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Aldermen approve project bid

by Shana Haines
Landmark editor

The biggest debate for Platte City Board of Aldermen Tuesday night was if it should authorize the mayor to enter into a contract with Dennis Johnson Construction for the Fiscal Year 2003 capital improvement projects.

Bids for 2003 projects were accepted until Feb. 7. The project includes as a base bid, Second and Third Street from Hwy 92 north to Ferrell; and Paxton Street from Second Street to Fourth Street. An alternate of Maple and Wells was also included in the bid. The bid indicates a base area bid of more than $529,000.

The problem lies in receiving easements to properties. According to Tanya Bates, city clerk, there are five residences that have not signed temporary easement releases along the alternate of Maple and Wells. Without the easement releases, crews cannot do the alternate project.

Aldermen debated if they should approve the bid since there was a possibility the alternate of Maple and Wells would not be completed.

"I still think this needs to be a part of the project (the alternate of Maple and Wells). I move that we approve the contract with the alternate and pay for it out of the general fund. We have always gotten the easements before," Alderman Gary Brown said.
Alderman Lee Roy Van Lew voted against approving the contract, as did Bill Knighton.
"If we approve the alternate and then there are no easements, then we are hung with the materials and nothing to do with them," Van Lew said.

Dennis Johnson Construction has quoted $446,150 for street and storm sewer improvements; $10,480 for water line improvements and $72,642 for sewer improvements included in the bid. Based upon the 2003 cost analysis attached, the city is actually short on fiscal year 2003 funding by $48,780.

The city does have $50,777 left from the fiscal year 2002 project, along with $173,332 from general fund reserves. It is also estimated the city has enough to cover the Wells and Maple alternate, including a five percent contingency without the need of eliminating all or a portion of other projects.

The city is also hoping to be able to use funding from the county road sales tax, if it passes in April.

Aldermen approved the contract with the contingency that easements are due by 5 p.m. March 11.

An ordinance amending parking be prohibited on certain streets stirred a personal interest for Alderman Shelle Browning.

The ordinance was originally worded so that no parking is allowed in the hammer heads of Cathy Lane and Almond Streets.

Browning, who resides on Cathy Lane near the hammer head, protested the ordinance, and asked if the ordinance would read that no parking was allowed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on snow days.

Browning said she opposed the no parking ordinance because when the hammer head was placed she signed an easement, which took away two parking places by her property.

"I don't think it's fair to go ask someone to sign their property over and then change the rules," Browning said.

Browning added she had plenty of room to park her vehicles in her driveway, but was concerned about her guests and other residents.

Leonard Hendricks, Platte City public works director, voiced concern over the parking situation. Hendricks said his crews are not able to pull into residential driveways, and the hammer head is used for large trucks to turn around during trash or snow removal.
"The hammer head was put there for us to have access in and out, so we don't have to use driveways. I don't know when it's going to snow, so we will still have to back trucks out," Hendricks said.

On a 5-1 vote, aldermen went along with Browning's suggestion and will only prohibit parking from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on snow days.
Van Lew voted against, preferring that no parking be allowed anytime.
In other business, Hill's Lawn & Landscape was accepted to be the city's official mowing service. At the Platte City Parks and Recreation board meeting Feb. 3, Hill's Lawn & Landscape was awarded the mowing of the parks department property. They will also mow the cemetery.

Tom Wooddell was officially appointed to serve on the city's parks and recreation board.