It was a bit of a skeleton crew for the Litchfield City Council at their meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21, as three aldermen, City Attorney Kit Hantla and City Administrator Tonya Flannery were unable to be in attendance.
Still, the five council members present were able to pass 13 motions, including several pertaining to Litchfield’s I-55 Commerce Park and Eagle Ridge Subdivision projects.
One motion, to approve a $45,000 payment to Crawford, Murphy and Tilly Engineering for addition services for the Eagle Ridge project was the only vote to draw dissension, passing by a 3-2 margin. The request from CMT was explained by the company’s representative to the city, Ted LaBelle, who said that the company did a lot of additional work since their initial bid three and a half years ago.
LaBelle said some of the major parts of the additional work included permitting through the Army Corps of Engineers, changes due to relegations for sewer systems at the subdivision, issues with the entrance of the subdivision and increased detail of the plans.
He said that this detailed work, completed by Mike Mizeur, allowed the construction bids to come in nearly a half million dollars under budget.
LaBelle said that the scope of the project has changed above and beyond the original proposal and that everything had been done in the best interest of the city financially.
Alderman David Hollo added that the project also included the extension of the water line to 16th Avenue for better access to Solar Circle, another addition that CMT worked on.
Mayor Steve Dougherty said that the city has been happy with the work done by Mizeur and CMT.
The vote would split 3-2, with Alderman Hollo and Ray Kellenberger and Alderwoman Kassidy Paine voting yes, Alderwoman Marilyn Sisson and Alderman Dwayne Gerl voting no, and Aldermen Tim Wright, Mark Brown and Woodrow Street absent.
The council also passed pay request number six from Gelly Excavating and Construction in the amount of $749,145.57 for work on the commerce park, and a pay request for asphalt testing by PSI Engineering and Testing for the amount of $4,635.75.
To start the meeting, the council approved the minutes from the last meeting, postponed the audit presentation from Kerber, Eck and Braeckel until the next meeting, approved the application of $55,000 square feet of fabric liner at the wastewater treatment facility by Korte Luitjohan and approved insurance renewals from ICRMT for commercial general liability, fleet, umbrella, various professional liabilities, workers compensation coverage and inland marine overview.
Eric Braasch with Diamond Brothers/Scheller Insurance told the council that the overall increase on premiums for the city, using a $5,000 deductible, was 1.73 percent. Braasch added that workman’s compensation was lower last year than the year before, but the overall insurance package was up about $9,000.
Braasch said that the city could stay with a $5,000 deductible or could move to a $10,000 deductible, with the council deciding to stay with the $5,000 deductible.
The council also approved the purchase of a 40-foot open bay “live burn” container for $50,000 (the entire cost of which would come from grant money) for the fire department, the hiring of temporary employees for the Litchfield Pickers Market (not to exceed $31,000) and to approve expenditures for the Live in Library Park concert series (not to exceed $6,500).
Tourism Coordinator Sarah Waggoner said that the city recently struck an agreement with St. Francis Hospital, who will become the title sponsor of the event, which will also include a farmer’s market for the 2020 season.
Other motions passing were the setting of the 2020 Lake Lou Yaeger fees, a contract for $51,670 with RCS Construction for repairs to the Lake Lou Yaeger spillway, the purchase of two heaters from Neuhaus Heating and Air Conditioning for the street department for $4,340 and declaring a 1998 Chevrolet Cheyenne as surplus, with disposal by auction or salvage by Aumann Auctions.
Before adjourning the 25-minute meeting, Mayor Steve Dougherty mentioned that there will be an employee luncheon this coming week and a funeral procession for Arie, the Litchfield Police Department’s former K-9 officer, who passed away recently.
The council will meet again on Thursday, Dec. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at Corwin Hall.