CITY COUNCIL

June 27, 2001

LOUISVILLE, NE


A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Louisville was held on Wednesday, June 27, 2001, at 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall. Present was Mayor Henry, Council Members: Don Harris, Dave Pankonin, Rod Petersen and Greg Manley. Also present was attorney Roger Johnson.

Notice of the regular meeting was given in advance thereof by publication in the Plattsmouth Journal and by posting in three (3) public places as shown by the certificate attached to these minutes. Notice was simultaneously given to all council members. Their acknowledgement of receipt of notice and the agenda is attached to these minutes. All proceedings thereafter were taken while the convened meeting was open to the public.

Motion by Pankonin, second by Manley to approve the Consent Agenda. Roll call vote: Pankonin, aye; Harris, aye; Manley, aye; Petersen, aye. Motion carried. 

Motion by Manley, second by Harris to open the public hearing on Main Street Special Assessments at 7:05 p.m. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Eric Obert of JEO presented a report of the engineering and project costs for the Main Street paving project and how the lineal footage costs were figured. Group A, Street Improvements, was $574,728.17 and Group B, Sanitary Sewer Improvements, was $45,837.83 for a total cost of $620,566.00. The total of special assessments to the property owners is $80,749.19 of which $5,082.07 is the assessment towards the City. The total assessments the city can expect to receive are $75,667.12. The cost to the City for the entire project is $544,898.88. Eric went over the factors taken into consideration for calculating the lineal square footage costs such as removing the old sidewalk, building the new 5" sidewalk and the decorative red strip. The unit costs added together came to $56.62 as the construction cost per front foot. Overhead costs were also added which were approximately 18%. The final figure for the total cost per front foot is $67.09. Lynn Berner-Smith asked how the amount was figured for the engineering costs. Eric said this was in the contract with the city before the project was started. Lynn also asked what the city assessments included. These included the Library and City Hall. The Fire Station was not included as the driveway was already completed when the new Fire Station was built. There was no sidewalk work to be done in front of the Fire Station. Jeff Power asked about the original bid price by M. E. Collins. The original bid was $294,000 and $100,000 for the concrete for a total of $394,000. Eric noted there were some change orders for storm sewer, asphalt milling and other additions and deductions to the property. 

John Trecek of Ameritas explained the payment process on the special assessments. Each property owner will have 50 calendar days from the date of the council meeting to pay his or her assessment in full, interest free. The Council will set the interest rate, which will be calculated, back to June 27, 2001 for those who elect to make installment payments on their assessments. Assessments not paid in the 50 days will be turned over to the county to be added to the property owner's property tax statement. These payments are collected once a year by the county and cannot be split like the regular tax payment. By state law, delinquent payments receive an interest rate of 14%. Assessments paid to the city in the first 50 days will be used to buy down the interim financing used to pay for the project. By state law the city cannot issue bonds to pay for the project until the project is finished and accepted. The city issued construction warrants, which are drawing interest at about 5%, to pay for the project until the bonding is done. After the 50 days for special assessment payments, the city will bond the remainder of the debt. Typically these are bonded for about 15 years. As far as the interest rate, projecting borrowing costs, 5% to 5 % is the average rate on the bonds and the county can charge up to 2% as a collection fee. To cover the City's overall cost to bond, John recommends 6 % to 7%, at the minimum, for the interest rate. Some have gone as high as 10% on special assessments. The intent is not to make money, but to cover the cost of the bond. James Hrabik asked about interest in the first 50 days. There is no interest on that time period, however 10% of the assessment needs to be paid in that time period. If you do not pay at least 10% of the assessment in the first 50 days, that portion will be considered delinquent and will be charged the 14% interest rate. James Hrabik also asked about the special assessments being tax deductible. John Trecek advised that special assessments could be applied to the basis in the property to lessen the amount of taxable gains when the property is sold, but you cannot deduct the special assessment on your taxes. No other comments or questions were voiced.

Motion by Petersen, second by Manley to close the public hearing on Main Street Special Assessments at 7:20 p.m. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Petersen felt the interest rate should not be over the cost to the city. Motion by Petersen to charge 7 % interest on the special assessments, second by Manley. Ayes: Manley, Petersen and Harris. Abstain: Pankonin. Nays: none. Motion carried. 

