Improvements on the horizon for Monticello

Posted September 11, 2013 at 11:58 am

City Council

By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

Points of interest here in Monticello will soon see some improvements and upgrades.

During the recent Monticello City Council meeting on Sept. 3, the Council heard about updates needed for the downtown Community Building.

The city bonded money for updates and repairs to the Community Building.

“The big picture is we need to do these items one at a time,” warned City Administrator Doug Herman. “We don’t know what we’re fully getting into.”

In order to fully embark on necessary repairs and renovations the Council felt that it would be nice to have an analysis of what really needs to be done. Those punch list items include: electrical, HVAC, insulation and more.

In order to put a list together, the Council obtained proposals from various design firms, with two responding to the request: Gardner Construction with a bid range of $4,900 to $6,100 and Ament Design with a bid range of $5,000 to $7,000. What makes Ament more enticing is the inclusion of an asbestos inspection and testing, noted Herman.

Both firms also toured the Community Building to get an idea and feel for the facility and what work would be needed.

“I feel this will be money well spent,” said Herman. “It’ll give us a feel for the big picture before we take steps to upgrade.”

Herman informed the City Council that he met with John Baty, whose family supported the construction of the Renaissance Center and new library, concerning a potential disc golf course in the flood buy-out area. Herman said that Baty “has offered to financially support the installation” of the disc golf course. The two toured the grounds to devise a potential course.

“He has offered to donate sums to construct the course and to set aside a sizable amount of money to see that it’s maintained for years to come,” noted Herman of their conversation.

While the city has purchased much of the land in the flood buy-out area near Kitty Creek, Herman said they would need to work with the Welter and Grief families, as they own some parcels in that area as well.

This recreational project came about after the city sent out surveys to frequent Parks and Rec users. Herman said one of the overwhelming responses was the installation of a disc golf course.

“I was surprised by the amount of support it got,” Herman said. “It’s a form of free entertainment for all ages, and it works well in the flood plain.”

In following up with the project, the next step will be to eventually put a committee together, in cooperation with Parks and Rec.

As part of the flood buy-outs, the city should be in a position to proceed on the Oak Street Manufacturing buy-out some time in October. Herman said FEMA gave permission to allow the city to leave the back building as a shelter opportunity, possibly for use by the Farmers Market who set-up and sell out of the middle school parking lot two days a week. This has been determined to be an asset to the community.

Again, the Parks and Rec surveys indicated a shelter in that area would be a good idea.

In other city business:

Ambulance Director Brian Hahn, Herman and Mayor Dena Himes met with the Hopkinton City Council and their city attorney a couple of weeks ago to discuss ambulance usage and services through Monticello.

It was apparent Monticello Ambulance Service should and needs to continue to cover the Hopkinton area, but the question of whether Monticello still needs to furnish an ambulance was at question. Aside the ambulance, Monticello also provides supplies, equipment and pays their staff. Hopkinton could keep a local EMT or first responder service, provided they cover the costs, with Monticello still responding to calls.

“Our expenses have gone up since covering Hopkinton,” noted Herman.

Herman said he felt the meeting with Hopkinton went well and hoped to hear back from them soon.

The Council approved a letter of agreement between the city and Jerry McElmeel Excavating and Grading for demolition of the Julin Printing building in the flood buy-out area.

The city received three bids from Kelly Demolition ($104,157.75), Lansing Bros. Construction ($77,000) and McElmeel ($53,035). The city’s share is 15 percent, or roughly $8,000.

Herman said the work is to be completed by Oct. 22.