NOVEMBER 7, 2011
The Council of the City of Augusta, Kansas met in regular session on November 7, 2011, with Mayor Kristey Williams presiding. Council present were Holly Harper, Matt Childers, Michael Huddleston, Sue Jones, Ron Reavis, Mike Rawlings, and Matt Malone. Councilman Michael Wallace was absent. Also present: City Attorney David All, City Manager Bill Keefer, Assistant to the City Manager Josh Shaw, and City Clerk Erica Jones. Visitors present were: Kent Bush, Willis Wilson, Jake McClure, John Black, Jay Anglemyer, Gary Rogers, Myrna Rogers, Aaron Latimer, Alex Latimer, Avery Latimer, Robert Latimer, and Martin Goedecke.
Prayer: Pastor Steve Spencer, First United Methodist Church, gave the invocation.
Minutes: Holly stated that Rawlings was listed as absent from the meeting but that he had final comments, so he was at the meeting. Reavis stated there was a typo on page 5, that it should be “electronic” instead of “electron”. Reavis made a motion to approve the minutes from the October 17, 2011 meeting with corrections. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
October (10A): Huddleston stated the payment to Animal Clinic is listed as $2,330.50 but the A/P Warrant Register shows $3,280 being paid out of the Animal Control fund. Keefer stated that includes payrolls and possibly a natural gas payment. Huddleston stated he thought those were paid out of the Safety Department funds. Keefer stated the Animal Control is a standalone budget under the General Fund. Rawlings asked if the payment to American Control is the final payment. Keefer stated we are still holding between $12,000 and $14,000 while they are fine tuning things. Huddleston made a motion to approve Ordinance 10A in the amount of $2,852,283.18. Malone seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Charter Ordinance: Rawlings made a motion to approve Charter Ordinance 15 allowing the City to refinance loans for the WWTP and Sewer System and issue debt up to $1.5 million for construction of the improvements to the same as well as provide for the notice/protest/potential election process for bonds in excess of $1.5 million. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
One-Million Gallon Storage Tank Project: Council considered authorizing the separation of the One-Million Gallon Storage Tank Project into two phases to include construction of the 12” bypass pipe as Phase I and the Storage Tank repairs as Phase II. Willis Wilson stated the roof of the tank will be removed and replaced with a dome and other repairs to the tank will be made at the same time. Wilson explained that with the tank out of service the pumps cannot get water out of the storage tank. Wilson stated that installing the new 12” bypass pipe will allow the water to bypass the storage tank and go directly into the pumps and out into the distribution system. Wilson stated that when the dam/spillway project is completed and the water levels are restored then we can move forward with repairing the tank. Williams inquired about the cost of the project. Wilson stated the bypass pipe will cost close to $60,000 and the total project will be approximately $450,000. Williams asked how long the bypass phase will take. Wilson stated 30 days. Williams asked if there would be a disruption to the system. Wilson stated there would be a minor disruption – maybe a day or two. S. Jones asked if the project is ready to go to bid or if the specs have already been developed. Wilson stated they are approximately 80% complete and that it will take about 30 more days to complete. Malone asked if the tank has to be drained for the bypass pipe to be installed. Wilson stated it only has to be lowered to the point where the pipe enters the tank. S. Jones asked if it will take 90-120 days to complete the project. Wilson stated that was a reasonable estimate.
Malone made a motion authorizing the separation of the One-Million Gallon Storage Tank Project into two phases to include construction of the 12” bypass pipe as Phase I and the Storage Tank repairs as Phase II. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition. Keefer stated he will bring amendments to Aqua Tech’s contract to the next meeting.
