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home : news : news Saturday, May 28, 2016

12/25/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Sixth Avenue project - complete at last, cost less than expected

By Mary Rueter
Managing editor

"It is rare when a city project ends up costing less than the amount of the contract," DeWitt city administrator Steve Lindner told the city council Monday, Dec. 16, as he recommended acceptance of the final phase of the Sixth Avenue project.

The final change order for the work resulted in a deduction of $75,697 based on the field measurement of final quantities. The change brings the total cost to $1,294,385 compared to the original contract with K&E Flatwork of Eldridge for $1,386,727.

Completion of the work represents the total reconstruction of Sixth Avenue between the railroad tracks and 11th Street, accomplished in three phases. Planning began back in 2004 with actual reconstruction starting in 2006.

"Overall, (the last phase) is a pretty good project," Lindner concluded.

Clean audit

A representative of Winkel, Parker & Foster presented the report on the annual audit recently completed and complimented city finance director Deanna Rekemeyer on the thoroughness of the information she provided.

The only blot on the audit is the city's inability to segregate duties due to the small size of the staff. Under ideal circumstances, individual staff members would perform certain functions. That comment is common to most small town audits, she admitted.

Insurance issues

The council approved renewal of the city's vision insurance plan from Avesis at an increase in premiums of about 5 percent.

Meanwhile, fees that are a part of the Affordable Care Act represent a significant portion of the 19 percent increase in health insurance premiums, which the council approved at a previous meeting.

The council determined the most fair way to handle the fees, which vary according to the number of dependents covered, is to continue to assess the employees 10 percent of the premium as their contribution to the cost of insurance.

Other business

In other business, the council:

•Approved a wine/beer permit renewal for DeWitt Travel Mart and a new wine permit for Meant to Be with Flowers, effective Jan. 1.

•Approved a revised technical support services agreement between the DeWitt police department and the Clinton County information technology (IT) department for IT services.

•Authorized additional costs for repair and maintenance of well No. 6. In addition to scheduled maintenance, some issues were covered by insurance, but the work is expected to exceed the budgeted amount by $5,000-$10,000. Director of public works Matt Proctor requested the additional funds, which will result in an essentially new well, due to the replacement of mechanical parts.

•Set Monday, Jan. 6, as the date for a public hearing on the urban renewal plan amendment, under which a project must be listed in order to receive any Tax Increment Funding (TIF). The city is contemplating the addition of projects such as Brookline Subdivision, a possible addition to the DeWitt Fitness Center, a trail extension and the Maschio Gaspardo property.

•Agreed to release the city's mortgage on the property at 721 12th St. The late Roland Frahm entered into a forgivable loan agreement in 2009 as part of a housing rehab program. When he died in March 2012, the loan had depreciated to just under $20,000. The house remains vacant, and the city has performed some maintenance tasks, including mowing and snow removal. A proposed short sale agreement would net the city $2,250 and is thought to be the best outcome for the property.

•Discussed the impact of new pedestrian sidewalk regulations dictating the need for 5-foot-by-5-foot "passing areas" for all new sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

•Gave second reading to an ordinance amending the city code pertaining to licensing and vaccination of animals by increasing the late fee for licensing from $1 to $10 per month.

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