Water tower change order could save Sweet Springs more than $20,000

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

In an effort to save the city more than $20,000, the Sweet Springs Board of Aldermen voted to approve a change order in its water tower plan.

City Clerk Ronda Nienhueser said the water tower plan calls for the installation of approximately 850 feet of 8-inch water main under Oak Street from Locust Street to Miller Street. City officials felt that since its own crews could do this work for less money it would be a better option, she said.

Water Department Supervisor Hank Taber said that as a matter of safety he would like to look into have an outside firm do a "live tap" on the existing line so that work could proceed without turning off the water flow through the line. If the water in the 8-main were stopped, some areas of the city would be receiving water through only a 4-inch secondary main, he said.

The board consented to allow Taber to secure estimates on how much this service would cost.

In other business, the board:

* denied a request for repayment.

* voted to purchase a skid loader.

* addressed a police staffing matter.

* heard a report about insurance.

* set a special meeting to discuss the formation of a fire district.

Sweet Springs resident David Good came before the board asking for the return of a $100 fee he paid for excavating a section of Mulberry Street to connect to the city sewer main. He said the fee was to pay for patching the street, but since it was on the list to be repaved the city would not be patching it.

Alderman Bill Hall said he could see Good's point, but a review of the ordinance stated that the fee was "non-refundable." Alderman Neil Grigsby agreed. saying that he did not want the board to set a precedent in giving the refund.

After soliciting bids and reviewing options, the board voted to purchase a Bobcat skid loader from Riggins R-Co for $13,647.32. The board had also received a bid of $15,085 from Cook Sales and Service for a Mustang brand loader. The board voted to go with the less expensive option, which happened to be the street department's brand of choice and also included an enclosed cab compartment with a heater.

Police Chief Melvin Taber reported to the board that officer Jim Bingham has left the force. Taber said that after working for three weeks without a day off he has begun using reserve officers to fill shifts. He asked that the officers receive standard shift pay, $75, until he can review applications and fill the vacant position. The board gave their consensus to this request.

Nienhueser reported that Missouri Consolidated Health Care had provided its projected cost for insurance premiums for the coming year. The projections show an increase of about 28 percent, bringing the monthly cost per employee from $248 to $301.24. The city has eight employees.

Nienhueser told the board that if they wished to change providers, they would have to do so before Oct. 1. However, she said, she had reviewed other available policies and many of these are facing increases of as much as 67 percent between now and Jan. 1, 2002.

Finally, the board heard from Fire Chief Steve Pearson. Pearson said he had been in contact with fire protection personnel from Marshall and Arrow Rock who are interested in meeting with the aldermen to discuss the formation of a fire district. The board chose to have the discussions at a special meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20.

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