Motion by Manley, second by Petersen to approve Resolution 01-20 Special Assessments, Main Street Improvement District 98-1. Ayes: Manley, Petersen and Harris. Abstain: Pankonin. Nays: none. Motion carried.

The Bond Anticipation Note for the construction on the Prairie Hills project was discussed. John Trecek noted the interest rate would be 3 % and would mature in one year. Total issuance costs would equal 1% of the face amount of the bonds. John Trecek explained the difference between using warrants and bond anticipation notes. Warrants are basically non-sufficient funds checks that draw interest at 5%. Main Street was done on warrants, and an example would be the contractor presents a bill for $14,192. The City writes a warrant for $14,192 and a warrant for the placement fee to Ameritas for 1% of that value. Ameritas would pay the contractor the face amount on the warrant and would collect their placement fee when they sold their warrant. Due to changes in the rules under the SEC and the NASV, which govern Ameritas, there are more additional costs in processing warrants, such as registering the warrants. It actually gets more expensive to use warrants than bonds. The city can use the cash from the bond anticipation note to invest and draw interest during the construction period. As pay requests come in, the City pays them without going through Ameritas. 

Motion by Pankonin, second by Harris to introduce Ordinance #707, Prairie Hills Bond Anticipation Note in the amount of $665,000 by title only. Roll call vote: Manley, aye; Petersen, aye; Harris, aye; Pankonin, aye. Motion carried. Motion by Petersen, second by Manley to adopt by title only and suspend the three required readings of Ordinance #707, Prairie Hills Bond Anticipation Note in the amount of $665,000. Roll call vote: Harris, aye; Manley, aye; Petersen, aye; Pankonin, aye. Motion carried.

Chuck Zyla addressed the council regarding the problem with speeding and unnecessary traffic on Depot Street. There are several children living on the street and there is some concern over their safety. Mr. Zyla asked permission to put a Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25 sign in his yard. Harris asked about the zoning on the street being B-1, which is Highway Business District and if the speed limit could be changed to 15 mph. Depot Street is B-1, which is Highway Business District; the railroad track area is I-1, which is light industrial. At the present time there are no speed limit or children at play signs. Mr. Zyla also noted there are several people going down Depot Street and using the railroad right of way to go under the viaduct and get into the State Lakes. The street could be dead-ended and blocked off at the end, but there would be concern over the railroad right of way. It was decided to check on the possibility of blocking vehicle access under the viaduct. Maureen Gulizia commented that speed limit and children at play signs are a great idea, but without enforcement what would be the point. Maureen suggested speed bumps be installed similar to those on Third Street by the school. Speed bumps have a tendency to damage the snow plow equipment. Roger Johnson felt if there was a way to prevent people from using it as a through street, when it really isn't, it would cut some traffic off. The possibility of putting a barricade at the State Lakes end was also discussed. Motion by Harris, second by Pankonin to have maintenance install 15mph speed limit and children at play signs on Depot Street. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried. 

Eric Obert of JEO gave an update on the temporary well. A state inspection will be done on Friday, June 29, 2001. They are waiting on the chemical feed pump to come in which should be in some time this week. Hopefully the well can then be placed on line. The bacteria tests and chemical anlysis have come back good. This will be the primary well and we will have secondary capability with the other well. The new well will have the capacity of the other two wells together. They will be using localized pressure at the well house. 

Eric also reported on Prairie Hills. Construction should begin the week after the Fourth of July. There are some utilities that need to be moved. The cable television company and phone company has already started moving their lines. Dave Pankonin asked about Eric's opinion on paving the remainder of Hawthorne Lane in Prairie Hills. Eric's recommendation is that the paving be done, while the equipment is already there it would only be problems down the road to not do it right away. 

