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The Chrisman City Council held their first meeting of May on Monday night with only two Commissioners present, Bryan Haddix and Cory Chaney and Mayor Danny Owen. Those present made motions to approve the previous meeting minutes along with claims in the amount of $33,704.51.
Building permits were also granted for 121 South Pennsylvania & 602 East Jackson. A demolition permit was granted for 324 South Illinois. Advertising to fill an opening as a city worker was also granted.
Former Water Commissioner Rodney Wolfe was in attendance once again at the meeting to talk about issues that he had about the projects. Wolfe began on a different note stating that he would be on standby so employee Erik Bohle would be able to take some much needed time off.
“I’ll do standby for him for the next two weekends to give him a break,” Wolfe said. “You don’t want to be short two, but I will leave it up to you guys.”
Neal EMS owner, Jeremy Neal, was in attendance to get a status update on the sidewalk that needed repair in front of the EMS building. The sidewalk buckled due to water pooling under the concrete. Neal stated that day by day it was getting worse.
“I will get with Thad (Crispin) to see what he has found out,” Mayor Owen said.
Matt Johnson, the engineer from Fehr Graham was in attendance to address the ongoing water and sewer projects. Bids were recently opened for the sewer project for the Washington Street station improvements. Two bids were received in that time.
One of the bids came from Schaumburg Drainage for $1,199,455.10. The second was from B&T Drainage in the amount of $1,535,571.00. “Unfortunately, I received a phone call in the twenty-four hour allocated time and Schaumburg asked to have their bid withdrawn,” Johnson told the council. “From my understanding, there was some miscommunication from their pipe supplier and who was doing some of the piping work. As a result, they left out about $210,000.”
Johnson stated that it was important to know the difference of the two bids was greater than the $210,000 difference from Schaumburg’s bid. The financing for the project is set up for a much larger project. This included both the water treatment plant and the water collection improvements.
“The collection system improvements were minor in terms of cost to the treatment plant improvements,” Johnson said. “Either of these bids, we could make work if you wanted to move forward with either bid.”
Since the city was only left with one viable bid, that left them with two options. One of them being rejection of all the bids and re-bid the project. “In order to re-bid the project, you have to at least wait a quarter or change something materially on the plans that were bid. That’s general rule of thumb,” Matt Johnson said.
Different pipe material is an option that could be added to get around the quarter waiting time frame. The time frame would be an additional forty-five to sixty days, depending on how long it took to get bid documents back.
The only other option would be to consult with the attorneys to find out if they can move half forward with the low bidder to allow him to put the additional money into his number. “That would be a call for the attorney to make, not me,” Johnson added.
Johnson had spoken with Rural Development and stated they would be willing to move forward with financing in that scenario. On the corner of Maryland and Washington, Mayor Owen stated that he had been aware of a tree that would possibly cause an issue and asked Johnson if that had been brought to his attention.
“We did not receive any questions from the bidders that submitted the bid about the tree,” Johnson said. Without any questions about the tree being taken down, the city is left wondering if they would be responsible for the removal of the tree or if the bidder would be.
Johnson went onto to say that this issue wasn’t addressed in any matter. Mayor Owen brought up a scenario that if he gave Fehr Graham a contract to put a sewer line in and there was something in the way, it wouldn’t be his problem.
“If it was something that we ran into that was underground, that would be something that would change my opinion,” Johnson said. This basically means that Johnson feels Fehr Graham or the business contracted for the project shouldn’t be responsible for taking the tree down.
Commissioner Haddix stated that after the pre-bid meeting that he believes the pump station should be moved from the east side of the building instead of the west side. “The west side is going to be right back level with the creek and it will come out of the bank,” Haddix said.
Johnson said that the pump station had been raised to avoid this issue. “It won’t matter one side or the other. It might be more difficult to be on the east than the west,” Johnson said. “The farther east we have to go, the more we have to mess around in the yard.”
