City Council will need to appoint another council member
Following approval of minutes and Appropriation Ordinance #2, Augusta’s newest City Council member Felicia Martindale was sworn in before taking her seat with the other council members.
Martindale was chosen to fill the unexpired term of former Ward 4 Councilman David Bates, who resigned last month because he and his family was moving from Augusta.
Following the swearing in of the newest council member, Mayor Mike Rawlings announced the resignation of Ward 2 Councilman Paul Belt.
“Once again I have sad news to convey to you. Recently Mr. Paul Belt has had some health issues arise and he needs to step down from his duties as a councilman. He sends his regrets and as well wanted me to convey his gratitude for being able to serve you, the citizens of Augusta, for these last few years. He also asked me to share with staff and council that it has been a pleasure working with you all.
I want to say thanks to Paul for serving and to remember his famous saying "If they want Disneyland we can give them Disneyland if they're willing to pay for it.”
That being said I am formally announcing his resignation from the city council which leaves a vacancy that needs to be filled,” Rawlings stated.
The mayor reminded the Council that the process remains the same for filling the empty seat. A replacement is expected to be nominated and voted on next month.
Construction of the improvements for the Wendy’s Project in the Appcon 2nd Addition is complete and the property owner has petitioned the City for project related sanitary sewer and water system improvements to be financed through special assessments. The Council had previously discussed the city’s available financing options and elected to pay for the improvement by issuing and then purchasing the City’s own temporary notes. These temporary notes would then be reimbursed with proceeds from piggybacking on a refinancing or longer term bond issuance in the future.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Council approved the Statement of final Costs, the Assessment Roll Certification, and acknowledged the receipt of the Waiver of Assessment Proceedings, and they also approved Ordinance No. 2142 Levying Special Assessments on Certain Property to Pay the Costs of Certain Improvements in the City, as previously authorized by Resolution Nos. 2018-18 and 2019-19, and providing for the collection of such special assessments.
Staff will present a bond refinancing or longer term debt issuance by the end of the year to Council that will ultimately reimburse the cash utilized for the temporary notes.
New patrol cars
Last year the Council approved changing the Safety Department marked patrol unit fleet from Chevrolet Tahoes to Ford Explorers. Recently bid packages were sent to nine dealerships with three responding with bids.
The lowest bid for two vehicles, $46,394, was received from Rusty Eck Ford, and Council approved the bid. Public Safety Director Robert Sage advised the City would take delivery in the summer or early fall.
City Manager Josh Shaw reminded council members that $70,000 was included in the 2019 Budget for replacing two police units.
Electric plant sewer line installation
Last September, Council approved engineering services for design engineering and construction staking for installation of the sewer extension at the Augusta electric p lant to service the new mechanic shop and future solid waste building.
City workers were able to install the new water lines and purchase all of the manholes and pipe in order to save on construction costs, but resources weren’t sufficient to complete the sewer line installation in a timely manner.
Shaw explained that after speaking with Schwab Eaton regarding the project and was encouraged to contact some companies to quote the project to complete the install.
Six companies submitted bids with only two coming in below the engineer’s estimate: Dondlinger & Sons Construction of Wichita in the amount of $30,508, and Alan’s Excavating of Augusta with the bid of $30,854.
Staff was recommending the low bid to Dondlinger & Sons.
Councilor Tom Leffler shared that he had a problem with awarding the project to an out of town contractor, expecially when the difference between bids was a small amount. Leffler advised that Alan’s had done a lot for the community, and recently had donated services to the Dalton Palmer Memorial Park downtown.
Council members Cale Magruder and Jamie Crum both agreed that they like awarding projects to local companies, but that sticking with the lowest bid seems to be the best route.
Council approved the bid award to Dondlinger Construction, 5-1, with Leffler voting against the measure.
Fee schedule resolution
A fee schedule with modifications to fees for criminal fingerprinting and temporary dumpster rentals was also approved.
A $15 fee for fingerprinting processing in municipal court settings has been established, and a formal fee schedule resolution was established for temporary dumpster rentals.
The fingerprinting fee is projected to generate about $7,500 to assist with the annual operating costs for the fingerprint machine. The solid waste trip fee of $25 is expected to generate up to $1,000 per year.
The Council and city staff has been working on redefining the code enforcement process and there has been a concern with the defined appeal process.
A re-written appeal process was approved with a roll call vote, 7-0.
In order to secure the date and operator for the Fourth of July Fireworks production, the Council was asked to approve the contract with Rainbow Fireworks, Inc. for the annual 4th of July fireworks show at the City Lake. It is the same company that has produced the show for the past couple of years, along with the 150th Celebration. Council allocated $7,500 for the show in the 2019 Budget.
The contract was approved, 7-0.
• Electric Production Superintendent Jim Sutton was reappointed to serve as Director #1 on the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency (KMEA) Board of Directors.
• Council member Alicia Martindale was appointed to fill the unexpired Park Advisory Board term of former Councilman David Bates.
On FBI Task Force
Chief Robert Sage was recognized for being accepting the position of chairperson for the FBI’s National Use of Force Data Collection Task Force.
The next regular City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 4, at City Hall.
In Saturday’s TG edition, read about the Council’s discussion on the North Ohio St. pathways.