1. The Pekin City Council approved on Monday an upgrade to the audio/visual system in Council chambers in a 6-1 vote with Councilman Mike Garrison voting no. The new system is not to exceed $30,000.
The old system, said Network Support Administrator David Hess, has been in use since the Pekin Municipal Building was built in 2001. The system is antiquated, and the cameras were not intended for use for broadcasting. People at home viewing the production often can’t hear or the picture is of poor quality. The system will consist of three cameras and better lighting. Councilmen will wear lapel mics to eliminate the fluctuation in sound when they lean back in their chairs away from the mics. Staff and the podium mics will be wireless. Installation will take place in six to eight weeks.
2. The Pekin City Council on Monday unanimously rejected bids for the replacement of South 14th Street guardrails and work on creek erosion there.
The bid was 22 percent higher than the city expected — $165,000 over city estimates of $300,000.
City Engineer Mike Guerra, said the city received six bids. The bids were higher than expected because of the cost of the rock used to line the creek. There are few companies that provide the rock and they have to drive long distances. The city is looking at other options that can be sourced closer to home and for less cost.
3. The Council approved three wastewater related tasks with Farnsworth Group for $85,500 for three tasks involving general wastewater engineering.
Carson said the city signed a master service agreement with Farnsworth in June, and the tasks fall under that service agreement. The tasks include general maintenance and support for software monitors at the Pekin Wastewater Treatment Plant at a cost of $50,000. The company will also replace and improve the controls at the Hickory Hills pump station at a cost of $20,500. It will also assist and advise the IT department in replacing computer servers at the wastewater treatment plant. The cost is $15,000 for the software and the labor.
4. The Council approved the hiring of a deputy city clerk to assist City Clerk Sue McMillan.
City Manager Tony Carson said the city receives a large amount of Freedom of Information Act requests that have made it difficult for the work of the office to be completed.
“What I can say is in my 20 years working in government we receive in FOIA requests (here) in one week what I had received in all 20 years prior (to coming here) combined, which shows the amount of requests given to our city clerk,” said Carson. He said McMillan has to respond to every request whether she has to provide the information or refer them to a website. The wage range for the deputy clerk will be $41,130 to $71,809.
Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin