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Friday, July 11, 2014

City tweaks long-range construction program

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

For decades, the city of Spencer has been utilizing a five-year construction program. Monday evening, the Spencer City Council simplified that process.

"We made a conscious decision to give it an overhaul and upgrade it," Spencer Public Works Director Mark White said in the Committee of the Whole meeting preceding the council meeting. "We made a project sheet for every budget so you can page through it and understand it."

White worked with Spencer Finance Officer Brian Weuve to make the program even more comprehensive.

"Everything we're presenting is paid for," White said.

He also clarified that the projects planned after the first year are not set in stone, but rather a general guideline.

Four projects, in addition to $55,000 in seal-coating and crack-sealing jobs, are included in the 2013 budget. Of the approximately $7.4 million price tag on those projects, the city will pay slightly more than $1.95 million.

Based on estimates, the $4.5 million west beltway project will cost the city $750,000; the city will pay $800,000 of the $2.38 million project starting on West 18th to Clay County Road M-44 and north to U.S. Highway 18; the city will cover all but $160,000 of the $500,000 project stretching from Riverside Cemetery to the corporate line; and $12,000 from the city will cover half of the 330th Street, or airport road, resurfacing project.

The 2014 plan also includes the beltway project, as well as projects on Fifth Street Southeast, Sixth Avenue East, Second Avenue East and East Eighth Street, inflating that budget to nearly $4.92 million, of which nearly $1.05 million is the city's share.

A total of five projects are planned for the final three years of the project. Of those projects' collective price tag of nearly $2.39 million, the city's share is estimated at $1.1 million.

Federal and county dollars will also be used for many of the projects.

White explained that most of the projects call for concrete reconstruction, as that is currently the most cost-effective and efficient method.

Weuve shared that Local Option Sales Tax dollars for construction projects are increasing from $231,000 to $350,000, because they had been under-funded in the past. According to the ballot issue, 50 percent of LOST revenues are to be allocated for infrastructure.

White is pleased to have all the information in one place.

"What we like about this is anyone can page through it and understand it," he said.

In other business, the committee:

* Learned that Iowa Department of Natural Resources will now allow the city to use shredded metal waste from Shine Bros., without adding dirt, at the Northern Plains Regional Landfill as part of a 90-day trial. Instead of a charge of $4.75 per ton, Shine will pay $5,000 per quarter.

* Approved city staff to continue researching the possibility of returning a school resource officer to the middle and high schools for 20 hours per week. Under the current proposal, the city would pay half of the $25 per hour salary. Retired Lt. Mike Wilson has expressed interest in the job.

Spencer City Council:

* Approved application for Wright Express fuel cards for the city's fleet of vehicles. Weuve explained the cards, which would be department-specific, would be given to individuals only when they are leaving town and can be used only for fuel.

* Approved the nearly $421,000 Green Industrial Center Paving Project to DeLoss Construction, not Vauhgn DeLoss Construction, as was previously stated. The contract had initially been granted to Godbersen-Smith Construction, of Ida Grove, for about $416,500, before the Iowa Department of Transportation denied that plan.

* Approved purchasing a 2012 Ford Expedition for $29,189, from the Police Reserve budget, to be used as the new K-9 vehicle.

* Scheduled a special meeting for 5:15 p.m. on June 28 for fiscal year-end business.



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