Urbana City Council on Tuesday approved a 10-year full service street lighting agreement with Miami Valley Lighting (MVL), a move that will save the city over $12,000 in 2016 when compared to the city’s current contract with MVL.
“We are going to see a savings somewhere in the vicinity of 16 percent over our current rates just because of the new agreement that’s going to be in place,” said Director of Administration Kerry Brugger, who added the savings are a direct result of the city’s decision to join the Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC), a consortium consisting of 23 communities located throughout the Miami Valley.
The terms of the 10-year deal, which was negotiated by the MVCC, include MVL replacing the following light fixtures at no cost to the city: mercury vapor fixtures with high pressure sodium fixtures, Cobra Head mercury vapor fixtures with LED fixtures (to be done by Dec. 31, 2020), and Cobra Head high pressure sodium fixtures with LED fixtures (to be replaced at a rate of 2,500 fixtures per year throughout the consortium between 2016-2021).
Brugger added MVL will also inspect all the steel street lighting poles in the city prior to May 31, 2016, and will develop a replacement schedule as recommended. All wood poles owned by MVL will also be inspected.
Labor agreement finalized, appointments made to newly formed board
Members of the Urbana Fire Division were given new three-year deals after council signed off on two separate ordinances outlining the collective bargaining agreements between the city and its firefighters and fire captains.
Brugger stated the new deal was ratified by the Urbana Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 1823, on Nov. 9 following seven negotiation sessions between both sides and a six-hour mediated negotiation session with a State Employment Relations Board mediator.
“I commend our staff, the administration, the firefighters, and the fire captains for their willingness to stay with it, stay on task, and focus on what needed to be done to get it done in a timely fashion,” Brugger said.
Council was informed the most notable changes to the new three-year contract include base wage increases of 1 percent (year 1), 1.25 percent (year 2) and 1.25 percent (year 3); language allowing for an additional personal day for employees who do not use sick leave in a calendar year (January through December); and an increase in the uniform allowance from $800 to $900 a year.
Also during the meeting, council waived the three-readings rule and passed a resolution confirming the appointments of Liela Anderson, Diane Kremer, and Phil Edwards to the Local Tax Review Board.
Established on Nov. 17 by council as required by House Bill 5, the board’s initial members will serve two-year, unpaid terms through Dec. 31, 2017.
In other business:
•An ordinance modifying or increasing appropriations within various city funds for current expenses during fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2015, was approved by council following the suspension of the three-readings rule.
Director of Finance Chris Boettcher said the largest change to the General Fund involved moving an additional $79,100 to miscellaneous non-departmental, which covers professional services and auditor fees. She added legal services was the biggest culprit, costing the city about $60,000.
To cut down on legal costs, Brugger informed council the city plans to utilize Director of Law Breanne Parcels on a more consistent basis in 2016.
•Council agreed to amend the existing contract with DLZ Ohio Inc. to add services in the amount of $57,050 related to the U.S. Route 36 East Improvement Project, scheduled to take place in 2017, for project management, appraisal work, title research, negotiation services, closing services, and recording fees/services related to right-of-way acquisition for the project.
“We have a couple that are permanent takes, so they are permanent rights of way we would acquire, and then there are some that are temporary that we would essentially rent for a 24-month period for the project to be completed,” Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said. “This will get us through the process of acquiring this property, but the costs don’t include the actual acquisition, which will be determined once the appraisal work is complete.”
•To cover the required review appraisal services for right-of-way acquisition related to the U.S. Route 36 East Improvement Project, council authorized a purchase order in the amount of $9,900 to Henkaline and Associates Inc.
“If you do this process right, the goal is that it protects you if you get into litigation later over values and what was offered (for right of way acquisition),” Crabill said.
•Council authorized Brugger to enter into a unit price contract with J&J Schlaegel Inc. of Urbana for the 2016 unit price concrete work based on need.
Crabill said J&J Schlaegel will be used mostly to fix street openings following water main digs and for headstone foundations at Oak Dale Cemetery.
•To cover the costs associated with the 2015 environmental monitoring services at the city’s closed landfill on the northeast side of town, council approved a purchase order to Hull & Associates in the amount of $7,676.
•Tuesday’s meeting marked the last for council members Al Evans (Second Ward) and Virginia Smith (Fourth Ward). Cledis Scott will take over Evans’ seat at the first of the year, while Everett Piper will replace Smith.
“I just want everybody to know that I know there were times I got a little gruff and I got a little ruffled, but hopefully when I ruffled somebody’s feathers, you didn’t take it personal,” Evans said. “I tried to do the best that I could, and I want to thank the residents of the Second Ward and the citizens of Urbana for giving me the opportunity to serve.”
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.