Corcoran hears of $94,000 public works facility savings

The Corcoran City Council heard that there are change orders for the new public works building amounting to more than $94,000.

The council also directed staff to bring back a plan to remove a projected city budget shortfall, and discussed the next steps for the proposed Maple Hill Community Center.



Staff presented the council with several change orders for the new public works facility, which is under construction at the east side of County Rd. 19 just south of County Rd. 10.

Staff said that if all the change orders are approved, the result would be a reduction of $94,268 from the project. These include a $56,650 decrease due to elimination of installation fees from Xcel Energy and Centerpoint Energy; $41,852 from roof screening; $2,595 from removal of culvert from plan; and $7,725 due to change in transfer switch from Xcel Energy.

There were also about $15,000 in increases due to change orders, but the decreases amounted total to the $94,000 figure. Staff does anticipate some future additional costs, so the $94,000 in savings likely won’t be the final number.

The building is anticipated for completion this fall.



In other matters, the council is reviewing the budget ahead of submitting the preliminary levy to the county in September.

City administrator Brad Martens presented an updated performance report that indicates the yearend forecast shows a shortfall of $141,624, from the following items:

• $50,000 decrease from budget in police fine revenue;

• $23,392 increase from budget in city administrator expenditure due to retirement of the previous city administrator;

•$10,079 increase from the budget in city clerk/administrator expenditures due to unbudgeted costs associated with hiring staff for laser fiche project;

• $47,666 increase from budget in other general government expenditures due to city administrator search, water/sewer policy development and unbudgeted crop land tax;

• $5,062 increase from budget in city hall operations expenditures primarily due to the unbudgeted hiring of a cleaning service to clean city hall;

• $9,000 increase from budget in part-time officers expenditures due to additional coverage required to cover time off due to injury.

Martens said about $20,000 has been incurred directly related to the water/sewer policy development that could be billed to the utility in the future.

“A shortfall in the budget will require the city to use reserves to make up the difference,” Martens wrote in his memo. “Directing staff to eliminate the shortfall may result in reduced services.”

He said the options are to bring back a plan to remove the projected budget shortfall for city council approval, or “other.”

The council directed staff to bring back a plan to remove the projected budget shortfall. The council also set an Aug. 13 budget workshop, and will also discuss the budget prior to the next council meeting Thursday, Aug. 29.



In other news, the council was updated about the budget and timeline for the Maple Hill Community Center project.

The project will be owned by the city and constructed mostly from grant funding.

Mayor Ken Guenthner, councilor Diane Lynch and city administrator Martens recently joined city attorney Jeff Carson and Maple Hill Estates manager Barry Hay and others at a stakeholders meeting.

“At that meeting staff presented a timeline for completing the project,” Martens said in his memo to the council. “Additionally, a conversation was held in regards to responsibilities of costs incurred from the day-to-day operations of the community center.

At the council meeting, Martens also gave an update about the projected annual operating budget.

“It comes down to working on the contracts between the city leasing the land and an agreement to operate the facility,” Martens later said. “The next step is to tray and find who’s responsible for the costs and bringing those back to the council.”

The timeline calls for bids to open Sept. 19, awarding bids Oct. 10 and approving the building permit Nov. 1. The project construction date is still not identified but is anticipated for 2014.

In other action, the council:

HEARD from Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox, who was present to thank the city’s public works department and emergency coordinator Police Chief Sean Gormley for its assistance in mobilizing Corcoran equipment to help Wayzata clean up from the June 21 storm. The shared services are between cities in the Lake Minnetonka Area Emergency Management Group. “Without the city of Corcoran’s support, it would have taken a significantly longer time to restore Wayzata to its

pre-storm state,” Mayor Willcox said.

RESCHEDULED the Aug. 22 council meeting to Thursday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m.