City establishes contract for project management services

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
After a request from the Concordia Industrial Development Corporation, the drop-off location for aluminum recycling conducted by Caring and Sharing was moved north of the bus barn at the city of Concordia's East Park Green Space at South St. Louis and Southeast Sixth streets. Those seeking to recycle aluminum cans can do so at this new site. A dumpster was provided by Heartland Waste, of Warrensburg. (Photo courtesy Larry Schnakenberg)

Keeping track of each step of a project undertaken by the city is important for transparency and oversight, noted Concordia City Administrator Dale Klussman at the Monday, Aug. 15, Concordia Board of Aldermen meeting. Therefore, he suggested to aldermen that the city contract with Dude Solutions Inc., of Cary, N.C., with its Mobile 311 service, which is used online.

"We are -- as we move forward specifically with the sewer -- I have seen the need for us to begin a property maintenance management system, GIS (geographic information system) mapping ... doing all that onsite was pretty (expensive). That all was before this magic cloud that everyone talks about," said Klussman.

He said he arranged a teleconference with Dude Solutions earlier this month to go through the property maintenance online system. The system not only allows for property maintenance, but allows work orders to be assigned off the maintenance. The Mobile 311 is a subscription service and costs $2,840 per year. Since the city would be starting later in the year with the service, Dude Solutions pro-rated the cost to $2,601.66, which includes a one-time QuickStart fee of $945.

"This is a very user-friendly system. Probably out of all the ones I have looked at, it is the most user friendly," said Klussman.

The online software uses three divisions, which lets the police department communicate with the maintenance department, and in turn allows maintenance to communicate with the water plant, he explained. The parks and recreation department can also access the service.

The service fees do not include the purchases of tablets by the city for the purposes of tracking work conducted.

"The (tablets) have the technology that allow them to pull the GIS information up to three feet away. So, if you have a manhole as we are (smoke testing) that is excessively smoking, you can take a picture of it, open it up and take a picture of the quality of that manhole and get the GPS location on it," said Klussman.

The city is working with Pioneer Trails Regional Planning Commission on the GIS mapping of its manholes, which can get fed into the Mobile 311 system.

"Mobile 311... has purchased a lot of the mapping capabilities, so down the road we will be able to actually (have) mapping done if we want it done internally," said Klussman.

Concordia Mayor Michael Brown noted some advantages to using Mobile 311, which, he said include Missouri Department of Natural Resources documentation requirements, street maintenance and work order tracking.

Mobile 311 is an ESRI-based system, noted Klussman, which is a GIS mapping company. The city's water meter replacement project also used ESRI for its mapping of the new meters, so that information can be integrated with Mobile 311, added Klussman.

When it comes to work orders, they can include the description of work, equipment used, on-site personnel and length of project with progress pictures, he related.

"We will know a more exact figure on how much (projects) cost," said Klussman. "It becomes a very powerful thing, not only for now, but for years down the road. This is not based in city hall on our computers. ... It's based on this cloud. So, if something was to happen to us, we'd be able to get the records back."

The initial $2601.66 to use the service is being paid out of the city's general fund. Reimbursements to the general fund will be factored as different departments start using the service. Renewal costs of $2,840 per year will be added to subsequent city budgets.

City beat

The following items were discussed at the Concordia Board of Alderment Meeting, Monday, Aug. 15:
--Approved a $1,500 membership renewal to the Whiteman Area Leadership Council. Membership is paid for through the city's general fund and the Board of Aldermen and Mayor's funds, as a subscription.

--Concordia Mayor Michael Brown was contacted by Kyle Davis looking for his Eagle Scout service project. Brown put Davis in contact with Concordia Parks and Recreation Director Jody Bergman.

--Brown noted he was contacted by a resident about holding a panel discussion on community issues. Brown said it would be up to this individual to establish such a separate meeting, as community issues are already discussed every two weeks by the Concordia Board of Aldermen. He added such a meeting organized by this individual is in its beginning stages.

--Alderman Larry Schnakenberg noted a wreath for the maypole in Central Park is on order. He also met with Heartland Waste about waste removal during the Concordia Fall Festival. He noted the Concordia Lions Club will help underwrite a portion of the cost. HLW has provided a container for Caring and Sharing for its aluminum collection facility next to the bus barn at the city's east park green space at South St. Louis and Southeast Sixth streets. The aluminum drop-off location was moved to city property after a request from the Concordia Industrial Development Corporation, which originally housed the drop-off point.

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