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City Council Meeting, City of Rugby

By Staff | Apr 17, 2015

Ashley Burkhartsmeier/PCT The new fire hall.

The regularly scheduled Rugby City Council Meeting was held April 6th at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Mayor Arland Geiszler, Council Members Bruce Allen Rheault, Neil Lotvedt, Gary Kraft, David Bednarz, James Hoffert, Terry Wentz, and also in attendance was City Attorney Bill Hartl; Council Person Joel Berg was absent.

After the call to order, and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited the meeting began in earnest. After the normal innocuous business of the council was resolved (approved minutes, bills and financial statements, approval of judge’s report, and the review of JDA minutes), the topic of open gravel bids came to the council.

Three companies submitted bids for the gravel and sand needed by the City, it was estimated that 500 yards of gravel will be needed over the course of the year and in addition 200 yards of sand will also be needed. Mayor Geiszler opened the three sealed bids and the price of each bid was announced. At that time there was discussion among the council members if the differential of cost warranted accepting one bid even though some bids were more than $3.00 a yard cheaper. At time the bids were announced, it was openly discussed that though there was a substantial price difference with the bids submitted, with the amount of yards needed, 700 yards more or less combined, the price savings of taxpayers’ money would be inconsequential. With that being determined the council voted to accept all bids. This was done under the rationale that if an inferior product was purchased in the long run it could cost the taxpayers more money. By accepting all the bids rather than pick the cheapest they could determine the quality of the product at the time of purchase at the best price for the product they need, making their decision of accepting all bids more fiscally prudent for the taxpayer. The companies that bid on the project and will now supply the gravel/sand are: Schneider Custom Hauling, B&J Excavating, and Deplazes Redi-Mix & Construction.

The next course of business was considering the approval of Resolution 2015-4 for Change Order No. 1 for B & J Excavating, for the 2014 Water & Sewer Expansion Project the city contracted for. The change order was to extend the completion date from April 2015 to September 2015. Since there were no financial ramifications for the city, it was approved unanimously.

During the committee reports portion of the meeting it was expressed to the Public Safety Committee (police, fire, ambulance, emergency management, 911) by several council members their concern about highway safety, more specifically the speed limits not being enforced and the safety consequences that speeders present to the public at large. They also stated they understood the limitations of the local law enforcement and just wanted them to be aware of their concerns. The Chairman of the Public Safety Committee James Hoffert assured the council, and the Mayor that he would look into the matter, and agreed that this was of great concern to him as well.

There were also concerns brought up with the Public Works (water, sewer, streets, sidewalks, alleys) committee report. Council Person David Bednarz inquired to the Chairman of that committee Terry Wentz if there could be job logs done on a daily or even a regular basis so there could be more accountability n the department. Chairman Wentz, though he felt that the endeavor of keeping a job log for his people would take time away from work that needs to be done he would take the suggestion under consideration and invited council person Bednarz to come to the shop so he can see all the work that is accomplished on a daily basis. There was also a contention about the street sweeper and if it was being used correctly. Rick Larson Department Head of the Public Works department gave knowledgeable information about the capabilities of the existing street sweeper and its limitations. After Mr. Larson gave a full detailed explanation it was determined that the street sweeper that is currently owned by the city is being used to its fullest capabilities and there may be a need for a replacement, but not new, street sweeping machine in the near future. It was also determined that one of the frustrations of the Public Works Department is individuals parking on the Street during street sweeping days that are Monday morning from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. and Thursday morning form 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.. It is important that the streets stay clear at these times so Rugby can keep looking beautiful.

The last committee report came from the Buildings/Property/Infrastructure committee and they discussed the Fire Hall Project and the status of the construction. The new Fire Hall Project when first proposed had a completion date of last November and now there is real hope that the Fire House will be opened May 1st. Some of the issues seem to be discrepancies with what the City of Rugby wanted for windows, what the ICON Architectural Group, LLC felt their specifications for the windows called for and what American Builders out of Minot provided. And, this disagreement has seemed to create a standstill situation, until now, on the completion of the Firehouse. As of last Friday, April 9th a 2 week notice of Substantial Completion was sent to the Architect and if work is not completed within two weeks of receipt of said letter, the City then will take up the task of completing the items that still remain on the punch-out list, The city has also indicated if that have to take this course of action they will hold back monies owed accordingly. Some of the items of concern, other than the windows are: caulking, concrete failure, and the sealing of air filtration system at the base of the west wall. Taking all of this into consideration the one thing that is for sure the members of the Building, Property & Construction committee consisting of Councilmen Neil Lotvedt, James Hoffert, and Gary Kraft, the Mayor, the rest of the City Council along with the Fire Chief David Schneibel are as frustrated as the community that this project has not been completed and are in agreement that a resolution needs to be found expeditiously.

Other things that were discussed and passed were the ” City Government Week Proclamation” and the “Arbor Day Proclamation”. The Mayor also announced the Tax Equalization meeting that the Pierce County Tribune will be reporting on in an upcoming edition, and the schedule for the upcoming committee meetings. The meeting then adjourned at 9:33 p.m.

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