Significant Cost Cutting in Water Meter Replacement Project
By MICHAEL MILLER | For The Prairie Advocate News
SAVANNA – Savanna Public Works Superintendent of Public Works John Lindeman announced that the City would be forgiven in costs for the water meter replacement project that the City is currently undertaking, at the December 10th, 2013 meeting of the Savanna City Council at 333 Chicago Avenue.
The meeting was attended by Council members Peg Haffey, Bill Robinson, Ray Skiles, Jeff Griswold, Christine Lee, Lisa Robinson, Bill Sweeney and Gary Scott Law. Mayor Tony McCombie, City Clerk Paul Hartman, City Attorney Phil Jensen, and department heads Lindeman, Michael Moon (Chief of Police), Shawn Picolotti (Fire Chief) and Sheryl Sipe (Comptroller/Treasurer) also attended.
Lindeman stated in Final Comments that the IEPA will be forgiving, thanks to persistent questioning by the department, a full $133,079.00 of the principle of the loan on the cost of the water meter replacement program, which met with applause and kudos from the council and mayor.
Haffey told the Council that the Hotel/Motel Committee had opted not to renew the contract with the company that provides the billboard for the City, since there was no real way to track whether it was gaining any advantages for the city in terms of advertisement and income, and that they would be exploring other options and focusing on social media.
She also noted that Savanna webmaster Gary Heide reported that Carroll County was discontinuing the free lodging and gas card giveaways, and that Savanna would be following suit, at least in the near future.
Mayor McCombie addressed the Committee representing the Chamber of Commerce and said that plans were already underway to expand the Fourth of July celebrations this coming year.
Finance Committee Chair Mr. Robinson told the Council that the committee recommended approval of a request for partial demolition expense reimbursement to Alan St. George for demolition of 122 5th Street, up to $2,500.00 and the council fully approved this. Also approved was a request from the Fire Department for half of the expense for new coats, with the City’s costs coming to $1,656.00.
Drawdown Number Four for the CDAP Grant for the sewer project (by Heier Construction) in the amount of $89,736.40 was likewise approved in swift fashion.
A request from Willett Hofmann for additional engineering funds due to IEPA requiring some additional work, costing $13,917.40 or $3,917.40 over the original agreement of $10,000.00, and Robinson said the committee favored approving this request with the condition that Lindeman would negotiate with the company for a fair amount.
Community Funding and Planning Services requests funds for grant writing services for the Water Main Replacement in the amount of $3,500.00, only two thousand of which would be spent this year.
McCombie has had several meetings with IDOT concerning establishing a Safe Routes To School program and Community Funding and Planning Services requests payment of $4,000.00 for the grant submission, with another $2,000.00 if the grant is approved, 80 percent of which will be paid by the grant with the remaining twenty percent being the City’s responsibility. This project will involve putting in sidewalks out on Wacker Road, though more comprehensive operations in that area are possibly in the offing.
McCombie announced her plans for the new configuration of committees. With Long now gone and Sweeney replacing him, Sweeney will now serve on the Water/Sewer/Refuse/Streets and Alleys Committee, as well as the Contracts and Leases/Collective Bargaining Committee. The mayor also said she intends to have a citizen appointed to the Hotel/Motel Committee, as was practiced in days past. The Council approved the mayor’s recommendations.
McCombie said that there has been some public debate over the effects of frequent DUIs by the police department on the local businesses, and Moon said that it’s not a case of the citations going to people who are borderline over the legal limit, with most of the people coming in well over the limit of .08.
Water Meter Replacement Ordinances
Council approved a long array of ordinances related to the dynamics of the City’s new water meter replacement program, including those involving access to premises, responsibility for testing and repair procedures and replacement of faulty machines. They also approved the second reading of the Annual Budget ordinance #2070 and the Annual Tax Levy, #2071, as well as the ordinances relating to the abatement of taxes for 2004A and 2004B bonds.
The Council passed a resolution approving the expenditure of MFT (Motor, Fuel, Transportation) funds for use on street maintenance projects, in the amount of $163,037.38.
Mayoral Final Comments
McCombie told the Council in final comments that the Savanna Chamber of Commerce and the Presbyterian Church will once again be putting on a blood drive for American Red Cross at the fire station in the truck bay, on December 30th. She said to contact herself or Dee Sheperd if anyone is interested in donating.