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Council approves multiple ordinances

The Fredericktown City Council met Monday, Jan. 28, in work and regular session.

The council passed four ordinances during the regular session. The first ordinance, relating to meter connect and service line charges for water lines, had been inadvertently passed at the prior meeting without a public hearing. Prior to the opening of the work session, Mayor Kelly Korokis opened the floor for the public meeting. There was no public discussion on the ordinance.

An ordinance was passed to execute a deed between the city and Swinford Properties, LLC pertaining to a parcel of land located at 319 Anthony Street. Swinford Properties, LLC  bid for the property was accepted at the Jan. 14 work session.

The council also approved an ordinance relative to employee hiring. Section 120.020 was amended to state “a manager, department head or supervisor of any division or department of the City” should notify the Board of Aldermen when it is necessary to hire an employee at Grade 7 level or above. A 2010 ordinance established a pay grade for city employees.

An ordinance was passed amending an organization chart of city positions with grading.

During the council’s work session, discussion once again focused on the collection of unpaid utility bills and current utility deposits. Ashley Baudendistel, billing clerk at the city light and water office, gathered information for the council regarding how the department could recoup the money being lost from customers not paying their final bill or leaving the department with unpaid bills.

Current city customers currently pay a deposit of $250. Baudendistel  calculated raising the maximum deposit to $350 would bring in $14,000-an amount that would cover for some of those bills that are not being paid.

The amount of money lost by the city due to unpaid bills from January to December of 2012 was $52,000. The year prior to that, the amount was $38,000.

Discussion was also held on a recent engineering report on repairs to the pool. Utility Manager Stan Gilliam said just prior to the pool closing this past summer, there was a noticeable drop in the water level. Further inspection showed a bow in the east wall and the concrete had sagged two inches. The drop in the level was also causing the skimmer not to function properly.

Upon the recommendation of two companies, the city called in a structural engineering firm. Horner and Shifrin, Inc. gave an estimate of $50-58,000 for mudjacking repairs to the pool.  

The council asked Gilliam to obtain bids for adding a stainless steel extension along the east wall before acting on the recommendation of the engineering firm.

Also during the work session, the council approved the purchase of a three-quarter ton 2013 pick-up truck for the Electric Department. Councilman Jim Miller made  the motion to accept the truck bid of $25,030.86 from Barret-Jensen Chevrolet, with a second from Councilman Phil Wulfert. The bid from Barrett-Jensen was not the lowest bid. Councilman Paul Brown said he felt it was important to go with a local company. The bid from Sam Scism Ford, which was the lowest, would have the vehicle delivered in 45 days, with the bid from Bening Ford estimating delivery approximately eight weeks after the order would be placed. The winning bid from Barrett-Jensen had delivery of the vehicle estimated in one to two days. City Attorney Mary Boner stated the council does not have to accept the lowest bid if there is a reasoning behind accepting another bid. Gilliam informed the council the highest bid came in $5000 below what had been budgeted for the truck.

The council also approved the purchase of 30 six-foot barrier retaining walls to be placed around the swingsets in the playground area of Azalea Park. The walls are needed for insurance purposes. The cost for the barrier walls is $2,656.

The council met in closed session during both the work session and regular session. The work session dealt with personnel matter and the regular session with a potential litigation matter.

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