The Cassville City Council voted to proceed with a sewer project for Glenwood Circle located in the Southern Hills subdivision during Monday night's regular meeting. Aldermen voted to award a construction bid to AMC Excavation, of Willow Springs, in the amount of $662,823.27.
The vote came after Mayor Tracy Holle announced that the city would be contributing an additional $60,000 toward the project. This amount represents a little more than half of the additional $120,000 in fees and costs associated with the project that boosted cost projections over the initial $780,000 estimate.
In all, the city will be paying $471,745 of the projected $897,000?project cost.
"The council met in special session and we talked about the different fees and changes and looked at our finances and what we have available," said Holle. "This ($471,745) is the maximum we will contribute. This is something I feel we need to move on with. The more we wait, the more this will cost."
In discussing the higher-than-anticipated costs, City Administrator Mike Hayslip noted that the project had become a three-year process, and over that time, material costs increased and a number of changes were made to the original engineering plan to accommodate the desires of property owners.
According to Hayslip, the city's additional contribution of $60,000 would decrease each property owner's individual cost by $1,000 over a 20-year period. Based on the most recent projections and the city's increased funding, individuals can expect to pay approximately $7,600 for sewer improvements.
Before council members voted to accept the construction bid from AMC, several Glenwood Circle residents were allowed to speak.
Ray Raine expressed his displeasure with the city's offer.
"If you can't come up with any more money, I don't think this should go through," said Raine.
Don Arazmus questioned the council about how many Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) meetings had been held. He also said there was some confusion about how the NID was formed.
"We were led to believe that by signing the agreement we were joining the NID, not approving the project," Arazmus said.
Hayslip explained that the NID could not be dissolved and the council would be within their rights to move forward with the project because it was within 125 percent of the original cost estimates of $780,000.
Ron Richardson, another Glenwood Circle property owner, asked if it would be advisable for members of the NID to be surveyed on whether or not they wanted to continue with the project. Hayslip said property owners had been notified about the May 7 meeting and had the opportunity to attend to express their opinions. Because the bid from AMC was only good for 60 days, Hayslip said he did not believe the city had time to conduct a survey of each property owner.
Holle reminded those in attendance at the meeting that their property values would increase as a result of the sewer system improvements. She also urged them to consider future generations.
"If we don't do something today, it will be left for someone else to do later," Holle said. "This town is growing and expanding, and sooner or later, something will have to be done."
After Holle's comments, Alderman Sue Brattin made a motion to approve an ordinance accepting the construction bid from AMC. Joe Cavness seconded the motion. Brattin, Cavness and Herb Primrose voted in favor of the measure and Pete Landstad voted against it. On the bill's second reading, it received unanimous approval.
Following the vote, Ray Claywell, another Glenwood Circle resident, made two recommendations for the council to consider.
"In the future when you have some project like this, it would be a good idea to get citizens involved before you begin the engineering process to save money in the long run," said Claywell. "Secondly, I'd like to see the city get sewer bills up to a level where you can have money built up to fix aging portions of the sewer system and expand it."
In other business, the city council:
Accepted the annual audit conducted by Marshall Decker and Associates. Decker, who presented the audit to the council during Monday night's meeting, summed up the audit findings as a clean opinion. "Reports are properly stated and you can believe them," said Decker. "This was a good year with nice increases and strong cash balances. Internally, the accounting system is working well."
Voted to pay bills that totalled $135,682.22.
Discussed a proposal for engineering services from Scott Engineering. Hayslip said he would like the city to contract with the Springfield-based engineering firm to conduct a review of city ordinances, particularly looking at building codes and planning and zoning regulations. He would also like to use the firm to develop a process for development review that would ultimately provide a checklist for developers wanting to build within the city limits. No action was taken on the proposal.
Heard an update on the police department project presented by Hayslip who reported that the project went out to bid on May 7. The council will review bids at its June 4 meeting.