The Urbana City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution, with a 4-1, to authorize the director of administration to sign documents for the combination Ohio Department of Transportation Urbana Paving Program and ODOT U.S. 36/U.S. 68 Intersection Improvement project. Council member Ray Piper was the sole dissenting vote on this resolution, which passed as an emergency after its first reading.
City Engineer Tyler Bumbalough said three contractor bids received last week for the work were rejected because they were more than 10 percent above project engineer Burgess and Niple’s original cost estimate of $1.33 million. Another request for bids will go out March 11 with a somewhat limited scope, he said.
ODOT will fund 80 percent of the entire project, and the city will fund the remaining 20 percent.
Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said the resolution will allow the combined project to proceed, then the city will bring in another funding source, the ODOT’s Urban Paving Program.
“At the end of the day you have to try to get the best product you can for the best price we can get,” commented city administrator Kerry Brugger. “They have spent an enormous amount of time going through and looking for how to maintain the integrity of the project and removing those aesthetic things that might be nice to look at but aren’t really integral to the integrity of the project. They are sacrificing some aesthetics but we’re not going to sacrifice the function or the performance of the roundabout. I appreciate their effort in trying to keep this thing in front of us.”
“When we originally envisioned the project for the square we had two federal funding sources that we pursued, small city and safety funds through ODOT, and we secured those for the project,” said Community Development Manager Doug Crabill. “Then we also went forward and got an Ohio Public Works Commission loan to replace water mains down there as part of the same project. Then all alone there was a project in the works to resurface everything once the work was done, and that project was separated from our project. We’ve done it both ways before, we’ve done them combined and we’ve done them separate, but with the recent three bids that we received for this project, we felt it would behoove us to combine the paving with the current project and make one larger project.”
Piper asked how much this would cost the city and Crabill said the process of paying for this work is complicated because each expenditure must be tracked line by line as streets are paved and expenditures are from the capital fund, water fund and sewer fund.
Bumbalough added that there were 110 line items on the roundabout bid, and that they were adding 52 line items with the urban resurfacing part of the project.
Bumbalough distributed pre-construction updates sent to business owners and renters in the central business district, showing the impact on the property owners. The project is anticipated to temporarily close the Monument Square roundabout in April, with additional street closures occurring one block in each direction as necessary until the project is complete in October.
Bumbalough said new bids will be before council for approval on March 19.
Crabill said holding a public meeting before the start of construction has been discussed.
Council heard the second reading of eight ordinances establishing the salary and benefits for the fire chief, assistant fire chief, central staff employees, police chief, police lieutenant, director of administration, director of finance and director of law.
“These ordinances haven’t been addressed since 2009,” said Brugger. “In 2013, what we did was we took the ending date off, so all the ranges stayed in place, we just took the ending date off and carried them through. It’s been ongoing, just carrying on status quo since then. This year we went back through the central staff ordinance… it made sense to review all the salary ordinances as well to bring everything up to the same level. What we found in all the salary ordinances… was they had almost a reprint of the entire central staff ordinance within their ordinance. As people changed, they’ve updated or stayed on board, some of the language started to get somewhat skewed.”
Brugger explained that after revising the central staff ordinance, he deleted language from the individual ordinances that was the same as that in the central staff ordinance; at the first reading of the ordinances he said that the number of pages went from 12-14 down to 2-3. Each ordinance was made effective on January 1, 2019, and ending Dec. 31, 2021.
Central staff employees have a pay range in accordance with seven established pay grades: pay grade 1, $8.50 per hour to $19 per hour; pay grade 2, $24,516 annually to $40,393; pay grade 3, $26,823 to $45,580; pay grade 4, $32,730 to $50,178; pay grade 5, $39,697 to $61,541; pay grade 6, $44,151 to $70,991; and pay grade 7, $59,964 to $91,959. Additionally, all employees are to receive a base wage increase of 2.25 percent, 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent in each of the respective years, and are eligible for periodic merit increases within the established salary range.
Effective Jan. 1, 2019, through Dec. 31, 2021, the fire chief will be paid in accordance with an annual pay range of $83,446 to $95,366; the assistant fire chief with an annual pay range of $79,472 to $90,826; the police chief with an annual pay range of $83,446 to $95,366; the police lieutenant with an annual pay range of $79,472 to $90,826; the director of administration with an annual pay range of $89,475 to $111,844; the director of finance with an annual pay range of $75,347 to $94,184; and the director of law with an annual pay range of $72,425 to $108,554.
Brugger said that he would be reviewing all job descriptions later in the year.
Also at this meeting:
– Council unanimously approved an ordinance raising ambulance service rates and charges after its third reading. Council member Dwight Paul, who was not present at this meeting, said that in reviewing the ordinance he discovered that basic life support is increasing by one percent, advanced life support one by 2 percent, and advanced life support two by 2.5 percent. Ambulance service rates have not increased since July 2015.
– Council unanimously approved two scopes of work allowing the city to enter into a contract with Utility Service Co. Inc of Atlanta, Georgia, for the long-term care and maintenance of the east and west elevated water tanks located at 1350 Scioto St. and 726 Edgewood Ave.
– Brugger said the city has signed an agreement with Stalk & Awe Geese Management Services, LLC, of Dayton, to begin the first phase of geese control at the city park beginning March 1. He said it would take about three years to make an entire generation of geese feel unwelcome and that the process would begin with signs, dogs off leash and boats moving in the water.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304