Quincy City Council meeting draws a crowd
The City Council meeting on April 4, the first meeting since the city stunned residents and replaced the chief of police, began with standing room only.
The unusually large number of attendees – about 20 – waited silently in the minutes before the meeting began. And, when the regularly scheduled time came for open public comment near the beginning of the meeting, only one citizen spoke – a Boy Scout who was seeking the city’s support for an Eagle project.
Council members Paul Worley, David Day, Tom Harris, Adam Roduner and Sonia Padron were present. The mayor, Jim Hemberry, was absent.
There was nothing on the April 4 agenda about the sudden replacement of the former chief of police, Bob Heimbach. The city surprised citizens on March 29 when the City Council approved a severance package for Heimbach and approved an interim chief of police, Bill Larson.
Larson was introduced and given the oath of office at the April 4 meeting of the City Council.
Other business before the council included discussion of a hospital consultant’s fees, the city’s swimming pool and City Hall.
The Port of Quincy is covering half the cost of an assessment by a medical facilities consultant, Jody Carona, on behalf of Quincy Valley Medical Center, and the city was asked to pay for the other half. Council member Adam Roduner voted no, but the motion carried. The cost to the city is approximately $3,500.
Next, council members considered a proposal to purchase heating equipment for the Aquatic Center, the aim being to try to save money by replacing natural gas boilers with electric heat pumps for up to $100,000. There was extended discussion among council members and department heads Dave Reynolds and Russ Harrington about costs, equipment and different technologies used to heat water, including solar. Reynolds said the bill for heating water for the Aquatic Center was about $19,000 last year for three months of pool operation. The motion was voted down, and more research will be done on heating systems and costs.
After that, the council unanimously approved a motion to authorize the mayor to execute a contract with Architects West Inc., a firm based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for services related to the proposed City Hall project. The contract is for an amount up to $224,100 and includes design services and construction phase administration.
On Monday, April 10, the City Council met again briefly and completed agenda items from the prior week. On Monday, a motion was approved unanimously that will have the city terminate certain contracted services from American Water to operate the city’s water softener in the city’s Industrial Reuse Water Utility and the city’s Industrial Pretreatment Services. A motion was then also approved unanimously for the city to contract with Woodard & Curran, a professional operations firm, to operate the city’s Industrial Reuse Water Utility and Industrial Pretreatment Services, replacing American Water. The city says the switch will not cost the city any money. The American Water contract termination fee is to be assumed by Woodard & Curran.
The city of Quincy is in the process of adding and modifying components of the Industrial Reuse Water Utility, according to City Council meeting documents. Woodard & Curran will run it while it is being modified, a project being guided by engineering firm Brown & Caldwell, under contract with the city.
Mayor Jim Hemberry said Monday that he can’t comment on the replacement of the former chief of police, Bob Heimbach, because the city still does not have a signed separation and release agreement from Heimbach.
By Dave Burgess, email@example.com