Property sale, police officer contracts and cost savings round out Champlin Council business

Champlin City Council addressed numerous action items at their May 13 council meeting. Items on the agenda included reviewing bids on city-owned properties currently for sale; considering authorization of the police officers’ contract; cost saving measures with a bond refund; and approving final payment on the 2009 reconstruction project.

 

PROPERTY SALE

The city has found a buyer for one of three city-owned lots. Jeff Arthurs, a Champlin resident, submitted a bid of $65,000 — the minimum asking price — on city-owned property at 11308 Sumter Avenue. Arthurs indicated he is agreeable to the city’s terms of purchase and has a builder and financing in place. He is interested in budiling a split-entry home and attached garage on the lot as soon as possible. The city will retain architectural control over design to ensure the home fits the neighborhood. City council authorized city staff to move forward with facilitating the sale.

In addition to Arthurs’ bid, the city received two requests from builders both proposing they would purchase all three lots for $55,000 each. The original deadline to bid on the properties was May 1; however, the city will continue to market the additional lots, located at 11309 Rhode Island Avenue ($65,000 minimum price) and 11824 Winnetka Avenue ($70,000 minimum price) on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

POLICE OFFICERS’ CONTRACT

Champlin City Council approved the 2013-2015 employment contract for police officers as part of their consent agenda at the Monday, May 13 council meeting.

Under the terms of the agreement, police officers will receive a 3.2 percent cost of living adjustment for 2013, which is consistent with the increases in place with the other employee groups within the organization. Police officers will also receive a 2 percent adjustment in 2014 and a 1 percent increase in 2014.

Employer contribution will increase by $25 to their health/dental premiums for 2013; however, no increases are slated for 2014 or 2015.

Annual clothing allowance allocations will increase by $20 in 2013 to $800 annually. No additional increases are proposed for 2014 or 2015.

Several other minor language amendments are included in the contract proposal, which are consistent with the Employee Compensation guidelines authorized by the city council.

 

COST SAVINGS

Council approved a resolution providing for the sale of $4.315 million general obligation capital improvement plan refunding bonds which will cut costs for the city by more than $200,000  over the next 14 years. These were originally established for the Municipal Facilities Expansion Project. Mark Ruff, financial advisor from Ehlers, will handle the bond sale scheduled for May 28.

The refunding is considered an advanced refunding. Only one advance refunding of the old bonds is legally allowed during the life of the issue. In a crossover refunding, as in this case, the proceeds of the new bonds are invested in government securities and held in escrow. The money in escrow is used to pay interest on the new bonds until the call date — Feb. 1, 2017 — and then to prepay the old bonds at the first opportunity. The city continues to make payments on the old bonds until the call date after which, the city will begin making payments on the new bonds in 2017.

The interest rate is estimated to drop from the current 4 percent to around 1.75 percent at a savings of approximately $26,000 annually for 10 years beginning in 2017. The city will save approximately $230,000 over the remaining  14-year life of the bonds.

 

2009 RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT FINAL PAYMENT

The council approved the final pay estimate for the 2009 Reconstruction Project. The final payment of $13,273.46 to the contractor was authorized. The project reconstructed the local residential streets of Virginia Avenue, Utah Avenue and 116th Avenue located in the southwest quadrant of 117th Avenue and Winnetka Avenue. The project included storm sewer extensions, curb and gutter removal and replacement, aggregate base and bituminous paving. The project was originally awarded March 22, 2010 with construction completed in August 2010.

The project had several areas of fat clay that is susceptible to shrinkage due to drying out or a reduction in moisture content. The drought conditions that occurred over the past two autumns have resulted in four minor street cracks and one area that has a minor settlement. This issue was presented to council in a follow up report as a response to a resident inquiry at a past open forum. Staff reviewed the cracks and settlement area once again during the week of April 29 and found no additional cracking from that which was  previously noted. However, staff said they will continue to monitor the streets in the area.

 

MEETING RESCHEDULE

Champlin City Council also rescheduled their next meeting due to the Memorial Day Holiday. City offices will be closed Monday, May 27 to observe Memorial Day. The next Champlin City Council meeting will be held Tuesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. in council chambers. Preceding the meeting, council will conduct a work session at 5:45 p.m. in the council conference room and a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting at 6:45 p.m. in council chambers.

 

Contact Mindy Mateuszczyk at mindy.m@ecm-inc.com

 
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