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Morning Sun
  • City addresses several projects

  • No one particular topic dominated the Pittsburg City Commission’s agenda on Tuesday, but a number of small topics added up to a full meeting.

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  • No one particular topic dominated the Pittsburg City Commission’s agenda on Tuesday, but a number of small topics added up to a full meeting.
    First on the docket was a review of the city’s 2012 comprehensive annual financial report and audit, presented by Karen Linn of Berberich Trahan and Company.
    Linn told the commission that it was giving an “unqualified opinion on all opinion units” on the audit. In essence, Berberich Trahan and Company found no major red flags, unusual policies, major inconsistencies or unreasonable estimates in the city’s financial records for 2012.
    Linn did note a brief period in late 2012 in which duties were not properly divided. However, this was during the transition time after the departure of then-Finance Director Jon Garrison. Jamie Clarkson, then the assistant finance director and now Garrison’s replacement, had to do multiple duties before an assistant finance director could be hired. Since then, Linn noted, the duties have again been properly divided.
    Linn further described Pittsburg’s efforts as among “the top couple we do in terms of putting things together.”
    Later, the commissioners approved deeding three of the 10 properties at “Lincoln Square.” Lincoln Square is a development on the site of the former Lincoln School that is now being turned, with the help of state grants, into 10 moderate-income homes.
    Three developers, Blu Skye Properties, Home Center Construction and Matt Hess, have been deeded three of the properties to build housing.
    “Other contractors are interested, and one is working on a set of drawings, and two others have set down for a discussion of plans, but they haven’t made any steps farther,” said Deena Hallacy, community development specialist.
    City Manager Daron Hall said he’s pleased with the progress on the development.
    “This is one of the best programs because of the state. We couldn’t have done it without the state money,” Hall said. “We have three homes ready to build. Nothing like this has really been tried before. There was a time we didn’t think anybody was going to buy. Progress is being made, and hopefully the state can give us another grant to do more homes like this.”
    The city also approved the low bid by Sprouls Construction of Lamar, Mo., to build ADA-compliant ramps on Walnut Street from Quincy to Third streets, and Joplin Street from Fourth to Sixth streets and also Ninth to 20th streets.
    Finally, the city commission approved moving forward on advertising for a design/build team for an emergency power generator at the Water Treatment Plant.
    In short, Public Utilities Director John Bailey told commissioners that an emergency generator, once an alternate that had been passed by, was  “probably a good thing to have.”
    Page 2 of 2 - As originally planned, the 1250 KW emergency generator would have been able to operate at 480 volts, which could have powered one of the plant’s four wells and only a portion of the facility. After a further review, a 4160-volt generator is roughly the same cost and would fully operate the plant’s four wells and the entire facility in case of emergency.
    The total cost of the “room-sized” generator would be under $600,000 and would be covered by the bonding capacity in the original loan for the Water Treatment Plant.
    Commissioner John Ketterman asked if the proposed generator plans would include tornado proofing, and Bailey said that he had not considered that in the plans, but would. However, Bailey noted that if a tornado took out the emergency generator, it would likely have hit the plant as well.
    Bailey also addressed the options around odor control at the WTP, and said the scent is “unique to our groundwater.” There are two alternatives to treating the odor, a hydrogen peroxide mixture to eliminate the hydrogen sulfide causing the scent before it hits the aeration towers or an activated carbon to be used after the aeration towers. Bailey said he’d investigate the options further before a decision is made.
    The city commission also heard an address by Police Chief Mendy Hulvey on staffing concerns for the Pittsburg Police Department. More details on this will be in a Morning Sun story at a later date.

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