Haddix asked Johnson if he would be able to get the necessary materials to begin the project and asked if in sixty days if it would be available. “We’re hanging on a song and a prayer with the lift station right now,” Haddix said. “Do we put this off for another sixty days or do we go a head and accept the other bid and get started on the project?”
Johnson said that he didn’t have a preference either way on which choice the city went with. Haddix said that knowing the state of the station, it would be in their best interest to move forward, rather than waiting.
Mayor Owen asked about the work at the pump station that would need to be done by Fehr Graham or the contractor. Johnson stated that the contractor will be doing the work as long as the electric pump doesn’t have any problems from the time plans are drawn up and the project ends.
“So, once he sticks the shovel in the ground, that’s it?” asked Mayor Owen.
The idea is once the pump is taken to the sewer plant, hopefully it will be inside and in case of an emergency, it can be hooked up as a back up.
Johnson told the mayor: “There’s a hose and everything you need, you just have to fuel it up.”
Former Commissioner Wolfe stated that before the City agreed to a contract, they could still make some changes or request material substitutions in the form of a credit.
“We could consider that as part of a substitution,” Johnson said.
Mayor Owen stated that time was not on their side concerning the station and a decision needed to be made sooner rather than later. Once a decision is made, a closing is scheduled. After the loan is closed, then an issue of work is sent out, along with contracts to be put together. “My guess is June or the end of July. There’s a process once we sign what we’re going to do,” Johnson said, in regards to when the contracts would be finalized.
The weather is a main factor in this project, meaning the first order of business would be to get the pipes in the ground and the wells in the ground before the weather gets cold. “The good thing is we won’t have the pump stations delivered for a while,” Johnson said.
Once the motion was made to accept the bid from B&T Drainage for $1,535,571, it was discovered that this price did not include additional charges.
The gas, along with new electrical services provided by Ameren added to the pump would cost the city an additional $25,000. The generator would up charge the gas services.
The city was informed that the paperwork provided at the pre-bid meeting summary that included a possible price from Ameren was expired and had no value. Electrical at the sewer plant will also need to be upgraded as well to a 480 service. “You only have a 240 volt service, there’s a lot more heat, amp and power that going to be necessary,” Johnson said.
With the storm clarifier not working, the water is being pumped through a small three inch pump. “So if they burn up, you’ll replace them?” Wolfe asked of Johnson. Mr. Johnson responded that the replacement would fall on Fehr Graham. The pump only worked three days after it was installed.
Johnson stood behind his purchase of the pump stating that it will work. “I talked to my guy that put it in, he is going to come down. The VFD that went in was not a constant torque. It was one that we had on our shelf,” Johnson said. “We tried it and it didn’t work, so we’re going to wire a constant speed control to make it work.”
As soon as the controller is received by Fehr Graham, it will be replaced. “I’m frustrated just like you guys are, but that’s the reality of it,” Johnson said.
The IEPA sent the city a participation letter for them to have their water tested. The total for the testing would come to about $5,499.13. Testing would include sulfate, arsenic, calcium, lead, manganese and other materials.
In previous years, the city worked with a company called PCD. Samples could be taken from a city worker and the package could be taken to Massey in Chrisman to be picked up by UPS and sent to the facility.
Now, due to the unknown times when UPS comes to Massey, samples may be out of the testable range and new samples would need to be taken. The city, would then have to pay an employee to meet halfway with a carrier to get the samples delivered to Peoria.
The lab has to be an IEPA approved lab, which are few and far between. Commissioner Haddix stated that lab costs would be rising soon. “A new test is coming up for Erik (Bohle) and it will be four times the amount of tests that he’s going to have to do until a new plant is in place,” Haddix said.
Mayor Owen tabled the decision about whether to go with PDC or IEPA. With the city not under contract with a certain company, they have the ability to change to one that has a cheaper rate. PDC is believed to only charge around $3,000 as compared to over $4,000 by the IEPA.