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Sidewalk project among issues discussed by council

Posted: Tuesday, Aug 20th, 2013

AMBOY – The Amboy City Council met on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, with Alderman Brett Dewey absent and over 20 people in the audience. The new microphone system was used by the council, which made the meeting clearer and much easier to follow. Several compliments were made from the audience.

Under committee reports, Alderman Shaw announced that 41 memorial bricks were placed at the Depot Museum. The museum is also in need of volunteers to help on weekends at the museum, especially during Depot Days.

Alderman Schamberger advised that new roofs are needed on two shelters, one in the sports park and one at Shapiro Park. They will probably be brown, but the project will not be done until next spring. He also noted that there are 10 tables missing from the city park and two from the sports park. He requested that anyone having borrowed tables to please bring them back. He also advised that the maintenance/street department has repainted parking and crosswalk stripes and cleaned up the city in preparation for Depot Days.

Alderman Weidman reported that the Pankhurst Memorial Library is looking good due to the help of the community and especially the Teen Turf team that weeded and trimmed bushes. The library also held their ice cream social with 44 people coming to get acquainted with the library and its staff.

Alderman Hoy reported that the Finance Committee met and the three main subjects discussed were the budget, water bills, and sidewalk project.

During concerns from the audience, Darlene Hinkle expressed her appreciation for the painting of the steps to the library.

Under unfinished business, Alderman Hoy reported that the matter of the water billing policy is still being looked into. It was a much bigger project than she thought. She is still going through them and it appears that the non-billing was at random way back. The city computer records only go back to 2005. The money not received from the failure to bill for minimum charge and the $14 debt relief charge (since January 2012), could have affected the amount needed for the water plant. She hopes to be done reviewing the billing by next month.

There has been discussion as to whether the meters that did not receive a bill should be back billed. More discussion and a possible decision will be scheduled for next month’s meeting.

Under new business, the council approved a contract for legal services with Law Offices of Buh & Johnson to act as prosecutor to represent the city solely for services related to prosecution of ordinance violations on behalf of the city. There is a set fee schedule and the agreement may be terminated by the city at their discretion.

The city also approved sale of the police department Expedition to the Ashton Police Department. An ordinance will be drawn up to authorize the sale.

The building inspector’s report included one deck, one garage, four roofs, and one walk-in cooler.

The animal control report included one dog, and 20 citations for no pet licenses.

Under concerns from the council, Alderman Hoy voiced her complaint about the sidewalk project being done on East Main Street downtown. She said there was no bidding process because the project was to be under $20,000. One-third of the project was to be done to get an idea of cost before it was to be continued. A special meeting was held to approve continuing the project. At the finance meeting it was felt that no way was the project under $20,000. The mayor insists it is under $20,000. Two workers were put on the city payroll that were not approved by the council, which is not following procedure. There is no total cost for supplies, or the cost for the engineer available. This Wednesday there will be a meeting to approve workers that have been working already. Hoy said, “It’s not work wise, but policy wise.” The mayor doesn’t have authority to hire or set wages.

Mayor Nauman replied that this has been the sidewalk program for the last 25 years. The city employees did 80 percent of the work. Two more were hired to finish the job. All bills run through the city. There will be a meeting Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 4 p.m., at city hall regarding part-time people.

With no further business or comments, the meeting was adjourned.

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