Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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Investment policy, sewer and hazard plans discussed to vote Tuesday night

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[January 21, 2014]  During the committee-of-the-whole workshop last Tuesday, Lincoln aldermen added the following items to this week's voting agenda: approval of a new investment policy, sewer inventory work to be done by Prairie Engineers, sewer repairs in the vicinity of State Bank of Lincoln on Woodlawn Road, and the approval of the Logan County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Sewer inventory

Tuesday night this week, the city will be asked to vote to approve a proposal from Prairie Engineers for a sewer inventory of the city. This involves mapping the physical location of the city sewers and incorporating the information into the GIS model of the city that is maintained through the county.

This inventory is a portion of what will be needed for the city to create its long-term control plan required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sue McLaughlin, city administrator, said she had investigated other entities that could do the work and found that Prairie Engineers was offering a very competitive price of $300,000. She noted there is $150,000 for the project in the current budget. The balance will come out of next year's budget. The city's new fiscal year starts on May 1, so this should not be a problem for the engineers.

Sewer repairs needed near State Bank of Lincoln's Woodlawn facility

Waste treatment manager Tim Ferguson explained that there have been several sewage backups at the State Bank facility on Woodlawn. An investigation found that there are a number of tree roots obstructing the sewer in that part of town.

He recommended that the city approve lining the sewer to clear out the roots and correct the problem. Unlike some of the older parts of town, the area already has separated sewers, so this will be a relatively simple fix for the problem, with a cost of only about $65,000.

The repair will involve approximately 1,200 feet of lining in the vicinity of Madison, Monroe and Jefferson streets.

Marty Neitzel and Jeff Hoinacki inquired about the cost and were told the city has $120,000 in the budget for emergency repairs, so this project can be completed within the current budget year.

New investment policy

McLaughlin told the council they had a copy of a new investment policy for the city of Lincoln. She said the policy was developed from earlier discussions and established the manner in which the city could seek out investment opportunities for unrestricted cash earnings.

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Specifically, this came up several weeks ago as the aldermen discussed what to do with the money that would be coming in from the utility tax. While the tax is designated to be used on specific projects, some of those projects have not been implemented yet. In the meantime, McLaughlin suggested that instead of just accumulating the cash, the city should investigate how the money could also work for the city by earning interest.

Horn suggests a policy for doing business locally

As the Tuesday night meeting was coming to a close, Kathy Horn asked if the city had ever gone forward with a suggestion made quite some time ago to develop a policy for doing business locally. She said there are communities that have such policies. For example, a policy may state that if a local bid is within 5 percent of the lowest bid, preference will be given to the local bidder.

Melody Anderson recalled previous discussions on the matter and said that at the time the majority of the aldermen were in favor of developing such a policy, but to the best of her knowledge it had not been done.

Mayor Keith Snyder and McLaughlin said the matter would be looked into and discussed further in a future meeting.

At the end of the workshop session, the public and media were released so the council could go into executive session to discuss personnel and litigation.


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