Notes from tonight’s City Council meeting.
Council President Tom Smith is giving a brief overview of his time on the Plan Commission. Â Councilman John Shoaff is asking if guidelines created through the Plan-It Allen and Community Development Action Plans (CDAP) is brought into the discussions. Â Smith answered yes. Â Councilwoman Karen Goldner is asking about validity of CDAPs because of the language used and timing. Â John Urbahns, Director of Â Community Development, is at the table talking about codifying some of the CDAPs into the plan. Â When Plan-It Allen was adopted, the CDAPs by neighborhoods were cast aside. Â They are working on the validity of the language in the CDAPs and will be bringing them back at some point to Council for approval and inclusion. Â Karen – “Only thing worse than not engaging the public, is to engage them and then ignore what they input.”
S-09-09-05 – Software is City owned, not shared with the County. Â Offer is open to County to also use the software. Â We do have the software, this is for the annual maintenance cost. Â Councilman Pape is trying to clarify what exactly it is we are purchasing. Â This is for updates and help for the software. Â This allows us to get the maintenance releases that continually upgrade the software, fix bugs and that sort of thing.
Karen Goldner – why is it important to have updates in payroll software? Â Tax Tables Â are updated. Â We can produce payroll, but checks would be inaccurate. Â “This is the way software works, you’re just stuck with it.”
This Â is 20% of the purchase cost annually. Â Mitch Harper – sounds more like an annuity than insurance to me. Â Is this comparable to what private industry pays? Â Response – there’s not that many payroll software companies out there.
Tim Pape – at $114k per year – more than the Mayor makes. Â Paying for problem solving and updates. Â We call for support all the time. Â We put it in this last year. Â Couldn’t hire an employee to work on it because they wouldn’t have access to the source code.
Purchased over two or three parts. Â Over $1.1 million over 10 years. Â Any way to audit how much we are using them and go back and say it’s unreasonable. Â Advised us to take it or leave it. Â Is that your Conclusion (Pape)? Â No. Â (Pape) so that’s your conclusion? Â Yes.
I’m not happy to accept the fact that we’re under their thumb to accept this.
Tom Didier: Are all software companies like this? Â Yes. Â Used to be 15%, now 20%. Â If we don’t continue with this? Â We’d have to buy another new package and then pay 20% to them.
Karen Goldner – you have little opportunity to challenge the support.
Mitch Harper – How do they lose money on installation? Â They don’t.
Karen – the company has made a large investment in the development of the software and this is the way the recoup it.
We have a company that wants to give us the software for free, we just pay the 20% maintenance fee. Â Trying to get us away from their competitor.d Â Mitch responded that it sounds like they are then pricing their product appropriately.
Liz – If we were to buy it and then contract it out for support? Â We’d have to hire inside staff.
Greg Purcell – This is messing with your General Ledger. Â Prices are comparable. Â Benchmark of comparison, ask other cities and school districts, you’ll find we’re right in league.
Tim Pape – we’re in a valued position – we’re a customer. Â Rather stay as a valued customer, than a victim. Â If services we’re getting from them are substantial – you can always seek to renogiate contracts whether or not you have leverage. Â We need to audit and see how much we are using them. Â An awful lot of money.
Councilman Smith – any other entities using them? Â County is using them for part of the taxes.
Mitch – when would we get a report? Â Greg – you will have it before the final vote next week.
Liz – asking for decorum as they are the types of companies we’d like to have.
Mitch Harper voted against. Â It was passed with the caveate that the information be provided before the final vote.
S-09-09-08 – Councilwoman Brown opposed, everyone else in favor.
S-09-09-10 – Agreement has been in place for several years. Â We know exactly how much the city and county each use. Â Had a reduction from last year of $30,000.
Karen – what services are involved? Â We pay for certain things. Â Pay for a company to do the City’s firewall. Â County also uses it and are debited for it.
S-09-09-17 – Consultant is based in Indianapolis. Â Construction should commence Spring 2010. Â Part of the consent decree. Â Which way to take the sewer flow will be determined. Â Overflow prevention, relief sewer.
RFQs – we have a good idea of what the project should come in at based on other experiences and such. Â Liz Brown – why isn’t that included in the RFQ? Â Response – we do indicate a range. Â How much of a range? Â 10-20% range. Â Do we ever end up negotiating with someone over the range? Â No. Â Liz – it would be nice to know what the range was and how close it was. Â Total project cost, design comes in at about 6%.
All in favor, Harper opposed.
R-09-09-19 – Roadway through the “pie”.
Liz Brown – how do we know how much they spent? Â John Urbahns, they’ll provide receipts. Â It is a reiumbursement agreement. Â If it costs more, it will be developers cost. Â If Councilmen CEDIT dollars hadn’t been put in, where would the extra $50,000 have come from? Â John – may have needed to scale back or look for other sources.
Councilman Glynn Hines – what is the process going forward to determine allocation of CEDIT dollars? Â John – we have put aside a certain amount for improvements. Â Hines – how do you get input from Councilpersons? Â They will talk with council members about projects in their districts to receive input. Â Hines – how do you prioritize which district goes first? Â Have to look at economics. Â In this one, you’re getting about $20 million investment for $250,000 in assistance to the projects, in addition to the tax abatement. Â Will be a public road. Â Hines is asking that At-Large council persons be included in discussions.
Karen – Greg Leatherman, Executive Director, signed based on TIF funds, John Urbahns signed on behalf of the Mayor and CEDIT dollars.
Mitch Harper – Agreement talks about right of way. Â They are to provide for sidewalks and right turn lane on Lima Road side. Â Project will be INDOT annd this requires it for INDOT at no expense. Â ROW is for sidewalks or INDOT.
