by Alan McArthur
A dispute over outline lights on buildings in downtown Parkville may finally be resolved after the board of aldermen signed an agreement with the Main Street Parkville Association (MSPA).
On Tuesday night the board approved an agreement to transfer the ownership of two electrical panels to the MSPA and another resolution to install a small meter in the Pocket Park which controls the lights on the west side of Main Street.
According to the agreement, the transfer would have saved the city $3,500 in 2007 and would have saved $1,300 through June 2008. The installation of the small meter in Pocket Park is expected to cost the city $790.
The agreement also transfers the responsibility for safety, liability and maintenance to the MSPA.
Alderman Marc Sportsman asked if the city would have any further costs associated with the lights in the agreement.
“This will end us paying for electricity from this day forward,” said Sean Ackerson, assistant city administrator. “It will not change ownership (of the lights) just the cost of electricity.”
The outline lights are currently owned by the MSPA.
According to Carol Kuhn, MSPA member, three years ago there was an offer for MSPA to pay for the lights but the two groups never came to terms.
“This is a long time coming,” said Kuhn.
Kuhn said that MSPA would now work with the city on a plan to replace the lights every five years.
“We are waiting for the agreement and within 15 days will have a plan of action,” said Kuhn.
Kuhn said the MSPA would use a licensed electrician to make any connections to the lines.
Sportsman asked who would do the inspections on the lights.
“The city will help inspect when we take an electrician to a building,” said Kuhn.
“The fire department has also volunteered to help with inspections,” said Ackerson.
Kuhn said they are expecting there may be splices and upgrades needed that will be paid for by MSPA.
The board then approved the agreement with a vote of 8-0.
Last year the city and MSPA fought over who was responsible for the lights and how they should be inspected. The city wanted the MSPA to hire a licensed electrician to inspect the lights. Some MSPA members argued that the city should inspect the lights.
The board also held a workshop about the city's new website that is in development. Public Works Director Dan Koch explained how city staff could easily manipulate the information on the website and how the city can have a comprehensive calendar on the site.
According to Koch, the site can also support an extensive “document center” to archive minutes and agendas from meetings up to three years ago.
The website is expected to be completed by the end of the year.