Fish Salvage Operation: Council reviewed and discussed the Fish Salvage Operation. Keefer stated that some local fishermen are waiting until the lake is lowered some so the fish are denser. Keefer stated that with the blue/green algae warning lifted, it opens the lake up to more physical access. Keefer recommended a new press release saying the warning has been lifted and adding other options for removing the fish, such as seining. Keefer stated he is open to ideas and thoughts and that we need to get the word back out there. Huddleston stated he had a request to add jug fishing. Keefer stated that has been added. Huddleston inquired about snagging. Keefer stated his is not familiar with snagging, but that if it is the same as dragging it is not normally allowed. Keefer stated the State has said to remove the fish by means “within reason” so he will inquire about that. Huddleston asked when the lake is being lowered if the City will be using some of that water. Keefer stated we are and that we are going to try to coordinate that with the contractor.
Dangerous Structure: Rawlings made a motion to approve Resolution 2011-21 scheduling a Public Hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 19, 2011 to take input on a dangerous structure located behind 654 Santa Fe Street and whether it should be condemned and demolished. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition. S. Jones asked if there are other structures in town that would also fall into this category. Keefer stated there are probably several. Keefer stated he has asked the city inspector to identify those so they can be addressed, but if the council is aware of a specific address to let him know.
Dam/Spillway Project: Council considered bids for the City Lake Spillway and Dam Repair project. Jay Anglemyer with MKEC stated all five bids were very close and under the engineer’s estimate, and that they are recommending the approval of the low bid from Utility Contractors, Inc. (UCI). Williams asked if a bid were approved tonight, when the pumping would start. Anglemyer said in 3 to 4 weeks, probably early December. Williams asked if we are still looking at May for the completion date. Anglemyer stated that is still the hope, but that it is dependent on the winter weather.
Jake McClure, President of Alan’s Excavating, addressed the governing body. McClure stated his business has been in Augusta since 1989 and that their bid was within 2% of the low bid. McClure stated he was present to answer any question from the council about their bid. McClure stated he saw options for reducing the cost of the project, such as value engineering whether we went with Alan’s Excavating or one of the other bids. Malone asked McClure if he saw any other ways he could lower the bid. McClure stated there are definitely some ways to save money on this project, such as using broken up concrete instead of shock rock. Huddleston stated the bids for the fish kill range from $10,000 to $78,000 and asked if UCI has some special expertise that allowed them to bid so low. McClure stated it was very difficult to determine the cost for the fish kill and that they didn’t want to take the risk and bid too low. S. Jones asked if Alan’s Excavating will be using sub-contractors. McClure stated they would for concrete work and seeding.
Williams stated there is about a $50,000 difference total in the UCI and Alan’s Excavating bids. Williams stated it is a difficult decision because they are someone from our community that is bidding on this project, but that we want to make sure the process is fair. McClure stated he understood that but he does have 13 employees that live in the area and pay taxes. S. Jones asked if McClure will have to hire anyone as a result of this project. McClure stated maybe one driver. Malone stated this would be a pretty small investment into our community by choosing the Alan’s Excavating bid. Keefer stated $50,000 is pretty significant. Malone stated we just loaned a company $30,000 and that several of those loans have not been repaid. Keefer stated that is s separate fund and is what the revolving loan fund is for. Keefer stated this is the council’s decision, but that the council should take the big picture into consideration and the integrity of the bid process. Keefer stated if they choose not to take the low bid we may not get good bids from companies in the future. Keefer stated McClure and Alan’s Excavating have been very good for this community and that we use them for a lot of the city’s projects. Keefer stated if the total bid was closer, maybe only $20,000 difference he would feel differently.
Malone asked if UCI has done work in Augusta before. Keefer stated they did work on the Water Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant. Huddleston stated it is a tough decision to make. Huddleston stated Alan’s employees live in town, pay taxes, etc. and have done emergency work for us, but we do have to consider the bid process. Williams stated her concern is the perception of favoritism. Williams stated when bids are close it is easier to show local favoritism, but not when there is such a big difference in the bids. Williams thanked McClure for coming and stated she appreciated him for being here.