Further discussion followed on the temporary well and the water situation. Jeff Power asked if this temporary well was a band-aid fix? Eric responded that this was a temporary fix, however the well itself is as good as any other well. It is a temporary well until a better water supply can be found. The City is violating some State laws with the location and use of the wells where they are located now. Dave Pankonin added that a study had been commissioned with the CDBG grant and that he had received a call from Congressmen Bereuter's office regarding they have put $200,000 that will go from us through Ashland on the water study being done. The study will include finding a water supply, a treatment facility and hooking on to MUD. Storage capabilities will also be considered. The old well was pumping 170 gallons per minute at best. When the tower loses a certain amount of water the pressure on the East Side of town is drastically affected. The Variable Feed Drive will help keep the tower full all the time. Mayor Henry cautioned that when the wells are shut down, they needed to be up and running within five hours. The new well will pump about 350 to 360 gallons per minute so recovery time should be faster and the variable feed drive will help with pressure. There is probably enough water at the current well site to supply the City, but because of contamination possibilities the site cannot be used. Eric noted the State has an implied time line. As long as they see the City progressing in finding a permanent solution in the next two to five years we should be okay. If they do not see any progress being made at all, they will shut the wells off. Mayor Henry noted that he, Dave Pankonin and Candy McClun had attended a meeting at Quarry Oaks regarding the possibility of a rural water area that would provide Quarry Oaks, South Bend and Mahoney Park. There is a lot of interest there and there will be money from both federal and state levels available to study this possibility. If their time line and our's is close enough to make it work, it would also be a possibility for Louisville. Eric will include this in the water study. Both Mayor Henry and Eric Obert felt good about the water supply we have now, as long as we are able to use the new temporary well. Mayor Henry cautioned that we could not get complacent about long-term solutions. Jeff also asked if the new car wash on Depot Street would have any affect. Eric Obert noted this would not be a problem. The pumps are set at 3 gallons per minute for the car wash; the pressure is the key to not using a lot of water. Harris asked if any test wells had been tried out on Mahoney Road. Test wells were tried there out on some of Berner's property and there was no water found. Eric noted the 1,000-foot radius requirement around wells was a problem out there with existing wells and the railroad. Mayor Henry added that once the well is up and running and we get to the point that water is available, the City would have to look at adjusting the water rates in order to be eligible for loans and grants. Federal money available for grants require that the user rate be a percentage of the median household income. The 1990 census was used to set the last MHI and the 2000 census will be available for use shortly. Unless the community is paying 1 % of the MHI towards utilities, you will not qualify for federal grants. The temporary well can still be used for nonpotable water after the new well site is found. The money spend on the temporary well will also need to be recouped. 

Motion by Manley, second by Harris to approve Resolution 01-21, CDBG Drawdown #16, A Better Way Construction, for $4,445.00. Roll call vote: Petersen, aye; Manley, aye; Harris, aye; Pankonin, aye. Motion carried.

