will be willing to work with us later this week.  Huddleston asked if we will be looking at any rationing.  Keefer stated he hopes not, but that will depend on how much moisture we receive in the next 30-60 days.  Huddleston asked if conservation would help and Keefer stated we may have to look at that.

 

Williams – Williams encouraged everyone to check out www.movetoaugustaks.com and to view the commercial that is now airing on television.  Williams stated the commercial and website will help us promote our community.  Williams stated there have been no housing starts in Augusta since January.

 

Reavis – Reavis stated he was contacted by a citizen regarding truck traffic on Stadium Drive.  Keefer stated the citizen has spoken to Chief Brewer, City Clerk Erica Jones, and other staff members about this issue.  Reavis stated with the construction around Kelly and Ohio increased truck traffic on Stadium will be expected.  Reavis stated he understands that trucks can go off the designated truck route to make local deliveries, but wondered if we could tighten that ordinance up so that it is enforceable.  Reavis asked if there is anything we can do like putting up signage to prohibit left turns. 

 

Keefer stated the whole issue is a challenge.  Keefer stated it is difficult to distinguish local deliveries because they are all over town and how would we pick and choose if we were to eliminate them on specific streets.  Mr. All stated local deliveries are supposed to use the most direct route.  Keefer stated some of them are coming from the North and Stadium Drive could be their most direct route to the back of the stores.  Keefer stated he doesn’t know if we can put signage up on personal property prohibiting left turns.  Keefer stated staff is drafting a letter for Wal-Mart and Dillon’s to ask for their cooperation in this matter but there are multiple challenges including that the trucks belong to multiple haulers that are not owned or under the control of the stores.  Keefer stated before the Kelly/Ohio Intersection project construction starts we will have to discuss detours for this type of traffic.  Reavis asked if there is a sign already there prohibiting the trucks, why can’t we enforce it.  Keefer stated he believes there is a way to distinguish local deliveries and prohibit those that are not. 

 

Reavis stated he remembers Martin Goedecke stating that part of Stadium Drive will get two inches of asphalt and the other part will get six inches because of the heavy trucks.  Reavis asked if Stadium Drive is not designed for truck traffic, why we wouldn’t prohibit it.  Goedecke stated the section of Stadium Drive that will get six inches of asphalt is from the first cul-de-sac to Fairway.  Goedecke stated the rest of Stadium Drive to Ohio is currently six inches, but that it is several years old.

 

Reavis stated that with the construction he thinks it will get worse before it gets better, and we will have to live with it for a while.  Reavis stated if there is a way to fine tune the ordinance for local deliveries, he would encourage that.  Mr. All stated there is not a good way to get to Hwy 77 from the North if you do not turn onto Hwy 77 in El Dorado, because there is no signage saying trucks are not allowed until you are south of 21st Street on Ohio. 

 

Reavis asked if a developer has to submit an official plat when they get ready to develop a plat.  Keefer stated they apply to the Planning Commission and that the preliminary plat is reviewed by staff and the Planning Commission.  Keefer stated the final plat is then presented to and reviewed by the Planning Commission before it comes to the governing body for final approval.  Keefer stated the city’s subdivision regulations outline this process.

 

Childers – Childers inquired about the 3-2 vote by the Butler County Commission on the relocation of Dike Road and asked why it was voted to against.  Williams stated Commissioner Harris wanted to expand the project which would have added more cost.  Goedecke stated he was present at the County Commission meeting and that they originally discussed building a wider road at their expense and keeping the current entrance as is.  Goedecke stated they then decided they wanted to move the entrance to straighten that out but it would require considerable asphalt work to re-do that intersection.  Goedecke stated the County did not want to pay that additional cost.  Williams stated that was not a request of the City to make those changes.

 

Wallace – Wallace asked when the School District is building schools if the City Inspector reviews the project and plans.  Keefer stated Dan Allen, City Inspector, does inspections on the school construction just like any other project.  Allen, is frequently on site to inspect the work and make sure they are meeting the codes of the city. 

 

            Wallace thanked those that came out for the parade last Saturday to welcome home Engineering Company 226 and that he submitted a letter to the editor of the Augusta Daily Gazette thanking the community for their support.

 

            Wallace stated he has received several calls regarding the pothole at Dillon’s and he wanted to remind the citizens that this is on private property and encouraged them to contact Dillon’s about getting it repaired. 

 

Adjourn:  At 8:32 p.m. Wallace made a motion to adjourn.   Childers seconded the motion.  Motion carried without opposition.      

 

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