MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon City Council approved an additional $30.7 million for the 2011 city budget during Monday night’s City Council meeting. The funds are in addition to $16 million which was appropriated in December.
According to Terry Scott, city auditor, the amount is $5.7 million over the 2010 budget, which accounts for the wastewater treatment upgrade.
In addition to appropriations for every city department to pay for payroll, supplies, equipment, pensions, ect., council approved $75,000 for the Mount Vernon Police Department to purchase cruisers and $400,000 for the Mount Vernon Fire Department to purchase a new fire truck.
Council heard the first reading for an ordinance that would allow the city to contract with Malcolm Pirnie Inc. to handle the oversight of the upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant. Malcolm Pirnie is the engineer of the project and placed a bid of $1.4 million to serve as the resident representative and construction administrator, to program computers, write operation and maintenance manuals and for record drawing services.
Thomas Bulcher and Joseph Jacobs of Malcolm Pirnie Inc. addressed council and city administration in a committee meeting prior to council on Monday and answered concerns of council regarding the company’s price and the lower than expected construction bid.
Originally estimated to cost nearly $12 million, the accepted bid to replace the entire electrical system and overhaul much of the mechanical system at the wastewater treatment plant was $5.7 million.
Safety-service director Dave Glass explained the city was approved to borrow $8.1 million for the project which would cover construction costs, oversight fees, capitalized interest and an additional 5 percent for potential changes to the plan.
“Normal oversight is usually 10 percent (of construction costs) — that would be $800,000 — how did you get $1.4 million,” asked Scott.
Bulcher explained the company’s fee is to cover more than just the fee to oversee the project and to assist with the construction phase.
“The length and scope of this project are important factors,” Bulcher said. “We will be there to answer all of your questions. … As the engineering firm, we have ownership; we have incentive to make it right. We have some background and inherent knowledge that’s not on paper. A third party might not understand reasons behind the decisions we made to get to this point.”