Council informed of need for police car repair

The repair of a city police car in which the engine quit was discussed at the regular monthly meeting of the City of California Board of Aldermen Monday, Oct. 1. The Impala had about 60,000 miles on it at the time of the problem. After been informed of the costs of new police cars and state surplus patrol cars, the council advised Police Chief Fred Kirchoff to determine the best course of action to take on repair or replacement of the Impala in question. The consensus was if the work was less than $4,000, he was to get it repaired.

It was later determined that a broken valve seat fell on top of a cylinder and heavily damaged the engine, including scoring the cylinder walls, and damaging the head. A used engine was purchased and installed putting the vehicle back on the road for a cost of less than $3,000 by this week.

The council reviewed the cost for the heaters for the swimming pool, awarding the bid to Porting Mechanical. The bid accepted was $16,180 for two heaters to be mounted in opposite corners of the interior of the roof. The heaters were recommended because in real cold weather the current heater was having problems keeping up. Originally thought to be maintenance, since heaters had originally been in the building, it was determined the old heaters had been removed several years ago. As a result, the heater installation is considered new construction. Therefore the cost was higher because of the necessity of paying Prevailing Wage.

The council also approved $5,100 to insure five substations and 15 transformers of the city's electric system. Insurance of the substations and transformers had been overlooked in the past. After it was suggested, the Board of Aldermen determined insurance of the equipment valued at $3,683,000 was a good idea.


Park Supervisor Robert Pace informed the council that the backstop at the ballfields was almost finished. The old backstop was damaged in a windstorm during the summer and needed to be replaced.

Water and Wastewater Supervisor Kyle Wirts informed the council of the need to have a greater amount of cleared ground to spread sewer sludge. Although no action must be taken now, it will need to be done in a year or so. Alternation of ground is needed to spread the sludge, with about 75 acres needed for each time. The city owns the land, but will need to clear out the trees. It is doubtful more than a few marketable trees are on the land in question, but that possibility will be checked out.

Although an audit report was originally scheduled, a printing error in the printed report made it necessary to delay the report until next month.

Bill Campbell submitted a letter rescinding his offer for voluntary annexation of his land at the Highway 50-87 intersection.

A brief discussion was held of an e-mail from Tina Naros regarding a "Walking School Bus." The concept of "walking school bus" is for children in a group who walk to school with one or more adults. The simplicity is part of the appeal of the idea, as is the additional safety and the extra exercise the students (and the adults) get. It can be informal or formal with a timetable. The concept has been more popular in international areas. The concept was invented in Australia in 1992. There is also a variation for bicyclists commonly called a "bicycle train."

The next regular monthly meeting is Nov. 5.

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