Repair expenses were front and center at Monday night‘s Columbus City Council meeting.
City Superintendent Jim Burton and the streets, alleys and bridges committee brought up just under $50,000 of expenses and repair costs and the council, some grudgingly, approved them all.
“Layne Christensen gave us a proposal of $11,112 to replace a well pump motor,” Burton said. “If our second pump goes down, there won’t be any water to the city.”
Burton discussed electrical problems the well repair company suspects are in the city system somewhere.
“The motor before this one lasted three years and now this one went out in two,” Burton said. “Christiensen is giving us a lower bid because the motor they recommended last time only made it for two years.”
The council asked Burton to have an electrician look into the electrical problem and they approved the motion to make the purchase.
Burton also brought up the purchase of 10 new dumpsters.
“The cost is $4,365,” he said. “It will come out of designated funds.”
Councilman Grant Spieth asked what the current inventory was and Burton replied that he didn’t have the figures with him.
“We got rid of 25 that were beyond repair,” Burton said.
The council approved the purchase unanimously.
Councilman Doug Hosier with the streets, alleys and bridges committee brought a new street crack sealer to the table.
“The bid from P.M.S.I. is $32,875,” he said. “I would like to put this out for the council to discuss.”
Hosier said the city currently has a crack sealer machine that performs poorly and requires many employees to operate. Burton said on good streets, cracks can be sealed preventing water from seeping under the asphalt during the winter.
“I recommend we trade the old one in,” Burton said.
After more discussion, the council approved the purchase for the new machine on a 5-4 vote.
Fire Chief Brad Gleason went over truck repairs.
“We had engine 21 towed today to Fire Master in Springfield,” he said. “If the problem is just in the gear box, we are looking at $1,500 to $2,000.”
The department already had truck No. 20 in the shop there.
“It will cost $9,881 to fix it,” Gleason said. “There is water in the gear box.”
Gleason and Burton discussed adjusting the pump seals for the gear box, including mechanic advice from the past and present.
“We were told that only a certified mechanic can adjust those,” Burton said.
“Fire Master said we can do it ourselves,” Gleason said. “They want our mechanic to come to their shop to learn how to do it.”
Spieth asked Burton and Gleason to add the seal adjustment to their preventative maintenance program. The council approved the repairs for both vehicles.
Councilman John Paradee with the personnel committee brought up a new employee tobacco policy.
“Our committee recommends that there be no tobacco use within 20 feet of any company vehicles and city buildings by employees,” he said.
Councilman Steve Dunlap asked who would enforce this policy.
“Our department heads would take care of this,” said Mayor Marie Nepple. “They would take into account first time offenses and penalties.”
The council approved the policy unanimously.
Paradee further discussed trailer houses being moved into the city and the need for an ordinance.
“I can bring in an ordinance addressing this very issue,” said City Attorney Robert Myers. “I will have it for the council to discuss at the next meeting.”
Hosier brought up repairs and funding for the ball field bridge.
“I recommend we approve $5,000 to put toward the cost,” Hosier said. “I would also ask us to have the county match that amount.”
The council discussed city and county funding and the fact that the bridge is on city property.
“We were told it was county land,” Burton said, “but I checked and it is city property.”
Hosier moved to provide the funding and the measure was approved unanimously.
The council will meet again on Monday, Dec. 6 in the council chambers.