S. Jones inquired about the 10% contingency fee in the engineer’s estimate. Anglemyer explained that when they put the bid estimate together they don’t want to be the low bidder, so they put the contingency in to account for that and to give staff an idea of how much is needed for issuing debt.
Malone asked if UCI was included in the lawsuit on the WWTP. Keefer said no. Malone asked if UCI had change orders on that project. Keefer stated that he couldn’t recall, but with a nearly $9.5 million project there probably were. Wilson stated he doesn’t recall any significant ones with the Water Plant, but that was nearly 10 years ago. Malone stated that in this economy, there are people out there giving low bids to get the project knowing they can come back with change orders.
Reavis made a motion to approve the low bid from Utility Contractors, Inc. in the amount of $1,717,706.70 for the City Lake Spillway and Dam project and the alternate bid for fish removal in the amount of $10,000. Childers seconded the motion. Rawlings asked if there is a contingency item, will it be brought back to us. Keefer said yes. Anglemyer stated it is a pretty simple project and that they bidders had good information, but with the fish removal there is risk involved. S. Jones asked if there are any areas where a change order can be foreseen. Anglemyer stated he doesn’t foresee any change orders. Childers stated if there were any items that could be foreseen, any of the contractors would have to have a change order. Anglemyer agreed. Huddleston inquired about the regulations on fish removal. Anglemyer stated they cannot shock or dynamite, but that they usually use a chemical that keeps the fish from getting oxygen but that it doesn’t affect the water.
Motion carried with Malone and Rawlings voting in opposition. Williams told McClure that she respects the fact that he came to the meeting. McClure thanked the council and stated he appreciated the opportunity to bid.
Kelly/Ohio Intersection Project: Childers made a motion to approve a letter proposal from Goedecke Engineering to prepare legal descriptions and survey drawings for Temporary Construction Easements and permanent Right-of-Way for the Kelly and Ohio Intersection Project. Reavis seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
City Engineer: Council reviewed and discussed a draft “Request for Qualifications for Engineering Services” document for the purpose of designating a City Engineer. Williams congratulated Goedecke on his retirement and thanked him for all that he has done with the City. Keefer stated that he is asking for feedback and thoughts on the RFQ and asked the council to keep in mind the proximity of the firm to Augusta, such as the metropolitan Wichita area. Rawlings inquired about the insurance requirements and stated he has been getting requests for $2-$3 million in coverage and that he doesn’t know if that is a trend. Keefer stated he would look into that. S. Jones stated the RFQ states it’s for as needed tech services, but that she thought they would be put on retainer. Keefer stated basically that is what we would be doing. S. Jones stated if we are asking for a fee schedule in case we needed to draw on the expertise of another in the firm. Keefer stated yes, but that most firms have standard fee schedules that may be useful if comparing firms with similar qualifications. S. Jones asked what other cities used this RFQ. Keefer stated South Hutchinson, Russell, and a third city that he could not recall. S. Jones stated that under the heading of Scope, it is a run-on list of thing and suggested it would be easier to address the questions if they are broken down into categories. S. Jones stated she felt that about several areas within the RFQ.
Williams asked if it would be possible for the final RFQ to be put together by the group that will be reviewing them and preparing a recommendation. Williams recommended that S. Jones be in that group. Malone asked how and who to the RFQ will be delivered. Keefer stated we will send it out to engineers we have identified in this area, put it on the city’s website, and maybe some place other than the Eagle for cost reasons. Rawlings suggested we ask the three engineers in the room where they look to get work. Williams stated that with his expertise, Rawlings would be good to help with the RFQ and asked if he would have time to serve on this committee. Rawlings stated it would depend on the time commitment. Keefer stated there would be probably 3 or 4 meetings, mostly after the holidays. Huddleston made a motion to appoint S. Jones and Rawlings as the council’s designates on the RFQ committee. Harper seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Williams – Williams stated she was approached by someone that does landscaping and they had asked for additional days for access to the compost and limb facility. Williams stated she didn’t think we have enough traffic to warrant additional operating times.