Larry Ball representing Continental Western Insurance Group gave a quote for the Fire Pak Insurance coverage for the Fire Department. Larry briefly described the coverages, which included liability coverage for the Rural Fire Board. Gary Sickmann, President of the Rural Fire District Board stated the agreement was the rural board would furnish vehicles with the City providing insurance and manpower. A percentage of the premium has been paid by rural board to the City. Rates are guaranteed for three years, a single deductible applies to one loss involving more than one piece of equipment and renewal premium discounts are also included. The treasurer of the rural board will no longer need to be bonded as a certificate can be filed for this policy. The building will be insured for $600,000 on a replacement cost basis with contents at $100,000. All equipment on the Inland Marine is covered with Guaranteed Replacement Cost coverage such as hoses, nozzles, bunker gear, etc. and firefighter personal effects, which would include eyeglasses, shoes, etc. with no deductible. $500,000 is provided for commandeered property. Public & Professional Liability is provided at $10,000,000 aggregate on an occurrence basis with coverage for the council and rural board included. Mr. Ball recommends the Management Liability Coverage be added for a one-time charge of $493.00. Employment practices liability coverage in the amount of $100,000 is available for $350.00 per year which is recommended for sexual harassment. The Firemen's Auxiliary should also be covered under the policy for liability reasons. Extra Event coverage is included for fund raising activities. Auto liability coverage is included at $5,000,000 per occurrence. Any vehicle that is 21 years of age or less is covered for replacement cost; those over 21 years of age are covered for designated value. The coverage is on an agreed value form and there will be no depreciation in the event of a loss. Volunteer's vehicles are also covered up to $5,000 on physical damage and $5,000,000 on liability as secondary coverage. The quote for this coverage is $6,864.00 which does include the one time charge for Management Liability Prior Acts coverage of $493.00. The premium for the Fire Department and Rescue on last year's policy was $7,261.58 of which the rural board paid $3,380.00. Jerry McClun speaking on behalf of the Fire Department felt there were a lot of gaps in coverage on the standard municipal commercial policy coverage which is what the Fire Department has been covered under. In talking with other departments, they have been real happy with their coverage and the Fire Department feels for less money they can get more coverage with the Fire Pak Policy. Gary Sickmann stated he has visited with Mr. Ball several times over the last two years and he felt a lot of points have been brought out that the rural board is concerned about and the rural board would recommend going with the Fire Pak coverage. Terri Scholting stated she was asked to review the policy last year and knows the policy that is in place and she had heard comments on the Fire Pak that our confidential and she would not comment, as she does not sell it herself. Kay Gosch recommended the council take a look at the general liability policy for the City, as there is only $1,000,000 of coverage for liability with a $1,000,000 umbrella. She would recommend the limits be raised to $5,000,000 since most people personally carry a $1,000,000 umbrella, this would be a little low for the City. The current coverage is through Tecumseh Insurance Center. Dave Pankonin felt the specialty coverage was probably a better way to go. Greg Manley felt the $5,000,000 would be better coverage because any incident that resulted in a lawsuit could be costly. Roger Johnson commented that he had not had an opportunity to review the policy coverages. His thought on the general liability on $1,000,000 versus $5,000,000 was that occasionally in this State we have some sizeable judgements, but you don't see too many that exceed the $1,000,000, but times are changing. There are also, in some terms of caps, such as medical malpractice cap, questions about the constitutionality of those caps. If you get a big enough case that will eventually go to the supreme court, it may go beyond that in federal court, he thinks it would be a wise thing to do from the liability perspective to move to a $5,000,000 policy as opposed to a $1,000,000 policy. Jerry McClun stated that a few years ago there was some question about the equipment on the trucks such as jaws of life, defibrillator, etc. and at that time the answer was it was covered while it was sitting in the station, but once it was 100 feet away from the station it was no longer covered. Mr. Ball stated that if it is only covered on the property section it is only covered up to 1,000 feet away from the station. If it is covered under Inland Marine it is covered past 1,000 feet. Roger Johnson asked for a couple of minutes to review the existing policy against the Fire Pak. The decision was tabled to later in the meeting.

Mayor Henry reported on the People's Service Contract negotiations. The final number from People's is $63,430 plus $8,750 for annual maintenance/repair expenditures. The City will be picking up the utility expenses. The monthly fee will be $6,015, which includes the $8,750 maintenance allowance. If the City does not use the entire $8,750 the unused portion will be refunded. Major repairs over $1,000 will be paid by the City. The utility costs have been running approximately $2,000 per month. The variable feed drive on the well should help cut some electric costs. People's Service is requesting a five-year contract and the City has asked for a one-year. Jeff Power asked if the City had someone who could take over if the contract with People's Service was not renewed. Jack Faubion is certified for water and sewer, but the City would have to have a back-up operator possibly through an inter-local agreement. Mayor Henry noted that licensed operators for water and sewer listed in the trade magazines are usually a wage of $32,000 on the bottom end and $42,000 on the top end. The City currently puts in 7% of the employees wages into retirement that you would have to add in, plus the City share of social security, health insurance, federal tax and the increased cost of the worker's compensation. These expenses would have to be included in the wage. Mayor Henry felt that People's Service would not come down anymore on the contract price. Savings from last year would be $18,000 to $20,000 less than paid last year. Mayor Henry felt this was not the best time to be taking the contract over due to the fact that the City has so many projects going right now such as the temporary well, Prairie Hills and the possibility of the South Ridge Subdivision. The labor situation in Nebraska is that it is hard to find good, qualified help. The Mayor did not feel that the People's Service Contract was the long-term answer. Dave Pankonin felt that Dan and Rod had done a good job negotiating with People's Service and the City has potential to save money over what is being spent now. Dave felt the City should go with the contract. Don Harris felt the contract should be voted on. Motion by Harris, second by Pankonin to sign a one-year contract with People's Service for $63,430 plus $8,750 in Maintenance. Roll call vote: Manley, aye; Harris, aye; Pankonin, aye; Petersen, aye. Motion carried. 

