McCOOK, Nebraska -- Bids have been received for construction of the wildlife fence project at McCook Ben Nelson Regional Airport. The McCook City Council will consider a recommendation from city staff to award the bid to Ninemire Fence, during their regularly scheduled meeting, Tuesday evening, 7:30 p.m., at Memorial Auditorium.
The Ninemire Fence bid will set the project cost at $536,456. After taking approved grants into consideration, cost to the city is projected at $25,500. That number is approximately $23,000 lower than last projected.
American Fence submitted a bid that was more than $7,000 lower than the Ninemire bid. However that bid has been recommended for disqualification by city staff, who have determined the bidder did not submit sufficient documentation that illustrated a demonstration of "good faith efforts in obtaining participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms."
The DBE certification is part of the Department of Transportations efforts to ensure nondiscrimination in the awarding of DOT-assisted contracts. According to the DOT website, a business owner is considered disadvantaged if they are a woman, a member of a minority group or if they have established a social or economic disadvantage. Eligibility criteria is also made on a case-by-case basis.
Sewer and water rate increases will be considered for their second of three required readings for approval. The increase to water and sewer rates will be effective Oct. 1, 2011, and is projected to amount to an average of $14 annually on residential sewer bills and an average of $13 annually on residential water bills.
The 2011-12 fiscal year budget for the City of McCook will be considered for its third and final reading required for approval. The employee classification pay plan will also be presented for its second of three required readings for approval. The pay plan features a two percent cost of living increase for all city employees, in addition to merit and longevity increases. Police and fire personnel are not included in the plan, as they are negotiated separately through their respective unions.
The city owned that was to be donated to the McCook Economic Development Corporation is still on the agenda and recommended by city staff to be approved and still donated. The item will be on its second of three required readings for approval. The lot is located at the corner of East Second Street and C Street and MEDC had planned to develop the lot with an existing home located at 516 Norris Avenue, that was previously donated to them by Red Willow County.
Mary Kircher, director of the housing committee of the MEDC, sent emails to county commissioners last week that indicated the donated house would no longer be needed for the project. According to Kircher she felt that she could no longer keep contractors waiting and she was running out of time on the rehab grant that the project would have utilized.
During the Aug. 15, city council meeting, donation of the lot was proposed to be done by suspending the reading of the three ordinance rule, which would have expedited the donation. After Councilman Shane Hilker questioned why the three reading rule was necessary and no one could give a solid answer, suspension of the rule was denied on a 2-3 vote of councillors. The situation prompted councilman Mike Gonzales to say that if suspension of the rule was so important, someone from MEDC should have attended the meeting to explain why.
Kircher told county commissioners that she was disappointed that the project was not proceeding as she had hoped and that it would have addressed a need for affordable housing, as well as returning a property to the tax rolls.
Stephen Haag, a Division Manager for Sourcegas, will speak during Tuesday's meeting. Haag plans to update the city council pertaining to an upcoming project to replace gas mains in McCook.
Councilors will consider a request for an easement from Sourcegas well. The easement request is necessary to relocate a gas line which presently runs down the middle of the lot that the new municipal facility is being constructed on. The gas company plans to relocate the gas line to the west edge of the property.
Other items on the regular and consent agenda;
* The intercity bus agreement with the Nebraska Department of Roads, as well as the agreement with Dashabout Roadrunner, Inc., will be considered for approval. The service consists of one daily round trip, Sunday through Saturday, and includes McCook, Hastings, Grand Island, Columbus, North Platte, as well as all intermediate cities and villages on the route.
* The sewer department has been budgeted for a new 1/2 ton, 4-wheel drive, pickup truck. Councilors will consider a recommendation from city staff to approve bid specifications for the vehicle, as well as to set a date to receive bids by.
* A public hearing will be hosted to consider a special request to allow storage units to be built on a piece of property in the agricultural district. The planing commission unanimously recommended approval of the item during their Aug. 22, 2011, meeting.
* City council members will consider approval of a proclamation designating a national Moment of Remembrance at 1 p.m. (EDT), Sept. 11, 2011.
* Members of the Firefighter Combat Challenge Team have requested to close East E Street, from Norris Avenue to East First Street, on Sept. 24, 2011. The closure will be during Heritage Days and to host a firefighters water fight that will raise money to assist with travel expenses at the Worlds Firefighter Combat Challenge at Myrtle Beach.
* Council members may enter executive session to discuss city manager applicants, as well as for a strategy session pertaining to the collective bargaining with the police department.