It was a simple night for Elsberry City officials, when they met on Tuesday, Nov. 12 for their city’s monthly meeting.
First item up for discussion, other than approving unpaid bills, was a project update from Ken Woods with MECCO Engineering. According to Woods, bids for the Lakeview Water Project have been itemized and seven have come back with prices ranging from $394,603.99 to $910,115.00. The lower of the bids came from S&S Utility Contracting out of O’Fallon and falls within the City’s allotted budget. As recommended by MECCO Engineering, S&S Utility Contracting was awarded the bid. However, S&S did ask that they be allowed to start the job in January 2014, but does understand and will accommodate if that is not feasible.
“By the time we get bonds, insurance and schedule preconstruction meeting, we will be into December and they have 60 days to complete the project once they receive the notice to proceed,” said Woods.
As far as the wastewater project is concerned, Woods stated they are moving forward with the design on the lift stations and working on the collection system, where they are evaluating to either repair or replace the systems. According to Woods, Barry Howell of Visu-Sewer of Missouri gave a detailed presentation to the Infrastructure Committee about a trenchless technology that is currently available. Trenchless technology is a type of subsurface construction work, which requires few trenches or no continuous trenches and is a rapidly growing sector in the construction and civil engineering industry. It is currently being considered as an alternative verse replacing damaged sewer lines.
Next up on the night’s agenda was Rachel Reed, City Collector, speaking on behalf of Jim Holley in regards to abatement in his water bill. According to Reed, Holley wrote a letter stating that they would like forgiveness on their water bill due to a leak they found that never surfaced. The bill was for 18,000 gallons of water used. However, Reed indicated their average use, prior to this situation, is only around 2000 gallons. Holley asked that anything they could do to help would be greatly appreciated.
“There is an abatement procedure in the City’s ordinances,” explained Elsberry City Attorney Rob Guinness. “The ordinance states that the city can forgive 50 percent of one month’s water usage in excess of the last three months average usage. [Also] if it was a water leak, I guess he can abate the sewer bill.”
The Board voted five ayes, zero nays and one absent to allow the abatement on Holley’s behalf.
Moving on to the next agenda item brought a little confusion as the City received a letter, from one of the potential bidders for the Sanitation Service in Elsberry, asking the board to please wait to review bids. According to Guinness, there is a pending litigation between Christian Disposal and WCA and the WCA’s ability to not only make bids on such services, but if allowed to even be able to perform the work.
“I have not been part of that litigation and I do not know the details of the litigation,” said Guinness. “I was told that one side is stating the matter should be resolved in the courts quickly, while the other side states it could take some time.”
The board conversed for a few moments and ultimately decided to go ahead and open the bids. Although the residential bidding was simple to review, the commercial pick up side was a little more detailed. As a result the board voted and agreed to hold a special meeting in the next week or so, giving them time to review all details of the bids.
Other items discussed and approved were the reinstating of the Reserve Officer Program under Police Chief Robert Bodley and the allowance to place a $.01 Gas Tax Proposition on the April voting Ballot. According to Board discussion, the funds would be directly used on Elsberry streets.
With no other items up, the board voted and went into closed session. Their next meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the Elsberry City Hall Meeting Room.