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City Continues To Improve Electrical System

The City Council held its usual work session and Full Council meeting Monday evening, July 27.

The first item on the work session agenda was a presentation from Electrical Engineer Ray Blakely. Blakely said the downtown sub-station work is completed, calling the sub-station “solid.” He presented  a few options the city has for improving the electrical distribution network in Fredericktown. Blakely said he thought the warehouse substation should be worked on next. He talked about cost saving measures the city could use by taking some parts from a substation at Cap America and using them to repair the warehouse substation.

Blakely went on to explain to the council what transformers, regulators and           electrical parts would be needed to bring the four sub-stations in town to better working conditions. He also showed what an upgrade to the Ameren connection. The improvements  include transformers that could be switched from lower voltages to higher voltages as future demands may require. Once the work was completed, the system would have backup power if one of the substations goes down. He explained what is needed for the interconnectivity to work. Currently, that is not the case Blakely pointed out. He talked about three options including a new warehouse substation with the transfer of wastewater plant transformers and regulators. A new warehouse substation with new transformers and regulators and the Ameren upgrade. The City will be placing bid proposals out for this work.

 The council passed an amendment to an existing contract with YGCI Disaster Recovery to include ‘hangars and leaners’ from City street rights of way.

Work session adjourned after a motion was made to move the discussion of City Administrator Jim Dismuke’s contract to Full Council.

On the Full Council agenda;

City Administrator Jim Dismuke reported his meeting with Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management representatives at a recent conference. (MIRMA). This is the organization covering some of the city’s storm damage. Dismuke said he learned that a ceiling of $500,000 had been reached by MIRMA with all the counties (about 70) involved reporting storm damage claims. He said a second company, Lexington Insurance, handles claims beyond the ceiling. Dismuke said he felt the city was not receiving timely service he would expect from their claims. Dismuke said Lexington Insurance was looking at the airport hangars and whether or not to repair or replace them. Dismuke didn’t think repairing the hangars was an option. After the meeting with the representatives, Dismuke said he expected a check to follow in a day or so.

Council members received a written list of local summons and reports from Captain Tomlinson.

The aldermen passed an ordinance allowing a modification in  zoning to include Special Use permits for child and daycare centers in certain zoning districts.

The aldermen also passed an ordinance prohibiting disorderly conduct and carrying or possessing firearms in city buildings.

A resolution was adopted seeking a line of credit to cover storm related expenses until FEMA has reimbursed the city for the expenses. The city is obligated to pay 25 percent of the storm clean-up costs with FEMA paying 75 percent. Dismuke said all the local banks will be included when applications for the loan are submitted.

The rezoning application for the Underriner House (124 Buford) was passed by motion and vote. The rezoning goes from R-2 to C-2 as of July 27, 2009.

The contract for repairs to the Fredericktown Fire Department roof on College Ave. was approved. Finch Construction of Fredericktown bid the job at $2,520.00 for materials and labor.

The city has passed a “change work order” with CE Contracting regarding the relocation of water and sewer lines at the Highway 72 Bypass Project. The change calls for replacing 3 inch force main piping with 4 inch force main piping, with additional work to locate the existing water service lines, and relocating manhole #1 to avoid other utilities; mobilization and time lost due to City water main break and extend the completion date to August 31, 2009. The additional work  for $9,566.31 brought the cost of the contract to $154,906.41.

The Council passed an ordinance to provide penalties for same (second) nuisances. The conviction on second notices of abatement on a same nuisance carries a fine of $100 with a third conviction carrying a fine of $250. A fourth conviction carries a fine of $500.

The aldermen tabled the contract between the City and Jim Dismuke relative to his position as City Administrator and his status as an independent contractor and his compensation. Ward II Alderman Sie Merriman Sr. said the City has been paying the social security tax for Dismuke and Merriman was told by the IRS that was an improper procedure since Dismuke was not an employee of the City. Aldermen agreed to use form 1099 in the future and to increase the amount paid to Dismuke to cover the difference in social security taxes. Currently he is being paid $52,000 a year. The new contract is expected to cover an increase to about $60,000 a year. Two nay votes were heard from Alderwoman Karen Wright and Alderman Sie Merriman Sr.

The City has arranged for an employee appreciation luncheon on August 21, 2009 from Noon to 4 PM. Employees will have the afternoon off with pay and offered an opportunity to have lunch at Memorial Pool. Memorial Park Pool will be closing to the public for the season on August 17, 2009 according to Ward II Alderman Rick Polete.

In Remarks from the Public;

Dale Huffman said he wanted to question the Mayor regarding why the person taking pictures of their (Huffman’s) property and issuing citations to his wife doesn’t clean-up his own place? And why his truck has the wrong license on it and no citation is issued. No comments were made by the mayor or council. Huffman said he had more he wanted to address but wanted to speak with the mayor first.

The aldermen complimented the city workers. Polete said the residents appreciated all the work the city employees did to get the pool open. It had not gone unnoticed. A special recognition went to Ken McDowell and the employees who handled the city’s tire reclamation project. An estimated 4,500 tires were collected.

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