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Engineering proposal accepted for planned 2014 improvement project

Fri, Nov 29th, 2013
Posted in Chatfield Government

At the Chatfield City Council’s November 25 meeting a proposal from WSB and Associates was accepted for engineering services related to planned 2014 street and utility improvements. Councilor Paul Novotny was absent.

Chatfield is planning a substantial 2014 project which will include four locations: St. Albans Place, Twiford Street, Bench Street, and West Chatfield. The Chatfield EDA has acquired grant funding related to the projects planned for St. Albans Place and Twiford Street.

WSB project manager Dillon Dombrovski was present to answer any questions associated with the engineering proposal at a cost not to exceed $89,300 for planning and design phases. The work will be billed at standard hourly rates. If additional work is added to the project, additional fees for planning and engineering would be added at the hourly rate.

City Clerk Joel Young explained that G-Cubed had offered a proposal at a cost of $8,500 for utility work where they had done some field work and surveying. Dombrovski suggested that their proposal cost would be reduced only slightly by the G-Cubed proposal. Young concluded it wouldn’t significantly impact the WSB proposal suggesting it would be an additional cost.

The WSB proposal was accepted as presented. The intention is to advertise for bids in March 2014 with construction occurring from May to October of 2014.

Other Business In Brief

•The first consideration of Ordinance 409 was approved. Young noted that the fee schedule is adopted on an annual basis. Changes to the fee schedule include an increase in water rates (up 3 percent) and an increase in sewer rates (up 6 percent). A demolition permit will cost $45.

•EDA coordinator Chris Giesen reviewed a settlement plan for the “Flood Recovery” revolving loan provided in 2008 to Bernard Bus Service. The loan is currently about $75,000 past due with an outstanding balance of about $156,000.

The borrower has requested that the city release its lean on the buses to allow the sale of the buses so $125,000 can be repaid in two to three installments. The settlement agreement would allow an additional $30,000 to be rolled over into the forgivable portion of the loan. Originally, $306,653 of the $511,088 loan was to be forgiven. With this agreement a total of about $336,000 would be forgiven by the State of Minnesota. Giesen noted that no direct Chatfield dollars were part of the loan.

The council approved the collateral swap which would release the buses and replace that security with real estate collateral on property owned in Rushford and Chatfield. The promissory note and original development agreement will be amended.

Councilor Robert Pederson suggested that in return for the city’s cooperation with the borrower that the used and wrecked vehicles might be removed. Councilor Ken Jacobson agreed it would be a little something in return for us working with them.

•Young stated that the city negotiates every three years with the Patrol Officers Union for a labor agreement. A request for a 3 percent increase in the wage grid above inflationary adjustments was rejected.

There is concern from the union that the incentive to keep officers long term is not adequate. Therefore, the council approved a two year contract and agreed to commission a compensation study to look specifically at shift differential pay and compare the pay of Chatfield officers with that of similar city police departments. The study results will be used in the next contract negotiation.

•The purchase of replacement lights for the police department’s new Explorer from Whitewater Wireless at a cost of $5,596.15 was approved.

•Letters will soon be sent out to owners of properties in Chatfield that are in need of care. This will include houses that are expected to be a public health hazard or properties with trash in the yard.

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