Council moves forward with meter replacement project

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On Monday night, the Cassville City Council approved two purchase orders for its upcoming meter replacement project. A total of $285,000 was included in the 2013 budget for the project.

The aldermen approved a $210,000 purchase order to HD Supply Water Works, of St. Louis, for the meters and parts. A second purchase order of $75,000 was approved for RTS Water Solutions, of Parkville, for labor costs associated with the project.

Steve Walensky, public works director, reported that in preparation for the start of the meter replacement project the city would be sending out notices with the monthly utility bills.

Walensky said he plans to keep the citizens well informed about the details of the project, which will replace old, outdated and often failing water meters with new digital meters. He hopes to see the project begin this summer.

The project will be paid for using the remaining portion of the certificates of participation (COP) funding, which must be used by August of this year.

Mayor Bill Shiveley pointed out that the city's water loss was at 16.2 percent in February, which is an improvement over January's water loss of 37.31 percent.

"It was a shorter month," said Walensky. "Also, to give you a frame of reference, the number of gallons sold was down 2,000,000 gallons from February of last year to February of this year."

Walensky said citizens are using less water, which decreases the requirements for pumping.

"I have had several people ask me how much water was used for the McDonald's fire," said Walensky. "It was about 200,000 gallons. We have 300,000 gallons of capacity up on the hill, and they went through one tower and part of another. All of our pumps are pumping fine though."

Shiveley also inquired about a report that showed the city has collected 101 percent of water fees and only 87 percent of sewer fees this year. Darelyn Cooper, city finance officer, said that the numbers are misleading due to an issue with the new software billing system.

"We were told when the system was set up that if people pay in advance that goes into a line item, but that line item is showing up in the water department," said Cooper. "It has to go into one section and can't be distributed individually when an account shows a credit balance."

Walensky, who assists with the city's technology issues, said that penalties are also not distributed evenly between the two accounts. He said that the city could put in a request to the software company for a correction to the issue.

The council voted to authorize the staff to work with the software company to get changes made in the billing system.

The council also discussed a request from Johnnie Hendrix, representing the summer softball league, to construct a concession stand at the aquatic park. The proposed metal building, which would be 576 square feet, will be built between fields #6 and #7.

In a letter, Hendrix indicated that the summer league is unable to use the concession stand at the aquatic center because league games begin at 6 p.m. when the pool closes most days. The letter also said that the league feels it would be complicated to run concessions for two organizations out of one facility.

The summer softball league does not need sewer services for the concession stand, which will only have a hand washing station. The league is requesting the extension of a water line to the facility and the digging of a ditch for the connection of electric services from one of the light poles at the park.

Shiveley directed Walensky investigate the request by determining where the proposed facility would be located and what would be required for the utility services requested.

Alderman Ann Hennigan asked Chief Dana Kammerlohr about a parking request to make Sixth and Seventh streets one way on Sunday.

"It gets pretty congested in that area," said Kammerlohr. "There was talk a while back about making the streets one way. I just wanted council to know that there is a concern about Sixth Street, especially on Sunday mornings."

Hennigan asked if making the streets one way would just push the traffic into neighboring areas.

"The streets are wider up the hill and not as congested with traffic or parking," said Kammerlohr. "I'm not making a recommendation. I'm just saying that there is a concern. That is the only verbal complaint I have received so far."

In other business, the Cassville City Council:

* Directed Kammerlohr to research brake systems for the city's patrol cars to determine if a higher quality system might last longer than the brake system currently being used, which lasts around one year.

* Discussed the repairs that have been made to the city's sewer system camera. Walensky said that repairs have been made to both cameras and the tracker system.

* Heard that the city's sales tax is down 2.2 percent year to date.

* Approved a sales permit for Jake's Fireworks, Inc., which will operate a fireworks stand at 204 East Fifth St. in Cassville in front of Video Mart this summer.

* Received notices of bids for the sale of a retired patrol car, website development and maintenance and hay at the industrial park.

* Discussed a request from the City of Seligman for donations of used police equipment. The council directed the staff to send the request to the city attorney before donating any equipment.

* Approved airport hangar lease agreements with Bob and Barbara Lee, Mike and Lisa Schlichtman and Doug and Kris Rands.

* Received notices of public hearings on the annexation of the Mitchell property, located at 1001 Chinquapin Woods, and the annexation of the aquatic park, located at 461 Sale Barn Rd.

* Heard that the city-wide clean-up will be held May 6 through May 10.

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