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Cost of Monett City Park Casino increases

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Monett City Council approved an $18,202 increase in the cost of the Monett City Park Casino during the Dec. 20 meeting.

City Administrator Dennis Pyle said Rich Kramer Construction had notified him that the subcontractor for the heating and air conditioning portion of the project failed to include prevailing wage in its bid. The subcontractor was dropped and the project was awarded to the true low bidder.

The change boosted the price of replacing the popular city park facility by $18,202, putting the new price at $1,411,480. Arrangements were made for $1.5 million in financing, which remains covered.


Council members, in the absence of Mayor Jim Orr, approved several appointments. Mark Nelson and Mike Scabarozi agreed to serve four more years on the city's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission and were reappointed.

Michael D. Garrett was appointed to serve for an additional two years as municipal judge.

Council members had to name a firm to provide general engineering services for the city. The contractor with Sprenkle and Associates, of Monett, had expired.

Commissioner Mike Brownsberger said five firms submitted proposals for the two-year contract. The proposals were graded. Sprenkle and Associates was interviewed, as well as Olsson and Associates, the company that designed the latest flood control plan for downtown.

"It's a tough decision," Brownsberger said.

Commissioner Jerry Dierker preferred to stick with Sprenkle and Associates. He and Brownsberger voted to enter into negotiations with Sprenkle. If an agreement cannot be reached, Brownsberger said the council will turn to Olsson.

Visionary Grant Group, a partnership between Paragon Architects, of Springfield, and the engineering firm of Toth and Associates, was approved to serve as project manager for the city's safe room project on Marshall Hill. The action followed solicitations for project manager services.

Pyle said Visionary Grant Group specializes in building safe rooms with grants through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A memorandum of understanding was authorized with the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District. Fire Chief Tom Jones said under the agreement, the city fire department will respond to all medical calls.

Under the agreement, the ambulance district will replace supplies used on their behalf. Firefighters will follow their protocols, approved by the ambulance district, for appropriate actions. The ambulance district will not be held liable for actions conducted by firefighters beyond those protocols.

City emergency plan

An emergency operations plan for the city was adopted. Bonnie Witt-Schulte, the city's emergency management director, said the city has not had a plan of its own and thus fell under the Barry County plan. She said the city was a large enough entity to define its own response.

By putting an emergency operations plan for the city in place, Witt-Schulte said the city would qualify for disaster relief reimbursement. Both the State and Federal Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA and FEMA) recognized the city plan.

A public hearing was held on the request to rezone the 80-year-old service station property at 1000 and 1010 N. Central, located north of the Dairy Queen. The property, in two pieces, is owned by former Dairy Queen owner Ed Daugherty and Bill Grimes, the current Dairy Queen owner. The property was zoned for multi-family use. Daugherty has asked to have both lots available for use as commercial property.

No objections were raised to the request. Council members proceeded to ratify the zoning change.

Final passage was given to a proposed sewer rate increase to fund major rehabilitation of the city's system. Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said additional funding will allow a more aggressive approach to fixing the inflow and infiltration problems in the sewer system. The city's ongoing strategy, spending around $100,000 a year, would take decades to complete the needed improvements.

The first part of the increase will phase-in beginning Jan. 1, 2013. The base rate will increase by $2. The cost of each additional 1,000 gallons will rise by 28 cents. The base rate will increase another $2 on Jan. 1, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015, when the unit charge of an additional 1,000 gallons will rise by 20 cents each year. When the phase-in is completed, the base rate for sewer service will be $18 a month, plus $2.65 for each additional 1,000 gallons used.

Bills were paid for the month totaling $1,926,589.70. Major bills included: $1,017,576.61 to Empire District Electric Company for wholesale electricity; $266,000 to Wells Fargo Brokerage as a payment on the Justice Center; $47,000 to CBIZ Insurance as a quarterly installment on liability insurance; $47,000 to Water Products for radio-read meters; and $24,000 to Vaughn Buildings for constructing a dugout at North Park. Brownsberger said the city's portion of the payment totaled around $5,000. The Monett R-1 School District contributed $17,500 to the project and Hobbs-Anderson American Legion Post #91 contributed $2,345.

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