A request for additional funding for the Lake Lou Yaeger pump station and force main project by Crawford, Murphy and Tilly Engineering drew discussion between the aldermen on Thursday, Jan. 16, as the members of the Litchfield City Council met for their regular meeting at Corwin Hall.
Ted LaBelle of CMT told the council that the engineering firm had been working with the Illinois Department of Transportation and Envotech of Litchfield on easements for the project, which had taken more work than originally planned.
LaBelle said that IDOT requested alternate routes for the force main, which will run under Rt. 16, while Envotech had asked for alignment changes for the pipe, which will run on a significant portion of the landfill that the company owns. He added that the original proposition was bid at not to exceed $5,000, but CMT had already surpassed that amount by $8,000.
LaBelle requested that the city approve $15,000 more for the project, bringing the total paid to CMT for engineering to an amount not to exceed $20,000.
He added that usually, easements are done on a time and expense basis, but weren't this time and now CMT is asking for a correction.
Alderman Ray Kellenberger asked if CMT usually built in contingency funds for projects. LaBelle said that since they work with the city so often, they try to keep the bid as low as possible. He added that in this situation, the extra work was not anticipated.
City Administrator Tonya Flannery said that CMT should bid what they believe the project will cost, but the city doesn't need a bid that includes every possible scenario that could arise. LaBelle said that CMT could start including a 10 to 15 percent contingency to keep from having to go back to the council for extra funds.
LaBelle also added that CMT has saved the city significant money on other projects, including one approved earlier in the night for soil testing. LaBelle said that Professional Services Industries originally bid $28,000 for soil investigation, soil borings and slope stability analysis for the Lake Lou Yaeger revitalization project, but CMT was able to work with the company to get it down to the $9,470 amount that was approved by the council.
Alderman Woodrow Street proposed splitting the difference with CMT in the overage for the project, which LaBelle said is not complete yet. Alderman Dwayne Gerl made a motion to approve an additional $10,000 for the project to CMT, adding if more is needed another request would have to be made. Flannery added before the vote, which passed 8-0, that it would be best if CMT did not make another request for the project.
The council also approved emergency authorization for the demolition of the property located at 409 North State Street. City Attorney Kit Hantla said that usually the city waits for court authorization, but building official Gary Baker advised that the structure is in such poor condition, that it is a safety hazard and could potentially damage adjacent buildings.
Alderman Dwayne Gerl asked if the city could recoup the money spent on the demolition from the owners, Richard and Dawn Morris. Hantla said that the owners have other properties in town and the city would work on getting reimbursement through them.
Other motions passing on Thursday were a motion to purchase a 2019 Dodge Ram from Victory Lane for $26,295 for the building and zoning department, a motion to approve a zoning change to 605 West Ferdon from S-2 (single family residence) to C-2 (general commercial) for the purpose of building a storage unit facility, a motion to approve a contract renewal for outdoor advertising with Dusty's Outdoor Media for $8,710 (plus $1,200 for vinyl production), two motions to approve pay rates for the beach seasonal staff and after-hours beach parties/events staff and a motion to approve a quote from Zobrio for $2,672 for annual Microsoft Office 365 Email renewal.
The council also heard from Eaden Fleming, who wrote to the council regarding two expensive water bills caused by a previous resident leaving an outside valve on. City Clerk Carol Burke read the letters and the council will determine if any action should be taken at the next meeting.
The meeting went into closed session at 7:08 p.m., with no further action taken.