Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 27, 2014

NL city councilman terms specs snafu 'ridiculous'

Jun 05, 2013

By STEPH TAHTINEN

Mt. Pleasant News

NEW LONDON — Plans for a new sidewalk and retaining wall in New London’s city park had to be put off until the city can specify what exactly contractors are bidding on.

“This is ridiculous,” Councilman Kirk Miller commented after reviewing the bids received at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

Miller’s frustration stemmed from the fact that the four bids received by the city were like comparing apples to oranges.

Although all of the contractors went out to the site in a group to find out about the project, the projects described in the bid were not the same. There were variations in the length of the sidewalk, the height of the retaining wall and the depth of the concrete.

This led the council to question why there were not written specs for the project to hand out to the bidders.

“Verbal don’t count much when you’re taking a bid,” said Mayor Ron Sadler. “You need to have specs so everybody’s on the same page and knows what they’re bidding.”

The council determined what they were looking for in the project and will be writing up the specs to give to the contractors so they can alter their bids.

The council also discussed amending the city’s ordinance on collection of solid waste to specify that all residential units must pay a collection fee regardless of whether or not they use the waste collection services.

“I think it needs to be done,” said Miller. “I definitely think if they’re living there, they need to pay for it, whether they use it or not, because the garbage guy is not going to know.”

Councilman Greg Thu agreed with Miller.

“What’s to keep the person who says they’re not using it from walking over and setting it in front of their neighbor’s house,” said Thu. “I think as long as there’s somebody living there, they should pay — no ifs, ands or buts.”

However, the question was raised of how to determine if there is somebody living at the residence, or if the residence is currently vacant such as for snowbirds or a rental property that is currently vacant.

The council did not make a decision on this topic and will be looking into ways it could be implemented.

In other business, the council:

- Approved a resolution to donate $500 to the 2013 Red Flag Horseless Carriage Tour.

- Approved allowing Aaron Brown to have chickens at 103 S. Chestnut Street.

- Approved investing $3,020 in fire department, sewer and sanitation funds in a one-year CD at Danville State Savings Bank.

- Appointed Robert Shores and Tim Bell to the H.J. Nugen Library Board with terms expiring June 30, 2019.

- Approved purchasing an in-car digital camera system from Watch Guard. The city will be applying for a grant to cover the cost of the camera.

- Discussed applying for a grant for new severe weather warning sirens.

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