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City reviews its finances;
stormwater update given

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

A look at the latest financial reports and an update on the study of the city's stormwater drainage system were two major topics facing the Platte City Board of Aldermen at a meeting Tuesday night.

A review of the fiscal year 2001 financial reports showed that the city's conservative nature in planning the budget continues to work.

At Tuesday's meeting, City Administrator Keith Moody reported that the actual ending cash balance for fiscal year 2001 reflected a $5.3 million balance, rather than the estimated $4.6 million balance that had been anticipated.

The actual surplus, which amounted to $695,682 more in cash reserves than anticipated, is due to major elements contributing to the variation between budget and actual.

Moody summarized the various funds this way:

• General Fund-revenues exceeded estimates by $53,000. $230,000 less was spent than estimated which reflects the fact that the street department didn't complete $93,000 worth of capital improvements.

• Parks Fund-revenues exceeded estimates by $40,000, the Parks Board spent $80,000 less than estimated which consists of $48,000 budgeted for capital that was not spent.

• Capital Project Fund-revenues exceeded estimates by $64,000 due to stronger sales tax receipts and a higher than budgeted price for the old police department building on Main Street. The city did not spend as much as budgeted because the city had anticipated making final payment on the 4th Street project, the Highway 92 project and the Police/Public Works Facility Project in fiscal year 2001. This did not occur and therefore amendments to the fiscal year 2002 budget will be necessary.
"A number of projects haven't been finalized for the fiscal year 2001, which is why the surplus is over $1 million. We were anticipating those projects would be finalized by the end of the fiscal year," said Moody.

• Water Operating Fund-less money than budget was spent in each budget category resulting in an $83,000 surplus.

• Water Replacement Fund-more money than budgeted was spent ($11,000) on replacing water lines in alleys and along Main Street. More money than budgeted was spent on replacing water meter pit assemblies ($7,000) in the final route being changed to radio-read.

• Water Capital Improvement Fund-a project was budgeted for but no subdivision required participation in increasing the size of a water line by the city according to the connection fee ordinance.

• Sewer Operating Fund-interest and sewer use charges combined to exceed estimates by $36,000. Fees paid to OMI ($15,000) for managing the treatment plant while the city was without an operator were not budgeted for and contributed to this fund exceeding budgeted expenditures by $5,000.
• Sewer Capital Improvement Fund-sewer connection fee revenues exceeded estimates by $17,000.

• Refuse Operating Fund-the balance of our recycling grant proceeds from MARC and the DNR ($40,000) will not be received until fiscal year 2002. Two grant items, the compactor and can crusher, will not be paid for until fiscal year 2002 ($20,000).

Moody stated that the fiscal year 2002 budget will need to be amended to include projects that weren't completed, including stormwater and street improvements.

In other business, Mayor Frank Offutt announced his plans for Phase 3 of the Capital Improvements Program.

The phase three plan involves residential improvements to a 55-home area. The phase consists of improvements to storm drainage, curbs, gutters and replacement of old water and sewer mains.

The area will encompass the streets of Almond, Academy, Radar, Todd, Atchison and Cathy Lane.

The projected $1 million phase, may also include constructing two hammerheads at Atchison and Cathy Lane. The city is trying to put the t-shaped endings at the foot of the roads, which are currently dead ends. The t-shaped endings, which aren't as space consuming as cul-de-sacs, are necessary because there is currently no turnaround area for emergency vehicles on these streets.

According to Offutt, the current hammerheads don't fit inside the right-of-way the city currently has, so they are asking for additional easements from property owners. If the city is not successful with gaining the easements from property owners, Offutt stated the city will just shorten the T-portion of the hammerhead.

The city published the notice of bids for the third phase on Wednesday and hopes to have the bids collected within 30-days. City workers are currently working on relocating the water and sewer mains permanently and hope to have it completed by April 1.


Offutt also asked for the board's approval to enter into services with Bartlett and West engineers to provide analysis of culvert sizes for the major streams which run through Platte City.

The estimated $7,500 fee will involve analyzing 14 culvert crossings and includes a site visit to each location, analyzing the street crossings, and recommending culvert sizes that will handle the 10, 25, 50 and 100-year storm frequencies. The final product will show the culvert locations, contributing drainage areas, and a table that will list different culvert sizes for the different storm frequencies. The board approved Offutt's request.

"The services with Bartlett and West will eliminate speculation and come up with hard core data on each crossing and how they figure into the stormwater issue all together," said Offutt. "The analysis will also give us an overall scope of how one area may affect another area."

Offutt announced that the first meeting of his appointed stormwater commission will be held Wednesday, Jan. 16.

Board members also approved the hiring of Frank Mabry as the public works superintendent. Mabry will serve in the position not to exceed two years.

The board also approved a bid from All-Pro Ford for a 2002 Ford police vehicle. All-Pro Ford came in with the lowest bid by $7, with a bid of $19,975.10.

Offutt also asked the board for help in ending rumors regarding him approaching the City of Tracy regarding annexation. He simply stated to the board, "There is no truth to the rumors."

The board also held the swearing in for new police officer, Darrick Bruns, who will serve as the new Platte County R-3 SRO officer. Also, the board announced Billy Mason as the Public Worker of the Year 2001.