The Grimes residence at 420 Walnut Street was discussed regarding the upkeep of the property. City Maintenance personnel mowed the property before Memorial Day. Mayor Henry walked through the property and it is not just a matter of keeping the yard mowed, the whole property needs attention. There is a vehicle that is not licensed but parked there, no one is living there and several things need attention. Don Harris mentioned the possibility of condemning the property. Roger Johnson would need to review that. The house could be habitable, but would need a lot of work. Motion by Harris, second by Petersen to have Roger Johnson notify the owners of the property. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried. 

The paving estimate for the remainder of Hawthorne Lane in Prairie Hills was discussed. The contractor would need to know before the storm sewer was hooked up. Dave Pankonin felt the time to do it is now since the equipment and personnel are already there. It would be more expensive down the road to pave and would create a maintenance problem if it were not paved. The big concern would be to have the storm sewer take the water to avoid a big waterfall at the end of the road. No decision had been made as to whether this would be general obligation or by assessment. That decision could be made at a later date. A decision as to whether it should be paved or not should be made at this meeting and an addendum made to the bid. The bid already includes grading and rock for that area. Mayor Henry cautioned the council to remember the Bond Anticipation Note for this project. The bid is for $597,000 and the Bond Anticipation Note is $665,000 so there would be some cushion there. Motion by Pankonin, second by Petersen to pave the remainder of Hawthorne Lane as opposed to rock. Roll call vote: Harris, aye; Pankonin, aye; Petersen, aye; Manley, abstain. Motion carried.

Motion by Petersen, second by Manley to approve the reappointment of Linda Allen to the Care Center Advisory Board. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried.

Motion by Harris, second by Pankonin to release mortgage on CDBG Rehab #96-HO-023, #12 in the amount of $3,246.20. Roll call vote: Petersen, aye; Manley, aye; Harris, aye; Pankonin, aye. Motion carried.

Discussion was held on the Building Permit Fees charged. Don Harris has some questions about the amount being charged and the City's share of that fee. He feels the City does not need to be getting one-half of the fees for just handing out the forms. Don also had questions on how the fee amounts were arrived at. Bill Krejci commented that the numbers used per square foot are from the National Building Standards. Currently the city is using the 1999 square foot calculations and has not adopted the 2001 standards. Don Harris felt the fees were too high in some instances. Bill Krejci explained there are many variables to consider. Don asked if this was based on assessed value or materials? Bill stated the Building Standard book establishes averages and multipliers for different areas in the country. These figures do include labor. Further discussion followed regarding how these multipliers are arrived at. It was decided to see what other communities are using for fees and refer to the Planning Commission for review. Motion by Harris to waive building permit fees, there was no second on the motion. Motion dies for lack of second. Motion by Petersen, second by Manley to refer the building permit fee schedule to the Planning Commission for review. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. 

Following a review of the coverage quote by Roger Johnson, the Fire Pak policy was further discussed. Discussion included keeping the current coverage on the July 1, 2001 renewal date which would give more time to evaluate the Fire Pak coverage and then cancel the Fire Department portion of the existing policy, or to go ahead with the Fire Pak coverage on the July 1, 2001 date. Larry Ball would bind coverage effective July 1, 2001. Roger Johnson felt the coverage in the Fire Pak policy was much better from a legal standpoint, than the present policy and the quality of coverage was much better. The current agent in Tecumseh could also write the Fire Pak policy through Larry Ball, but he is already working with the Springfield Agency and will not accept an agent letter of record. The rate would be the same regardless of the agency brokering the business. Rod Petersen felt it was the Fire Department's wishes to go with the Fire Pak policy. Motion by Petersen, second by Harris to accept the quote for Fire Pak Insurance as presented for $6,864.00. Roll call vote: Manley, aye; Petersen, aye; Harris, aye; Pankonin, aye. Motion carried. 

