Butler County Times Gazette
  • City approves new roof, paths at Prairie Trails

  • Prairie Trails will be getting a new roof, as well as some additional cart paths, following action by the El Dorado City Commission.
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  • Prairie Trails will be getting a new roof, as well as some additional cart paths, following action by the El Dorado City Commission.
    Included in the 2013 Capital Improvement Plan was $100,000 to finish the cart paths at Prairie Trails.
    “Several months ago we had all of the roofs on all of our buildings looked at to determine their useful lives,” said Herb Llewellyn, city manager. “Prairie Trails is beyond its useful life. The recommendation of staff is to replace the roof and not do all the cart paths.”
    Commissioner Chase Locke said he has been out there when they have the buckets out because it is raining.
    “I think the roof is necessary,” he said. “Now that we have it, I think we need to maintain it.”
    When looking at the cart paths, by doing the roof too, they will be two holes short of completing all of the paths. The concrete work will be done by the city concrete crew.
    Mayor Mike Fagg did ask if they could have an insurance claim on the roof.
    “I don’t know that,” Llewellyn said, “but I can ask.”
    The city’s deductible is $5,000.
    Commissioner Nick Badwey also agreed with fixing the roof, saying, “It leaks pretty bad. It will just continue to deteriorate if we don’t fix it.”
    Commissioner David Chapin added that the deterioration would include the walls, ceiling and basement.
    “I have seen houses and buildings damaged by a small leak,” he said.
    Also in agreement was Commissioner Bill Young.
    “I think quite a while ago the city made a decision to buy the property and we need to make sure we’re maintaining it,” he said. “That being said, call the insurance company and see if we can get a claim on it.”
    “If we plan on leasing that building,” Chapin said, “we can’t very well lease it with a bucket program.”
    Fagg asked if anyone had looked the building over to see what its condition was.
    Llewellyn said they had.
    “There are several CIP items for the future,” he said. “The biggest is remodeling the basement. The flooring in it is really old. I’m not sure you will ever see that in a budget because there’d have to be a purpose that had me ask the Commission to fund it.”
    He said he could see tearing the flooring out and having staff work on it.
    Page 2 of 3 - The other big thing was the kitchen.
    “But again, if there is not a purpose, I’m not going to ask the Commission to replace a kitchen to be a fully functional restaurant kitchen when what the Commission has said is ‘we want it to serve golfers and not use tax dollars for a business to compete with local businesses paying taxes,’” he said. “We would love someone to lease it and run a restaurant, but we haven’t been able to get that done yet.”
    Fagg suggested they fix the roof and let the cart paths go for now.
    Locke said he knew the cart path was important, and wanted to know what the cost would be to finish the project.
    “I am fully in agreement on the roof,” Young said. “I think the first step is to see if we can get it done for a $5,000 deductible, then revisit the cart paths.”
    He said the reason the Prairie Trails Advisory Committee recommended the paths was strictly for revenue. He said when it rains, the course is closed to golf carts and paths would prevent that.
    “During a drought season I was amazed how many days it was closed,” he said. “If we finally get some rain, we will lose revenue.”
    Llewellyn said the goal of the paths was to allow golfing on marginal days when the course was open to walkers but not carts.
    Fagg said at the American Legion, people had to donate money and had their name recognized. He suggested they might be able to get some corporate sponsors for the paths.
    Young asked if they should table the issue until they get insurance information or move forward.
    “If you move forward, I’m going to try to file a claim,” Llewellyn said. “Off the top of my head I don’t think there is an event (for the claim). I am happy to call and see if we have insurance for a worn out roof. I wouldn’t spend the money if I don’t have to.”
    Fagg said time was of the essence in fixing the roof.
    Chapin then made a motion to approve the resolution for the roof and cart paths. It was approved 4-1, with Fagg opposed.
    In other business, the commission:
    • issued a proclamation for El Dorado Elks Lodge National Youth Week May 3 through 13.
    “On behalf of the El Dorado Elks I want to thank the City Commission, city staff and a special thanks to Tabitha (Sharp, city clerk) for preparing this for me tonight,” said Elks member Phil Wickwire. “We could not do the things we do for the community without the support of the city of El Dorado and you have always been a great ally for us.”
    Page 3 of 3 - He also thanked outgoing Mayor Tom McKibban for his years of service.
    • discussed insurance limits. Llewellyn said they were working on renewing the insurance for the city and they had always used a limit matching the state’s limit, which means if someone sues the city they can only get half a million dollars. This year, the cost to double that insurance would only be an additional $900. The down side is if they raise that limit, people can now sue for more, but if the city ever ended up in federal court, they could face a higher judgement than their insurance covers.
    Fagg wanted to see what other cities were doing. Llewellyn will check on other limits then decide which route to take.
    • heard an update on the wind turbine. There was a day and a half it didn’t turn recently because some rain froze over the weather station on the top of the turbine. Without that data, it turns itself off. Once that melted, it started turning again. The last few days it had made more power than they had used.
    • discussed having a work session on the 2014 CIP. There was some discussion over the time for the work session. Fagg felt they should have it in the evening so people could attend after getting off work and so the commissioners didn’t have to take time off work to attend, but the other commissioners preferred the normal 4 p.m. time. Chapin said most people get off work at that time and it allows them time to drive right there to attend. It also keeps city staff from working 12 to 14 hour days.

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