Report from April 22, 2013 meeting

Mexico City Council passed a resolution Monday night for the design of a collection system rehabilitation that will correct defects identified on the public system – including the recent under-flooding problem in Garfield Park.
Public Works Director/ City Engineer Kensey Russell told council that the rehabilitation project is part of the city's ongoing effort to reduce the inflow and infiltration in the sanitary sewer system, and that staff needs to continue with rehabilitation work to the public portions of the collection system. An initial contract was completed 2011-2012 for slip lining pipe and lining manholes.
"We are nearing the end of the Phase II construction contract at the wastewater treatment plant and as a result have a small amount of bond money available," Russell said. Additional funds, he noted, were budgeted in the wastewater capital improvement fund for a rehabilitation project, and at the city's request, Horner & Shifrin has prepared an amendment to their engineering contract to prepare bidding documents for a project in the southeast area of town that has been mapped and smoke tested.
"Staff recently began addressing defects on private lines in the southeast area and with both of these efforts staff hopes to reduce the surcharging that is most evident in the Seminary/Walnut streets area," Russell said.
The proposed amendment includes preparation of the bid package and assistance with the construction administration for an amount not to exceed $32,500. There is currently $175,000 budgeted, and Russell said it is expected to have an additional $175,000 available from the bond funds to pay for the engineering and construction.
Council voted 4-0 to hire Horner and Shifrin for professional services. Councilman Steve Nichols was absent.
Council also approved a resolution to sign a contract with Willis Brothers for the West Liberty Sanitary Sewer project, and another resolution to hire Shafer, Kline and Warren, Inc., for Park Master Planning services that will move the parks and recreation department closer to its goal of improving the city's 12 parks and three trails.
"When we asked residents for the parks sales tax we promised we would inventory the parks and begin looking at a park management plan," said Parks and Recreation Director Chad Shoemaker. The resolution authorizes the city manager to enter into a professional services contract with Shafer, Kline and Warren Inc., for park master planning services for $27,535. The 2012-2013 budget allows $25,000 with the overrun being covered by other capital improvement items that have come in under budget.
"This will give us a general overview of what the community wants, and to let us know where we need to spend the dollars," Shoemaker said. He said a 2- to 3-month public survey will be circulated throughout the city, and then staff will analyze the community responses and see what the city can afford. City would then implement a five-year plan to achieve the goal.
"But we need to have the public's information to tell that," Shoemaker said. He hopes to be working the 5-year plan by 2014.
In other news, the council also approved the following:
• a resolution authorizing an agreement with Presser Performing Arts Center for the use of Presser Hall;
• an ordinance to execute a contract between the City of Mexico, Missouri and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for funding an airport improvement program.
In council comment the following was voiced:
• Councilman Dan Botts applauded the efforts of the 35 groups and 185 individuals that took part in the past weekend's "Clean and Green" community cleanup campaign.
• Councilman Greg Miller complained about loud music coming from vehicles. He asked Police Chief Susan Rockett if her officers could start enforcing the city code and reminding offenders that they can't do that; and start writing more tickets if needed. He also requested traffic report data showing how many accidents are caused here by drivers distracted by using a cell phone.
In public comment, Mexico resident Earl Bennett complained about a parking issue in front of his home on Michigan Street. Bennett asked council members if they could mark the area in front of this home as "handicapped." This, he said, would better assist his wife who suffers with MS, and also eliminate the parking problem. The city currently has no ordinance that addresses the problem. Bennett gave council a written account of the problems occurring, and council members told Bennett they would investigate the issue.
City Manager Bruce Slagle reminded citizens about tonight's Comprehensive Plan Update meeting from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Audrain County 4-H Center. He also said that City Hall will be switching its Internet and telephone services on Friday, so there may be some interruptions with e-mails and telephone calls. This will not include 911 calls, he said.