Thursday, February 18, 2010
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City briefs: fire dept. promotions, new police cruisers, auditors approved and more

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[February 18, 2010]  At the Tuesday night voting session of the city council, after the group was led in the Pledge of Allegiance by Cub Scout Pack 105 of Washington-Monroe School, city fire Chief Kent Hulett took the floor to introduce three firefighters who were being promoted.

InsuranceHe first explained that the promotions are the result of the retirement of Rick O'Hare from the department.

He said that all three were gentlemen who had worked hard for their promotions. Hulett said that they have done an excellent job for the department, and in their new positions they will be taking on new responsibilities.

Robert Dunovsky has been with the department since August of 1995. He will take on the position of assistant fire chief.

Moving up to captain, filling the gap left by Dunovsky, will be Ben Roland. Roland is also a veteran member of the department, having served the city of Lincoln since July of 1998.

And finally with a lieutenant position open, Darrin Coffey was selected to fill that void. Coffey has been with the department since December of 2000. Hulett noted that Coffey is also a Marine Corps veteran who served in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

As city attorney Bill Bates administered the oath of office, several family members of the men were present for the event: Dunovsky's wife, Cindy, and children Autumn and Bobby; Roland's wife, Kara, and children Lydia and Patty; and Coffey's wife, Barb, and children Kendal and Morgan.

At the end of the swearing-in, Mayor Keith Snyder congratulated the three men and said that the city and the people of Lincoln appreciate their service to the community.

Landmark Ford wins bids for cruisers

Three Ford dealerships entered the bidding contest for two Crown Victoria police cruisers to be purchased by the city.

Jim Xamis of Lincoln bid $46,184, Currie Motors of Forest Park bid $44,902, and Landmark Ford out of Springfield bid $43,860.

Alderman Jeff Hoinacki made a motion to accept the lowest bid from Landmark Ford.

Hoinacki said that one cruiser would be partially paid for by an insurance claim, the result of one of last year's newest vehicles being totaled in an accident.

He also said that while Landmark was the least costly, they were still slightly over what the city had budgeted for vehicle purchases this year.

Alderman David Wilmert asked how close the local bid was, and Hoinacki responded that it was $2,630 higher than Landmark.

Alderman Buzz Busby commented that with the city struggling with money this year, it was really necessary that the city go with the lowest bid.

The vote carried 7-1 with Wilmert voting no.

Lincoln Futbol Club lease is complete

By two unanimous votes, an ordinance to approve a lease agreement for the Lincoln Futbol Club and a motion to approve entering into the agreement with the club were both passed.

During discussion for the motion, the only question that came up was regarding whether or not there was a clause requiring that the city of Lincoln be listed as an additional insured party on the club's policies. Bates said that a clause had been added to protect the city from risk.

The lease will be for a term of five years, with the Futbol Club bearing all the cost of land development and maintenance.

Homeowner to get refund of $1,286.53

According to Busby, a homeowner in the 400 block of 10th Street has been paying a double sewer bill since purchasing her home in late 2002.

Prior to her purchasing the home, it had been divided into two dwellings with two sewer lines. The basement apartment that was there had been done away with, but no one notified the city, and the double billing continued.

Busby said that the resident had never owned a home before and was unaware of what the cost of her sewer bill should have been. In addition, the sewer bills sent out by the city do not show when the billing is for multiple sewer lines.

At this week's voting meeting, Busby said that he had handed out information sheets showing how he had come to the refund amount of $1,286.53 and that he had talked with the homeowner, and the amount was acceptable to her.

When it came to a vote, refunding the overpayment was approved unanimously.

Estes Bridgewater and Ogden will be the city auditors

In response to a proposal from Estes Bridgewater and Ogden, the auditors of the city's year-end books for the 2008-09 year, it was agreed by unanimous vote that the firm would be contracted to conduct future audits over the next three years.

For the 2008-09 audit year, the city had sought bids, with Estes Bridgewater and Ogden coming in the lowest at $18,000.

The firm has offered to hold that price for the next three years if the city will make the full three-year commitment.

Supplemental appropriations ordinance approved

The finance committee has been reviewing the city's 2009-10 appropriations ordinance for the last two months.

They have nailed down the changes that must be made to the appropriations in order to complete this fiscal year.

The council unanimously approved accepting the changes as set forth by the finance committee. To read more about this process, follow the links to related articles at the end of this report.

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Rebid of Palmer lift station bar screen

The bar screen at the Palmer Avenue lift station will need to be rebid. The original bid deadline has passed with no bids received, but there is a greater problem.

As the city put together the bid packets several weeks ago, they included blueprints of the station and its bar screen. According to Busby, these blueprints are several years old, and the city was not aware that they actually did not own them.

The blueprints belonged to E & I Corp. out of Columbus, Ohio, who designed the original lift station. When the packets went out, that company protested the use of the blueprints for competitive bidding.

According to comments made by Busby after the council meeting, new blueprints that do belong to the city and can be included in new bid packets have been produced via city engineer Mark Mathon and Environmental Management Corp.

Approval for hiring Volkert & Associates comes with stipulations

Alderman David Armbrust made a motion to hire Volkert & Associates as the city's representative in real estate acquisitions, saying, "I move for approval of the Volkert & Associates proposal and authorize the mayor to sign the agreement pending the examination of said agreement by the Lincoln city attorney."

The motion was seconded by Wilmert and opened for discussion.

Busby immediately asked Bates if he had read the agreement, and the city attorney responded that he had not seen the agreement until that moment.


Busby said that he had not either.

Armbrust and Snyder explained that the motion stipulated that the agreement be approved by Bates, and that should any questions arise, it would be brought back to the council for reconsideration.

This agreement is the result of an executive session last week to discuss hiring a representative to assist the city in purchasing land for a retention pond for the Fifth Street Road project.

Discussion last week began in open forum but went to executive session at the suggestion of Bates so that the council could discuss freely the land acquisition and the firms that might be interested in representing them.

With very little further discussion the motion passed with a vote of 8-0.

"No" to curb and guttering petition

By unanimous vote the council denied a petition by Jean Cypher and Dorothy Hupp for curb and guttering in front of their home in the 1300 block of North Ottawa.

Tracy Jackson, street superintendent, said that the ruts and other problems in that area are occurring in front of the homeowners' mailboxes and are being made worse by the residents turning too shortly to get into their own driveway.

He said the problem could be remedied with packed gravel when the ground thaws and will be part of the seal coat during this year's street maintenance.

Parking spaces to be blocked off April 8

Heartland Community College will sponsor a blood drive in front of their building on April 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Heartland is asking that the parking spaces from 620 to 628 Broadway be blocked off to allow space for the bloodmobile. The council approved this by unanimous vote.

Thank-you notes read

Snyder read thank-you notes from the families of Kenneth Molt and Ron Hardy.

Mayor celebrates 25 years of marriage

Alderwoman Marty Neitzel said she had learned that Feb.16 was the 25th anniversary of Mayor Keith Snyder and wife Beth. The group offered applause as congratulations.


Past published articles

Related to the amended appropriations ordinance:

Related to the Palmer Street lift station:

Related to the Lincoln Futbol Club:

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