Tuesday, February 16, 2016
City manager: I expect a smooth transition for Empire
Good afternoon, everyone. Please see below for this week’s update.
-On Wednesday I attended a meeting to discuss plans for the Disaster Recovery Summit being planned at Missouri Southern in conjunction with the five-year anniversary of May 22, 2011. To our knowledge, this is the first summit of this kind to be held for the benefit small and medium-sized communities, and several great sessions have been planned. You or residents can visit www.joplinproud.com to learn more about this and other events being planned around the anniversary.
-On Thursday I attended a luncheon at Empire’s headquarters to be briefed on the announcement of the acquisition/merger of Liberty Utilities and Empire. The entire process can take up to a year to complete, but it was satisfying to hear that no jobs will be affected. The local news media outlets have provided good coverage, but if you have any specific questions please let me know. But from a city standpoint, I anticipate a smooth transition.
-Earlier today I attended the announcement of the partnership between the city, the school district, and the state to build the new early childhood education center. The district’s RFQ for architectural services is due later this month.
-Attached to this week’s update is a status report on the projects within public works. I want to take a moment and call your attention to a couple of projects:
*Bids were opened this week for the 2016 asphalt overlay program, with a contract that should be coming to you on March 7th. By bidding the project earlier in the year we have seen bids about 20% lower than last year with a better mix design. I would like to commend Assistant Director Dan Salisbury and Engineering Technician Brandon Louderback for their work on getting this project put together.
*Bids for the construction of the indoor portion of the Public Safety Training Center will be advertised this weekend. o Plans & specifications for the Fillmore lift station upgrades are being reviewed by staff with the goal of advertising the project within a couple of weeks.
-The Request for Proposals for the design of the new senior citizens center, being paid for with CDBG-DR funds, should be ready to be advertised in late March.
-On Thursday my office received a public information request from the Joplin Globe for the results of the salary survey that we have been working on. That information has been provided to the city clerk’s office to comply with that request, so you may begin to see some numbers floating around in the media. I would caution you and everyone else that this is just the raw data at this point. As I mentioned to you in a previous update, departments are currently reviewing the results before we can evaluate the financial impact. When we are ready, I will plan a work session to bring you up to speed and get your direction on how to proceed.