Engineering project updates provided to city council

Local project updates were given to the California City Council at the regular monthly meeting held on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the City Hall.

Bob Gilbert, representing Bartlett and West Engineering, reported on the High Street storm sewer project, the Oak Street sidewalk project and the water system improvement.

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California electric department employees begin connecting the new 500 K pad mounted transformer at California Care. The transformer is an upgrade for operation and safety over the older transformers in the wire enclosure.

The storm sewer construction is behind schedule, at least in part because of delays in the supply line. Gilbert and City Street Supervisor Vic Maurer both agreed the work is being done well.

Most of the construction on High Street is complete. The storm sewer had to be in place in front of Finke Theatre before the marquee could be started and Mike Moore's crew has much of the work on the marquee done.

The storm sewer work on Third Street is well underway. Some of the excavation and placement of drain pipe remains to be completed on Main Street. After discussion, the council approved a partial payment of $ 60,037.38 to the contractor for work completed up to Aug. 27.

On the Oak Street sidewalk project, only three bids were received and all were "significantly higher" than the estimate. The low bid was nearly $200,000 higher than the $667,000 estimate.

No decision can be made on whether to rebid or select one of the bids without approval by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). A MoDOT $450,000 grant is the base for the project with the city funding the remainder.

Gilbert said an analysis of the bids received indicated the major costs driving the bids higher than estimated were 1) water line material, 2) storm sewer material and 3) mobility costs.

Mobility costs are the costs of getting the equipment on site, cost of bonding insurance and administrtive costs.

Several contractors which declined to submit bids indicated the time line for the project completion was a problem, indicating the companies are working on other projects.

Gilbert said after hearing for several years that costs of materials and fuel have been going up, it appears its finally happened. The bids coming in were about 20 percent higher than the estimates.


Gilbert also reported the work towards building an additional water tower and upgrading the water system is going forward. The construction estimate is about $2.5 million, but Gilbert said the estimated costs have not been upgraded for possible inflation costs of materials.

Mayor Gerhart asked if the recent announcement by Cargill of the shutting down of the third shift will affect the water use. Gilbert said that was unknown at this time.

The sludge removal work from one of the lagoons will be 3.177 cents per gallon. Repair work is expected to be made to the bottom of the lagoon, since the liner of the other one was found to have been damaged last year.

During the department reports, Electric Supervisor Rick Graham reported the new bucket truck has arrived and is a 2013 model.

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As the work on the storm sewer procedes, Concrete is poured for sidewalks over the newly installed underground pipes on Third Street next to the Finke Theatre.

At California Care, installation of the new ground mount transformer is about 70 percent complete. The 500 k transformer will replace three 250 k transformers pole mount transformers which were mounted on the ground. It was determined only 500 k capacity was necessary. The new transformer is not only an upgrade, it also eliminates a possible electricity hazard.

Graham also reported the purchase of a new transformer to supply the new Moniteau County Ministries Center (MCMC) facility north of Hawthorn Bank. MCMC will house the Food Pantry (now at the Methodist Church), the local Food Bank (now at the Eagles Club) as well as the clothing outlet (now on Oak Street). The equipment to provide electricity to the building is about $8,272, in addition to the cost of the labor. Related to the MCMC work, the council approved purchase of 150 feet of 500 MCM TH/HN stranded wire from Harry Cooper Supply for $1,170.90. Also approved was $1,045 for climbing school for a new employee.

Wirts reported the sewer camera had been used in the north part of town, with some protruding lateral lines cut off as they have been found. He also commented the videos of the sewer lines will be added to the city's GIS system.

Park Supervisor Robert Pace reported the wind damaged backstop at the ballfield can be replaced. Inmate labor can be used to tear the old one down. Plans are for city employees to build the new backstop after the materials are purchased for $3,472.22. Although the old one was 22 feet high, there seems to be no reason for it to be that tall. The new one will be 12 feet high.

The black plastic pipe needed to repair the overflow drains for the Proctor Park was approved for a bid of $7,625. At about $250 a foot, the pipe will be installed to replace the old galvanized pipe which is rusted out.

After a lengthy discussion, the council approved Recreation Supervisor Skylar Smothers recommendation that a lifeguard be on duty anytime the swimming pool is in use, to include water aerobics. Smothers also recommended heaters be mounted inside the pool building on opposite corners of the roof. The building gets cold in the winter, overtaxing the pool water heaters. The council directed Smothers to obtain bids for the heaters.

Asked how much water is being added to the pool since it has been repaired, Wirts said about 100 gallons a week. Before the repair, usage was about 33,000 gallons a day.

The Council approved a recommendation by City Clerk Brian Scrivner to seek bids on insurance for the electric substations. Some reevaluation may be made of values of property owned by the city to determine if the city is uninsured and possible premiums for adequate insurance coverage.

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