Fulton council meeting features updates on tracking units, power plant

Tuesday night’s Fulton City Council meeting was business as usual, including updates on current projects such as GPS tracking units in city vehicles, the new fire station and demolition of the old power plant.

Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association consultant Jeff Arp told the council his agency had approved a grant request to fund installation of the Fox Trax GPS units — which the city first started testing in July — as well as another piece of equipment for the city.

“MIRMA gave us a grant this year to assist us in purchasing a pavement grinder, which we’ve already utilized to help grind up trip hazards on sidewalks where the concrete has settled,” Director of Administration Bill Johnson said. “It’s also going to be used to put GPS modules on about 25 vehicles.”

He said Arp told the council MIRMA is interested in improving the safety of cities that utilize its services.

“They thought our request was innovative and they’re interested to see how it’s implemented, and how it can be applicable elsewhere,” Johnson said.

There was discussion among the council as to whether the city should look into purchasing more units to outfit the city’s entire fleet of vehicles. In the end, it was decided to use the initial 25 units as a test to evaluate their effectiveness.

Tuesday night’s meeting also included an update on progress with the roundabout project.

According to Johnson, construction is “doing very nicely in the schedule.”

“The last three weeks of good weather allowed them to make up lost time,” he said. “For all intents and purposes, they’re done working in the creek. The rest of the project is significantly less weather-sensitive.”

There also were reports on construction of the new fire station and demolition of the city’s old power plant.

“(At the fire station) Glove-Con is on-site and have been moving dirt for the building,” Johnson said. “There needs to be some additional engineering to ensure the base is properly compacted before they progress to other portions of the project.”

As to the power plant, he said the structure is now completely down, and much of the material from the demolition already has been removed.

“They’re getting a track hoe to physically get into the basement to break a bunch of holes in the floor of the basement to make sure it doesn’t hold water,” Johnson said.

Also Tuesday night, the council gave final approval for the 2011 budget — which had been gone over at several previous meetings — without any further discussion.

One final topic was the city’s health insurance fund.

“It appears there will be no changes in rates for the coming year,” Johnson said. “We may look at modifying some of the plan services, but for right now the health funds are budgeted in the black to the tune of about $270,000.”

He said even if rates are adjusted — final numbers usually aren’t available until January — the city should have enough room within its budget to cover the changes.

“We really need to keep that account in the black because over the past several years it has dipped into the red,” Johnson said. “It took us more than one year to get into the red and we’re not going to get out of it in one year, but we need to make sure we stay on that track.”

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