What seemed like a simple agenda for the Elsberry City Council became a long night of discussion for five of the six Aldermen on Tuesday, June 11 as the city met for their monthly meeting.
After calling the meeting to order and roll call, Elsberry City Clerk Jo Ann Cordsiemon stated she had one item to be added to the Lakeview invoice, $1130.82 needed to be added for the electrical work done at the temporary Lakeview well. As the city does not actually pay the bill, but rather okay’s the amounts specified for the work done. With a swift approval by the board with five ayes’, zero nays’ and one absent, (Alderman Rusty Kinion was not present for the meeting), the board allowed for Jay Gourley of Boonslick Regional Planning Commission (BRPC), to give an update of where they are in the stages of the City’s project.
Before going into any specifics, Gourley began his discussion with the news that Steve Etcher, Executive Director of BRPC for approximately 23-years, decided to step down in an attempt to do something different. According to Gourley, the news came quickly and unexpected.
“[Etcher] could have hit all of us with a baseball bat in the head and it wouldn’t have been any more surprising,” said Gourley. “It’s a very emotional time for us and we are not sure right now as to who will take his place.”
According to Gourley, BRPC is currently under the supervision of the Assistant Director Steve Brune. After a few more minutes of explanation, Gourley apologized for taking up so much time explaining this but he felt it was important for the City of Elsberry to understand where BRPC currently stands and that they are working diligently to find an adequate replacement. However, it would be hard to do, as Etcher was a key player to BRPC.
“As far as Lakeview is concerned, I met with the County Commissioners and they have received the contract from THH Engineering, as they have the wastewater side of these two projects,” explained Gourley. “They also sent a letter back on June 6, and as I told [Elsberry City Attorney Rob Guinness], this is a concept of, which MECCO Engineering would have to agree to, about bidding these [projects] together.”
According to Gourley, this concept shouldn’t be anything that MECCO Engineering or THH Engineering would fight about and the County Commissioners would like to see it done.
“The reasons they want it done is because it could be cost saving,” said Gourley.
Next up was Ken Woods with MECCO Engineering, who began his time by stating how shocked he was with the concept presented by the County Commissioners. According to him, the sewer project is funded by the county and will be turned over to the City. The water project, however, is funded by the City and he has always seen it as two separate projects.
“I’m all the sudden surprised,” said Woods. “Combining them, I just don’t see a benefit to doing such a thing. You have a lift station, a sewer project and to me it’s hard to combine them, but again this kind of catches me off guard.”
Woods went on to explain how there are two different entities paying the bills and the City is not the owner of the sewer project, but they are the owner of the water project.
“I just don’t see a real value in combining the bids,” said Woods.
Alderman Matt Hartley went on to explain how he doesn’t think it is really a matter of combining the bids, but rather allowing one guy, or company, to bid both jobs at once, and possibly bid it at a cheaper rate. According to him, it seems like a logical idea. Although he wouldn’t want to throw water on it right away and would still respect the views and consultation of MECCO Engineering.
“I really don’t know as this is the first I am really hearing of all this, but it does seem like a logical idea,” said Hartley.
Gourley added by stating it was entirely up to the city as to what they want to do.
Moving on to further business, Elsberry Mayor Terry Martin said there was still no resolve with Wehemeyer Farms, when it comes to their patch work at Keiser Plaza. According to him, the people of the plaza will not be happy unless the entire lot is resurfaced, as Wehemeyer Farms work was subpar at best.
“I can’t see replacing all that asphalt but something has to be done,” said Martin.
Gary Cannon with Wehemeyr Farms went on to say he has no problems milling the area out, as some of the asphalt may have gotten a little cold and did not set right. But the rest of the asphalt failure is to the right of the Kieser Plaza patch and when they repair it, those repairs will be added to it.
“We had core samples taken from there. We were required to put four inches of mix in, we put six; and there’s an inch and a half on the other side of it,” explained Cannon. “And as I can see, that’s where a lot of the failure is on the Kieser Plaza patching.”
Woods added that the patch work is a single unit bid and if the city has Wehemeyer Farms repair spots not caused by them, the city would have to pay it, not Wehemeyer Farms.
“What they damaged, their responsible for,” said Woods. “But from what I understand, [Kieser Plaza] wants the asphalt replaced all the way up to the building.”
Martin went on to say that he feels as though, as a group, they should all walk over and go over the new punch list and try to find a resolve for the problem.
After a few more minutes of discussion, the board moved on to other agenda items.
The next meeting for the City of Elsberry will be at 6:30 p.m. on July 9 at the Elsberry City Hall Meeting Room.
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