City Council approves $2.9 million warrants for city upgrades
by Emily Adams
SYLACAUGA – The City Council unanimously approved three general obligation warrants totaling $2,849,915 at its meeting Wednesday to finance various city improvement projects.

The first is a $2,269,915 warrant to cover $1.2 million in energy efficiency upgrades at city buildings, $987,264 in City Hall repairs and a $75,000 A/C unit for Parks and Recreation. The second warrant totals $500,000 and the third is $125,000 for the purchase of a new fire truck and street sweeper, respectively.

The warrants will be financed through SunTrust Bank as follows: building energy upgrades for 15 years at 3 percent interest; City Hall improvements and the A/C unit for 15 years at 2.8 percent interest; fire truck for 12 years at 2.05 percent; and the street sweeper for seven years at 1.78 percent.

The council previously approved the Trane energy upgrade project, which guarantees more than $64,000 in savings over a 20-year period. The scope of work includes installing HVAC controls in the Municipal Complex, as well as three new air handlers, conversion to a variable air volume system, two high-efficiency boilers, two new hot water and chilled water pumps, new mechanical room piping and valves, rooftop package heat pumps for Fire Station No. 1 and a split heat pump system for the Police Annex. Other improvements are a chiller, boiler and pumps at the J. Craig Smith Center and upgraded lighting and programmable thermostats throughout designated city buildings.

The additional $987,264 for City Hall renovations includes: $46,000 for asbestos encasing; $223,000 to replace the glass curtain walls and porches at the front and back of the building; $268,600 for Police Department remodeling; $153,000 for Fire Department renovations; $110,000 for roof repairs; plus contingency funds.

Asbestos was found over the City Clerk’s office and in other areas of City Hall during a survey performed in March in preparation for the intended repairs. It must be controlled before renovations can begin, so the city plans to encase it, which is a cheaper option to removal. The Parks and Recreation A/C was also a last-minute addition to the finance package after the unit at J. Craig Smith Center went out in late April.

The council will take formal action to approve expenses for each of the proposed projects once bids come in, but “right now, we’re just estimating with the anticipation that this will have to be done,” Council President Rocky Lucas said Wednesday. “What was approved (at the meeting) is making sure we have enough money when the bids come.”

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the council:

• Appointed Tom Bass, Raegan Rumsey and Gary Smith to six-year terms on the Industrial Development Board, filling the expired terms of Raymond Styres, Robert Rumsey and Smith.

• Appointed Janet McDiarmid to a six-year term on the Cheaha Mental Health Board, filling the expired term of Barrie Hamilton.

• Awarded bids for Fire Department self-contained breathing apparatuses and associated equipment to Emergency Equipment Professionals. The equipment will be paid with a $149,000 federal grant that was recently awarded to the department.

• Heard from Mayor Doug Murphree, who commended the police and fire departments for their responses to recent emergency incidents at Lake Howard and First United Methodist Church Kindergarten. He also thanked those who contributed to the homecoming celebration for the National Guard 167th Infantry Monday. In addition, Murphree proclaimed May as Older Americans Month and announced that the city received the Silver Risk Management award at the 2013 Alabama League of Municipalities Convention.

• Declared a 1995 Ford F150 pick-up truck as surplus property for disposal on or other public sale.

• Authorized $500 to the Miss Talladega County program for one full-page advertisement.

• Approved $100 to Howell Jones and $20 to Tonya Baker for refunds of municipal court fines.

• Approved expenses for: Fire Lt. Chris Wallis to attend Rescue Technician: Rope II training May 18-30 in Anniston for $200 and Rescue Technician: Swiftwater I/II training June 3-7 in Prattville for $395; and for Fire Chief Matt Missildine to attend Alabama Association of Fire Chief’s Conference in Orange Beach, Fla., June 16-19 for $250.

• Authorized payments for April totaling $204,824.19 for accounts payable and $364,645.53 for payrolls.

• Approved all checks, transfers and financial statements for April.

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© 2013