Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2007

City Council Briefs

July 12, 2007

Building plan in the works

Tom Arpin of BG Consultants, the city's engineering firm, updated the Tonganoxie City Council at Monday night's meeting about the progress to build the new public works building.

The new building, which will be built near the wastewater treatment plant, is estimated to cost around $2 million and will span more than 17,000 square feet, which will be 13,000 more square feet that the current public works building.

The council voted unanimously to have BG Consultants advertise the bid for the construction of the project.

Arpin said once the contracts are awarded it will take around eight months to complete the new building. Arpin said he hopes the building will be finished by April 30, 2008, and have the city take possession of the building May 1.

City upgrading phones

Tonganoxie residents tired of getting a busy signal when they call city hall will be relieved to know that the council unanimously voted to approve no more than $5000 on a new telephone system that will double the current lines running into city hall.

"The bottom line is that our city hall telephone system is decades old," said Mike Yanez, city administrator. "We only have two lines that come into and out of city hall."

Besides providing city staff with new telephones, it also also will give city staff voicemail, which is something it's never had before. Automated attendant, which allows direct calls to the phones of different departments if all of the lines are busy or if no one is there to answer, also will be installed.

"It will improve efficiency and communications particularly with the public calling in," Yanez said.

Link-Lite Networking Inc., in Shawnee, will be providing the new telephone system.

Police to add cameras

Tonganoxie Police Chief Kenny Carpenter requested $9,000 from the city council to purchase and install 10 surveillance cameras in the city. Carpenters said his plan was to put seven cameras around the police station parking area to watch out for anyone who wants to vandalize the squad cars; a camera in the prisoner processing area and two cameras in the court and council chambers.

Carpenter and police clerk Sandy Koontz will have two LCD televisions that will constantly monitor the processing area and the rest of the cameras. Another television will be placed in the squad area where police officers can watch the processing area while filling out paperwork.

Carpenter said the cameras were not only needed to catch vandals, but to protect police officers from false accusations during prisoner processing and to help provide evidence for DUI convictions.

Currently the police department only has cameras on the squad cars.

Kelly Shoemaker of Wirenuts, the Tonganoxie company selling the surveillance equipment, also said the video camera images will be able to be put on the Web where certain city officials could monitor the cameras. Carpenter told the council he would also like to put cameras around the wastewater treatment plant.

The council unanimously voted for granting the money for the cameras, but Councilmember Tom Putthoff wanted on the record that a camera facing west on Fourth Street would be blocked by the trees growing on the sidewalk.

BPU contract put on hold

The council did not enter into a contract for easement acquisition services for acquiring easements along U.S. Highway 24-40 for a future PBU waterline connection. After reducing the scope of services to exclude any litigation or assessment services, the council felt it was only fair to contact the bidders and allow them to adjust their price. The council redirected the city staff to contact the bidders and have new bids by next council meeting.

Bridge work expected to start soon

Yanez updated the council on the Pleasant Street Bridge. Yanez said he was informed by Butch Rodgers, the city superintendent, that all of the materials needed to repair the bridge would be in Tonganoxie by the end of the week or by early next week. Once the materials have arrived demolition of the bridge would begin and the bridge then would be closed for two or three weeks. Once the repair work begins, detour signs will be placed providing alternate routes between Fourth and Washington streets.

Sewer project awaits public hearing

Engineers at BG consultants are getting their conceptual maps together and are preparing for a future public hearing to discuss alignment and easement acquisitions for the phase two of an Interceptor sewer improvement that will run from 12th Street and connect with the phase one Interceptor sewer.

"Phase two was going to come along whenever the city's expansion and growth justified it and that day has come now because they have more and more development," said Brian Kingsley, from BG Consultants, the city's engineering firm.

Kingsley said the new interceptor sewer would not only eliminate the need for a lift station to carry sewage to the pine crest lift station, it will eliminate the pine crest lift station altogether, which would have needed to be upgraded.

"Instead of throwing money at a temporary solution the city is going to go back and put that money towards the Interceptor sewer," Kingsley said.

On April 9, the council voted to accept a contract with BG consultants for $56,500 for installation of the Interceptor sewers.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.