Jefferson City Council - Minutes - 2000

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The Thursday, March 23, 2000, joint meeting of the City of Jefferson Common Council and Jefferson Water & Electric Commission was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Brawders. Council members present were: Ald. Wagner, Ald. Oppermann, Ald. Beyer, Ald. Stevens, Ald. Johann, Ald. Tennyson and Ald. Wenzel. Absent was Ald. Coffman. Jefferson Water & Electric Commission members present were: Comm. Nelson, Comm. Adams, Comm. Johann, Comm. Tennyson, Comm. Brawders. Absent were: Comm. Fischer and Comm. Brandel. Also present were City Administrator Schornack, City Attorney Scheibel, Police Chief Besel, Water & Electric Superintendent Folbrecht and City Clerk/Treasurer Parlow.


Craig Ellsworth, Chairman of the Downtown Revitalization Committee, addressed the Council regarding the Police Department Contract. Mr. Ellsworth indicated that if this contract would not work, there are still other options available. Mr. Ellsworth indicated the importance of keeping City facilities downtown. He told the Council that other opportunities for the Police Department exist downtown.

Dale Oppermann, 224 South Wilson Avenue, informed the Council about the Community Development Institute being held the first Thursday and Friday in May. Oppermann noted that the Institute was going to focus upon the revitalization of Fond du Lac's Downtown.


Ald. Stevens introduced Resolution No. 166.




BE IT RESOLVED by the Common Council of the City of Jefferson, Wisconsin that the City Administrator is authorized to sign a joint contract with the Common Council and Water & Electric Commission with Magill Construction, Inc. in the amount of $ 1,651,709.00 subject to the change order of $112,004, for the construction of a joint Police Department/Water & Electric Department building for which the Common Council will be responsible for paying approximately 63.12% thereof.

City Administrator Schornack acknowledged that Jim Wilmas from Bray & Associates was in attendance at the meeting and could answer any questions the Council may have. Schornack noted that, in light of concerns brought to the City's attention late in the afternoon by Craig Ellsworth, City Attorney Scheibel would be giving a brief explanation of his concerns.

City Attorney Scheibel indicated that he had received a call early this afternoon from Mr. Craig Ellsworth. Mr. Ellsworth felt that the changes the City had made to the proposed contract with Magill Construction for the construction of the Joint Police Department and the Water & Electric Department would seem to indicate that the City would need to rebid the project. Mr. Ellsworth indicated that it was his understanding that if a contract deviated from the actual bid amount by more than 15% the project would have to be rebid. As a result of Mr. Ellsworth's call, Scheibel contacted the legal counsel at the Wisconsin League of Municipalities regarding his allegations. Scheibel after review of the legal opinions provided, determined that there is no case law to support Mr. Ellsworth's concerns. Atty. Scheibel indicated that a "Bid Law" exists to protect the taxpayer and save tax dollars. The law states that a bid may not be increased by more than 15% without going through a rebid process, it made no mention of a decrease in the bid. Legal counsel at the League of Municipalities indicated that they felt a "substantial change" would indicate a decrease of 20% or more, 15% being legal (but in a gray area), and less than 10% being within the City's discretionary power. Atty. Scheibel indicated that taxpayers, and in his opinion the other bidders, were not being adversely effected by the changes in the bid. Scheibel stated that (less the purchase orders) the deviation from the original contract was around 5%. He noted that the reduction created by the use of purchase orders (savings on sales tax) would be relatively the same savings realized by any of the other bidders. In conclusion, Attorney Scheibel stated that he felt fairly comfortable with the City's proposed action. He noted that the City does have some discretion under bid laws and the felt the City was not acting contrary to any legal information available. Scheibel concluded by stating that the purpose of the "Bid Law" is to prevent the misuse of tax dollars and that the City was not misusing tax dollars by reducing the bid.

City Administrator Schornack stated that even though the resolution authorizes him to sign the contract, he would not do so until he has an executed change order in his other hand.

Ald. Oppermann stated that he felt the absence of a precedence indicates that the City is within our legal boundaries and from his experience the process we are using is fairly common.

Ald. Stevens stated that the Committee had worked very hard to trim the bid without compromising the integrity of the building. He felt that the reduction of the bid at the Committee level showed "good business".

Ald. Johann stated that she felt that the City had not substantially made changes to the bid. She felt fairly comfortable with the information that the League of Municipalities provided to Attorney Scheibel.

Ald. Tennyson stated that the changes made to the building were cosmetic, not structural. He felt the Committee to Analyze Police Department Building Cost had done a great job.

Ald. Wagner felt that it is time to move ahead with the building, the Police Department has waited a long time and the proposed building is a good plan.

Commissioner Steve Adams asked what the contingency had been reduced to. Ald. Oppermann indicated approximately $35,000.

Ald. Johann asked if the architect had reduced their fees, because of the discrepancy between the bid estimates and actuals. City Administrator Schornack stated no.

Ald. Wenzel asked if it was a problem that we didn't have the change order at this time. Atty. Scheibel indicated that it is not a problem.

Ald. Johann asked what the process would be if the resolution was defeated. The Mayor indicated that the project would need to be rebid.

Ald. Stevens, seconded by Ald. Tennyson moved to recommend Resolution No. 166. On call of the roll, motion carried by a vote of 7 to 0.

Commissioner Nelson then read the Water & Electric Commission's motion.



Motion to authorize the Water & Electric Superintendent to sign a joint contract with the Water & Electric Commission and Common Council with Magill Construction, Inc. in the amount of $ 1,651,709.00 subject to the change order of $112,004, for the construction of a joint Police Department/Water & Electric Department building for which the Water & Electric Commission will be responsible of paying approximately 36.88% thereof.

Commissioner Adams, seconded by Commissioner Tennyson moved to approve the motion as read. On call of the roll, motion carried by a vote of 5 to 0.

Ald. Wagner, seconded by Commissioner Adams moved to adjourn the March 23, 2000 meeting of the City of Jefferson Common Council. The motion carried unanimously.

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