There is no legal description of where the roadway will go – unknown location or path. Â It is not specified in the ordinance. Â Terms of public road acceptance. Â All of us are familiar with Apple Glenn in jefferson Pointe and substandard design. Â Same in Village of Coventry. Â Does this assure problems of Apple Glenn and Coventry Lane won’t happen here? Â Build to same standards we would require.
Tom Didier – Send over a copy of how the street will be located.
60 foot, three lanes road. Â Two travel and center turn lane.
Tim Pape – seems like the road is possibly a barrier to anything else. Â It was studied and pedestrian traffic was studied and trail will be part of it. Â Pape – you’re going to be bringing a lot of youth into it.
John Shoaff – talking about context sensitive design. Â Are other engineering values being observed?
Liz Brown – I think it’s great to bring this type of development to an industrial area. Â Understanding the traffic patterns, it will be complimentary to the development.
John – Has the pedestrian traffic been balanced with vehicle traffic?
Tim – will add value to community. Â Doesn’t help 60 feet of lanes if no one wants to be on foot in the area. Â If no one will want that, it doesn’t help.
Didier – This will have a tremendous amount of walkability. Â A lot of traffic from out of state. Â I know this is a very heavily trafficed area. Â The amount of people coming from out of state with limited connectivity wouldn’t be good. Â You will be able to walk to Glenbrook Commons from this area.
Shoaff – it’s a city planning problem.
Brown – It will no longer be an ugly area of town for those going to the Zoo down Wells Street. Â It’s not an area to encourage people to walk across Coliseum Boulevard. Â People will want three lanes of traffic. Â Want it to be as safe and easy as possible. Â Sometimes it’s gonna be heavily trafficked and there’s nothing you can do about it. Â I’m looking forward to this spot. Â This is much better than what was sitting on that gravel pit before. Â As long as it doesn’t cost more than it costs, let’s move on. Â “Do Pass”.
Pape – how do you get the best return from a Â project? Â How do we encourage pedestrian traffic? Â Perhaps we’ve encouraged automobiles over pedestrians too much.
Goldner – trail on one side, no sidewalks on other. Â John – Would we rather have 10 foot trail or 5 foot sidewalks one both sides of street? Â Key is pedestrian traffic across a greater distance than across the street. Â Karen – those areas where sidewalks are built only on one side, no one is happy with it long-term. Â John – that’s one of the things we need to decide as a community. Â What do we want and what can we afford? Â Sidewalks on both, trail on one, sidewalk on one? Â Who would pay for it?
Harper – sort of a sparse agreement and MOU, not to say that’s bad. Â Not finding who bears additional costs over $250,000. Â The intent is this a not to exceed contract. Â Mitch – it is not clear in the documents provided.
Opposed – John Shoaff and Mitch Harper. Â Abstained – Tim Pape.
R-09-09-06 – easements. Â Up to $176,000 per acre. Â Price is $100,00 per acre – due to ditch crossing. Â Appraised value at $243K , down to $130,000. Â Will connect to new sewer when it’s completed. Â Already are connected. Â Properties can be annexed.
Marty – will new Parkview Hospital tie in? Â They’re already tied in.
Mitch – was there coordination to tie in with trails? Â Yes. Â This project would not tie in per Public Works.
A-09-09-11 – This feeder main will extend from water filtration plant to Lima/Cook Road pump station and holding facility. Â Over 5 and a half miles long. Â Two phases already completed. Â Science Central to Fernhill. Â Completed in 2011. Â Determined would be best to include Fernhill in this because of 3 Sheets. Â 2,380 feet. Â Follows abandoned railroad. Â Pufferbelly trail will be constructed on top. Â It’s the Fort Wayne & Jackson Railroad. Â Also New York Central Railroad.
S-09-09-12 – API lowest bidder. Â 5.3% below next bidder. Â Wrap up in December 2009. Â 7 bids, most of others weren’t close. Â Won contract three out of four previous contracts.
S-09-09-13 – we need to relocate water line. Â 164 feet of sanitary service. Â Only two bidders. Â 15% above engineers estimate, 13% below next bid. Â Finish around March, 2010. Â Funded through water revenues.
Pape – why over the engineer’s bid? Â Pipe costs and gate valve cost. Â Contractor noticed difficulties we didn’t see.
Brown – does it concern you? Â Response – Base a lot on historical costs. Â Working with other construction projects on-going. Â Difficulty of work vs historical costs. Â Some contractors went jointly, which reduced number. Â We’re drilling them in rather than trenching. Â Not many contractors can drill them.
Harper – high degree of cooperation with INDOT? Â Did that increase bids? Â Tight timelines. Â Northern half has to be done in Â 90 days. Â They’re going to have to put more crews and extended hours and such. Â We didn’t tie down contractors by selecting methods per INDOT.
S-09-09-14 – Underground was lowest of 7 bidders. Â $85,000 below next bidder, $15,000 below engineer’s estimate. Â Financed through SRS bond. Â Part of consent decree. Â Did hold a public meeting, one person showed up.
S-09-09-18 – six bidders. Â 23 plan holders on the project. Â Lot from out of town. Â Completion southern portion by March, final February 2011. Â Plan holder is one who purchases plans from Board of Public Works for consideration of bidding.
Karen – has thought been given to splitting into smaller contracts to attract more local? Â Flat out exceeds abilities of local contractors. Â Bid out of Rockhill Minnesota. Â Other offices in the country as well.
Other comments –
Karen Goldner – Bob Kennedy – Public Works Director of the Year, by City & County Magazine.