Board of Aldermen talk budget, sewer repairs
The Concordia Board of Aldermen gathered for its regular meeting on Monday, March 6, and quickly but efficiently dispensed with business while keeping a close eye on severe thunder storms with imbedded tornados heading east on the Interstate 70 corridor.
City Administrator Dale Klussman presented an overview and first reading of the budget, showing estimated revenues for the coming fiscal year of $1,358,135 with major portions coming from water and sewer revenues, $545,517; sales tax, $436,154; franchise fees, $140,827; and charges for services, $97,380.
The budget overview also shows proposed expenses for the coming fiscal year of $1,390,822. The largest portion of the expected expenses will go toward wages and salaries of $458,042. In his written budget message, presented to the board, Klussman said the city is committed to maintaining the services that address the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Concordia. Part of keeping that commitment is dependent upon personnel.
“We are very fortunate to have long-term employees,” he wrote. “This starts with our commitment to them. This commitment starts with good pay – not just hourly wages, but a benefits package that compares to those available in the private sector.”
Other major portions of expected expenses are professional services, $161,561; facility related expenses, $139,732; and fringe benefits, $133,532. The budget was tabled until the official second reading at the board’s next regular meeting, scheduled for March 20.
In new business, the board discussed the proposed costs of repair to the underpass lighting conduit, estimated at $2,400. When the conduit was dug up, it was rusted. Klussman is requesting Midwest Heavy Construction LLC to replace the conduit, which would allow lights to be run on both sides of the underpass, with PVC pipe. The price includes reusing the wire and adding any additional wire that would be needed, the new conduit and two slice pits. The board approved proceeding with Klussman’s proposal.
The board also heard a report on the breakdown of the main compressor at the Water Treatment Plant and the need for a new backup to this unit. Klussman reported the air compressor was installed in 2002.
“Last week the motor went out,” he said. “Department employees went to Kammeyer Electric for a new compressor and it was replaced. When it was started back up, the motor immediately burned out.”
Klussman said Kammeyer Electric did accept return of the faulty back and the water plant received a quote of $2,500 from Ingersoll Rand for $2,500 for another replacement motor. The company said if the city wanted to purchase a second air compressor, they would lower the price a little more. Klussman said the motors are very important for the running of the membrane filters. The board agreed to proceed with the purchase of two new motors.
An overview of sewer projects for the year was also discussed. Klussman had overhead slides to show the sewer lines and the problem areas from 15th Street and west and north. He is meeting with engineer Tim Crockett on March 16 to discuss options for fixing these overflow problems.
“The area around the south side the park will be looked at through a camera before our meeting on March 16,” Klussman said. “We are within one and half years of having the 1998 bonds paid off. This could be a good time to address the sewer issues.” Further action will be discussed at a later date pending receiving options for repairs to the current system.
Mayor Michael Brown reported he had a chance to speak to Lions Club about the fuel tax and felt it led to an open discussion with good questions from the group. He also reminded everyone that, pending bad weather, emergency sirens would be tested on Tuesday, March 7, and that schools would be holding drills as well.
Representatives of the Concordia High School Class of 1956 were on hand to present a check for $1,260 for the benches in the Trail of Memories area. Those present were Leo Oehlschlaeger, Fred Droege and Virginia (Kindale) Droege.