Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pay-off on pool passed by city

July 10, 2008

The Baldwin City Council voted in favor of redeeming a portion of the swimming pool bonds before scheduled at its meeting on Monday.

City Administrator Jeff Dingman brought the issue before the council, saying that the finance committee had recommended redeeming a portion of the bonds early.

"They're asking use to authorize early redemption," Dingman said. "The question is how much we want to redeem early. It's up to us to decide."

Dingman said he and the finance committee had recommended paying an extra $300,000 in addition to the regular $86,000 due on Sept. 1. The city voted for a ½ cent increase on sales tax to finance the pool. Higher-than-anticipated sales revenues of about $66,000 per year had accumulated since the tax increase, allowing the city to make an early payment.

When Council Member Tony Brown raised the question of being "more aggressive" in making the early payment, Dingman said he arrived at the $300,000 because that would allow the city to make an early redemption while still leaving a cushion in place for next year's payment.

In the end, the council voted for the $300,000 payment. The action still has to win approval from the public building commission, which oversees the pool. The meeting is scheduled for today at 9 a.m.

In addition to voting on the pool, the city council also approved other measures at its meeting, including two measures regarding sewer systems within the city.

First, the council voted in favor of approving a construction bid for the Relief Sewer Project, a sewer project in the western part of Baldwin City. The council received nine bids for the project, and decided to accept the lowest bid, which came from BRW Construction, a company based in Spring Hill. The bid was for $606,232, lower than the engineer's estimate of $776,323.

Public Works Director Bill Winegar said he had checked BRW Construction's references, all of which had spoken highly of the company's work. Winegar said he thought the company looked like a good choice and that they were "hungry to work."

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which is providing the city with the loan for the project, still has to review the bid before it passes.

The council also voted unanimously to approve a bid received by Douglas County for a company to relocate a sewer line along Sixth Street in preparation for future upgrades. Although the road is in Baldwin City, it is actually a county road, which places it under the jurisdiction of the county government. That bid, including improvements to Sixth Street, was in excess of $1 million.

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