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July 19, 2016




Held JULY 19, 2016


The Russellville city council met in regular session on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, at 5:00 pm, in city hall. Mayor Mark Stratton presided over the meeting with council members Jimmy Davenport, Pat Bell, Sandra Kinser, Jack Whipple and Darlene Gooch present; council member Larry Wilcutt was absent.


The mayor asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the council meeting held on July 5, 2016.


Kinser moved, seconded by Gooch, to approve the minutes of the meeting held on July 5, 2016.


The mayor asked for any corrections; being none the motion passed unanimously.


Under appointments Mayor Stratton asked for the council’s approval of Jack McLean’s re-appointment to the County assessment Board. He explained this has to be done every two years.


Whipple moved, seconded by Gooch, to approve the mayor’s re-appointment of McLean to the County Assessment Board; the motion passed unanimously.


The mayor had no announcements.


There were no committee reports.


Under financial report Bob Riggs, City Clerk/Treasurer presented updates on city accounts.


There was no old business to come before the council.


Under new business Bill Pearson, Zoning and Building Administrator, presented the recommendation of Justin Hopkins with DDI Engineering for the low bidder on the Russellville Streetscape Phase IIC project. The low bidder was Adams Contracting out of Lexington, Kentucky. They do a lot of work in Tennessee and northern Kentucky. Pearson said that Hopkins had checked references on the company with only one response but nothing bad being said. Their bid was actually $89,402.00 which was lower than the other two bids received and below the engineer’s estimate. The other two bidders were Scott & Murphy with a bid of $102,661.50 and C & C Contracting with a bid of $115,240.40. Pearson said Hopkins feels like Adams Contracting will do a good job but, he himself has a small amount of reservation about it. Pearson explained saying he wasn’t sure they actually went on sight and looked at the project; they may have driven by. Pearson said the project was pretty straight forward. The city has always had good luck with people that we know, Scott and Murphy has always done a good job in regards to what we have had done but he is not pushing for Scott and Murphy in any way. It was Hopkins’s recommendation that the Streetscape Project we awarded to Adam Contracting, LLC, and the lowest bidder for the amount of $89,402.00. Pearson said the difference wasn’t that much but he would rather not get in the middle of the project and start having change orders.


The mayor asked the council’s preference.


Gooch asked if it was written anywhere that they can’t do change orders or more than a certain amount of them and the mayor answered no.


The mayor stated his only concern was that the gentleman (company) didn’t look at the project, nor did he come to the pre-bid meeting; the other two did and was with DDI on a walk-through of the project.


Pearson said Hopkins had said that this company had done several Streetscape type projects.


Kinser commented that DDI recommended we use them and they are the one that does the leg work for us.


Davenport said he had a problem with them bidding on the project sight unseen without them even looking at it.


The mayor said they had the specifications in the packet.


Pearson said their document package was very good; they had done their due diligence.


Gooch asked Pearson in what other towns had the company done Streetscape projects in and there was nothing close to us. They had done some around some dam projects; they had been in Kentucky. Gooch said that would be interesting to find out.


Bell asked if we could stipulate no change orders in the amount of “x” amount of dollars.


City Attorney Neil Kerr explained that any change order that would come up for them would come up for any contractor. He said it would be up to us, the city, to make sure they were legitimate change orders.


Kinser made a motion to go with the lowest bid (Streetscape Project).


Kerr said he didn’t think the bid had to be accepted tonight unless there was a deadline before the next meeting. 


Davenport said he would feel a lot better if Pearson checked it out some more.


Pearson said if council wanted to have a called meeting sometime next week to give him some time to check on it some more they could do that; he would do whatever council wanted to do.


Kinser rescinded her motion to accept the lowest bid.


Next on the agenda under new business was Amy Stafford with concerns with the water rates. Stafford said she was here to ask the council to look at the city’s present water rates and handed out to council a list of six (6) items of questions/concerns (included in these minutes). She had with her at the meeting her mother, previous mayor, Shirlee Yassney and Chuck McCollum, who used to work for the Water and Sewer department. McCollum had helped her and her mom look at the audit she had requested a while back to see what we can do. She said her mom had come to city hall to talk and Mr. Kerr had sent a letter to, “kinda leave it alone is what we got out of it.” “We aren’t here to say anybody is doing anything illegal about anything; we just want our water rates looked at. In 2006 there was a water rate study done that suggested a 5.7 rate increase and we increased it to 55%. Did we really need all that money? Now we have an estimated, or it looks like $3,142,000.00 in deposits, sitting in the bank and what have you done with it? These are just questions we want answers to. Are we not putting it back into (stumbling over words), putting in new meters; starting with industries, commercial and residential. Why are we not trying to work on our water loss which we can’t get a clear cut answer; I don’t know if any of you can answer that. It’s (water loss) been anywhere between 20% and 45%, that’s what we’ve gotten from people that work for the city, so maybe ya’ll can help out with that.”


Stafford said here was her thing on a personal level; her bill runs between $150.00 and $200.00 a month for six people; that is high. She said you go to Bowling Green it’s $30.00 to $40.00. Stafford said, “If we look at it in the big picture we are losing industry, and we are losing people in general (who) are going to move out. This is a beautiful community. We cannot bring businesses in if we are going to charge the highest water rates in the state. Stafford said she was just asking respectfully please look at this. What can we do to help our citizens, to help our industries to grow? She said she wasn’t the best person with numbers and that is why she had Chuck McCollum to look at the numbers and if there is anything there that is not right please feel free to tell her. She said she thought it was time, “We’ve got money in the bank to be putting it back into the city, not just let it sit there and as from what I understand, not insure it. I don’t know how that works either but if my $200.00 a month is going into the bank and not insured I have a problem with it. I am again asking respectfully for the council to look at that and will be glad to come back in a month or two if anything comes up or the council has figured out a plan. She said council will see at the bottom that her mom had suggested having a citizen board set up to look at things like that. That way it shows the city council is being honest with their numbers and the citizens themselves have input in where that money is spent. Nothing illegal, but I just didn’t want, none of us wanted to think that we were mad at you all or fussing; we just want to see a change. She said her mom goes to the senior center and she has the little old ladies saying if they pay their water bill they don’t have groceries, it breaks her heart and it breaks my heart. That is a problem that we need to look at, it’s a serious problem; we have single moms that are trying to feed their kids but they have to choose between a water bill and food; that’s a problem.”


Stafford said again that Chuck McCollum was here and he can give you more information on the numbers if ya’ll would like to let him talk. He looked at the audit a little more closely and knew the numbers better than I did.


The mayor said he appreciated Stafford bringing the list to the council and he promised her they would look at it. He said it would all be considered and look at the comments and concerns and input. We will take it all under advisement and check it out. He said he appreciated the list she had brought and we will get back with her and will have the answers to all of the questions on the list.


The mayor asked if anyone else had anything.


The mayor asked if the council anything else.


The mayor asked Kerr if there was a need to go into executive session and Kerr said there wasn’t.


The mayor entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting.


Kinser moved, seconded by Whipple, to adjourn the meeting; the motion passed unanimously.








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City Clerk                                                                                Mayor