S. Jones – Jones stated she was surprised that only two Airport Advisory Board members were present at the meeting and asked if that is typical of the attendance with those meetings. Shaw stated it is and that it was almost four months ago when there was a quorum that could vote to approve the minutes, etc. Huddleston asked if it is always the same people that are absent. Shaw said no and that there are four there on a regular basis, but usually only two of them at a given time. Shaw stated the meeting schedule has been changed to accommodate their schedules and that they call to remind them of meetings but the attendance hasn’t improved. S. Jones asked if it is time to look at making changes to the board. Williams stated we just made a change and that volunteerism is really becoming a problem. Shaw suggested we wait a couple of months because one of the members has been absent due to health issues and that we just replaced one of the members that were not actively attending the meetings.
Huddleston – Huddleston stated in the last week he has noticed a lot of water at the south end of Ohio by the carwash. Keefer stated he thinks we have a leak there and that staff is looking at it to determine if it can be fixed without tearing up the street. Huddleston stated it should be taken care of before the cold weather and ice hits. Huddleston stated that on the southwest corner of the intersection there is a large chunk of concrete with a manhole cover sitting off kilter.
Harper – Harper asked if staff has heard back from the County Commissioners on the wind farm grant. Keefer stated they will fund our grant request of $10,000 to be used as our local match for the Heritage Trust Fund Grant application.
Malone – Malone asked if there has been any interest in the E bills. E. Jones stated that 12 accounts were signed up in the first two days and that there are about 35 accounts signed up now. E. Jones stated there is no charge for this service.
Williams – Williams stated there is an open house on December 8th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Drury Broadview hotel in Wichita for REAP and that all governing body members were invited to attend. Williams stated there will be a legislative meeting from 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Reavis – Reavis stated in the October month end reports there were some funds that were over 100% of their budget. E. Jones stated that she had entered some of the numbers incorrectly and those were corrected in the November report. Reavis stated the Santa Fe Lake caretaker had requested purchasing a gator and since he is under budget is this something that could be considered. Keefer stated he told the caretaker he would look at the fund balance at the end of October, but that it is up to the governing body. Keefer stated they didn’t need as much summer help this year, which is why he is so far under budget. Keefer stated it would be approximately a $10,000 expenditure. Reavis stated he is interested in making the purchase.
Childers – Childers stated the yellow striping on 7th looked good until the cones were taken down and now there is yellow paint all over. Keefer stated the County has been doing the striping on 7th and Walnut and that cars were not being patient and drove through the cones, smearing the paint. Keefer stated we are working on trying to clean it up as best we can.
S. Jones – Jones asked if there is any information on the soil sampling being done by Wal-Mart and at Ohio and Kelly. Keefer stated that a great deal of soil has been removed at the proposed Wal-Mart site. Keefer stated the movement has prompted Wal-Mart to start moving forward again on their project. Keefer stated he expects to see paperwork to start coming before the governing body in the near future to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s”. Goedecke stated he received an email this afternoon stating the Ohio/Kelly report has been completed, but that he hasn’t had an opportunity to read it due to email problems. Goedecke stated that when they did the drilling they went 25 feet in each direction and on the east side they found some more contamination.
Executive Session: At 8:17 p.m. Huddleston made a motion to enter into executive session for 15 minutes to consult with the City Attorney on matters that would be deemed privileged in an attorney-client relationship and for the purpose of real estate acquisition. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition. Rawlings and Malone abstained due to a conflict of interest and left the meeting at this point.
At 8:33 p.m. Childers made a motion to exit executive session with no action being taken. Harper seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Reavis made a motion to appoint David Rapp to serve as the City’s counsel in connection with the levee land acquisition from McClure Brothers Farms, LLC on Butler County District Court; Case No. 11 CV 326. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.
Adjourn: At 8:34 p.m. Reavis made a motion to adjourn. Childers seconded the motion. Motion carried without opposition.