The rescue agreement with Cedar Creek was discussed. Roger Johnson expressed concern over the City carrying all the responsibility for only $2,000 per year. Roger recommended examining the number of calls going to Cedar Creek and try to percent it out to see if the proposal is fair, in light of the responsibility the City has. Greg Manley asked if this would be under the rural district. Gary Sickmann at one time had the percentage of the calls that went to rural, Cedar Creek and South Bend. Gary receives a quarterly report of how much money has been taken in and the number of calls. He felt it should be researched and find the percentage of calls for the year and the percentage that comes out of Cedar Creek. Roger Johnson asked if the rural district had an obligation to provide rescue service to Cedar Creek. Gary felt that they did not have an obligation because they have their own department, but it does not have a rescue squad. Cedar Creek had sent a proposal to the rural district which looked good, except for the fact they had stipulated in that agreement that the rescue squad would go to any given hospital. That is not the way the squad is run in Louisville. The squad is run to the closest hospital. The rural district marked that portion out of the agreement and sent it back to Cedar Creek. Roger asked if they could provide their own service for only $2,000 per year. Mayor Henry stressed it was important to be "good neighbors" with Cedar Creek, but our first responsibility is to the City of Louisville. The fire district is separate in Cedar Creek from Louisville, and rescue falls under fire. Gary Sickmann said the City of Cedar Creek itself and the Cedar Creek Lakes are their own district in Cedar Creek. The Rural Fire District runs up to the city limits of Cedar Creek and the rural also includes the Diesel Lake area. Gary Sickmann said when the Rural Fire District originally bought the rescue squad there was supposed to be an agreement with Cedar Creek, that somehow got dropped, that Cedar Creek would kick in $3,000 per year based on the percentage of the calls that came out of Cedar Creek. That money was supposed to go back in to a fund for replacement of the squad. Mayor Henry asked Roger Johnson if he felt the agreement at the $2,000 level was okay. Roger felt it should be looked at on a percentage basis to justify the exposure. Greg Manley felt that every time this issue gets pushed back, the City loses $2,000 per year. Mayor Henry felt the issue should be settled and the agreement signed. Gary Sickmann added that Cedar Creek is having a hard time providing adequate fire service to their City and their lakes, because they have a hard time getting enough volunteers with adequate training. Mayor Henry asked the council if they wanted to leave the agreement like it is or to counter offer with a different amount. Dave Pankonin felt the number should be $3,000 or $3,500. Mayor Henry added that the City recently purchased an additional squad; which means more expense for the City. Roger Johnson added that the cost of insurance should also be considered. The clerk brought to the Council's attention that the agreement contained an amount of $170 per transport with a charge of $2.50 per mile. EMS Billing Service has recommended this amount be increased. If this were left in the agreement, the agreement would have to be renegotiated again. The Cedar Creek Clerk has said it would be agreeable with Cedar Creek to remove that wording from the agreement and change it to the current rates being charged to Louisville residents, subject to change. Motion by Pankonin, second by Harris, to change the dollar amount to $3,500 per year in the agreement with Cedar Creek and to change the wording on the rates charged. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried. Roger Johnson will draft a new agreement to send to Cedar Creek with the above-mentioned changes. 

Jerry McClun asked about the phone line currently being paid for by Louisville that is running into the fire station to activate the Cedar Creek paging system. Louisville now uses high band and does not need the phone line for the pagers. It was decided to get more information on the removal of this line and place it on the agenda for July 11, 2001. 

Motion by Petersen, second by Manley to adjourn at 9:10 p.m. Ayes: Harris, Manley, Pankonin and Petersen. Nays: none. Motion carried.

I, the undersigned clerk, hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the proceedings had and done by the Mayor and City Council of Louisville to the best of my knowledge, that the agenda was kept continually current and available for public inspection; and the minutes were in written form and available for public inspection within 10 working days; the minutes are published in summary form, upon request a complete copy is available at City Hall.

Candace J. McClun
City Clerk 


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