All summer long crews were in town taking an inside look at Edgeley city sewers. It was the assessment phase of the sewer project. With that done engineers prepared all necessary documents so the project could be bid.
Monday, December 7th the City of Edgeley opened bids from six different contractors. Robert Gibb and Sons, Inc., a Fargo, ND company had the low bid at $1,690,320.00. Sellin Brothers, Inc, Hawley, MN was on the high end at $2,099,640.00.
Randy Pope, KLJ engineer overseeing the project told city officials it will be possible to get the project within budget. Upon reviewing the information he recommended the city eliminate the 'top hat' connections. This was an alternate bid item. By eliminating it, the city was able to trim $300,000.00 from the bid.
Pope also told the city council, because this is part of stimulus funds, everything must be under contract by February 2010. Anything not contracted by then is lost. Pope recommended the council award the bid to Robert Gibb and Sons, Inc, contingent on ND Health Department review and acceptance of the bid.
Upon further discussion, the council learned the project will begin in the spring and has a November deadline. The plans are detailed and include which streets will have construction.
New water rates
Last month the Water, Sewer and Garbage Committee recommended several changes to the billing structure. The council passed a resolution to increase water rates from $24.00 per month to $25.00 per month and change it so that no gallons are included. The cost will be $3.70 per 1000 gallons which is a 20 cent increase. The connection fee was increased from $50 to $75.
In a related matter, the committee had recommended a $20 per month fee for all properties which have plumbing but may not be hooked up to city services. They said it was needed to help cover ongoing maintenance and repairs. However, on review by Kim Radermacher, city attorney, it was determined the city could not charge $20 for utilities which were not being used. They can place a $6.00 surcharge on the water, garbage, sewer bill to cover some expenses. The matter was sent back to committee. They will seek another mechanism to raise funds.
Council member Gary Wegenast suggested delinquent utility accounts be turned over to the city attorney for collection. Radermacher said she would need documentation and then could proceed.
Joe Neis, city auditor, told the council there would not be any budget adjustments until the January meeting. "I don't know where in the world we would be at without sales tax," he said.
"The pool would be closed," Mayor Steve Powers said.
"There is an incredible amount of money we take out for capital improvements," Neis said.
The city owns an irregular shaped lot adjacent to Swartz, Mathern and Anderson Brothers near the baseball complex. Eric Musland is interested in building a rental storage unit and looking for property. Discussion was held if the city would make this available. There was concern it should be advertised for sale. Radermacher said if the interested party makes a proposal for the council to act on, it is not necessary to advertise it for sale. One concern was any sale should have a contingency the property must be developed within a given time or it reverts back to the city.
Allied Agronomy has been storing anhydrous ammonia tanks in that area during the winter. The council was in agreement they did not like them there. Spencer Isaacson asked how the city could stop it and went on to state "They need to stay where they are at." Powers suggested someone talk to Gene Erpelding, Allied Agronomy CEO and advise him tanks are not going to be on city property. Darrell Klundt offered to speak to Erpelding.
The city owned scraper was damaged when Maurus Ulmer operated it for Dakota Prairie Ag. The cutting edge and main frame were bent. Rick Gutschmidt, city council member, reported it has been fixed, but it does not look like new. Dakota Prairie Ag paid the bill.
Isaacson said "We are not in the rental business. This is exactly what happens when we let people use our stuff."
Powers said "Accidents happen. What went on with the city truck, put me over the edge." It was stated at the council meeting the truck got stuck and it was almost pulled apart trying to get it out.
There have been two resignations from the Airport Authority board. Three names have been submitted for consideration: Gene Hanson, Dave Lux and Bruce Salzsieder. Powers said he has interviewed those who resigned. He is also interviewing those considering appointment to the board. He asked the council to table appointments until January. Rick Gutschmidt said the authority would like to have a treasurer before January 1st.
Neis suggested the city may want to hire a firm to assess property values in the community. He suggested the city inquire on quotes. He said if there are several properties which are under-valued the city is not getting all their tax dollars.
No work will be done before spring to mediate potential overland flooding. The city is pursuing an agreement with property owners and the township. Powers said a meeting with the landowner and the township is the next step. He also reported word is out and seed dealers will gather totes. There is a pallet of sand bags in the fire hall. The city plans to remove snow from the road in hopes keeping it cleared will reduce some issues.
It was reported Sandy Horsager is becoming proficient with water billing. There have been some computer issues to resolve. Neis anticipates by January everything will be running smooth. The city still has a drop box at city hall. There are plans to have lettering on the new office and install a drop box at there.
The council agreed to provide $250/employee as a Christmas gift.