AURORA — City officials have decided to stick with the company that originally was awarded a contract to widen East Pioneer Trail westbound at the intersection with Route 43. The project is now on target for next June.

At its Nov. 19 meeting, City Council approved a change order with Burton Scot Contracting which requires the dates of construction to be May 31 to June 28, 2019. The project originally was scheduled to be completed by Nov. 8.

Service Director Harry Stark had told Council at a previous session that the company apparently had too many other projects in progress to start the Aurora project. 

Stark said the city considered terminating the contract and rebidding the project, but after talking with the contractor decided that letting the firm go ahead with the work in 2019 would be the best solution.

The original amount of the contract was $248,771, but because the company cannot do the work until next year the city will deduct $9,100, making the contract worth $239,671.

"Burton Scot is a good contractor, and the owner was embarrassed his crews could not get to Aurora’s project as originally scheduled," Stark said. "I feel comfortable the firm will get the job done in June. If it goes past the June 28 deadline, the company will be subject to a $700 per day penalty."

 

OTHER  MATTERS

Also Nov. 19, Council OK’d creating the new position of information technology manager. 

Chief of Staff Karen Aldredge said the person hired will be responsible for overseeing and managing all aspects of the city’s computer network and telecommunications equipment.

"After thorough research, we’re confident bringing this function in house will result in greater efficiency, stability and preparedness for all IT-related contingencies," Aldredge said.

The IT manager’s position will carry a salary range of $63,654 to $121,000, with Aldredge estimating the pay would be between $80,000 and $85,000. Council reps Amy McDougald and Scott Wolf called the position "long overdue."

To correspond with the new position, Council accepted a proposal from LTech Solutions for IT managed services for 2019 and 2020, with an option for a third year.

"This firm will provide help desk support, repairs, consulting and personnel backup for the IT manager, and will allow the city access to a fully staffed IT department without the need to hire additional resources directly," said Aldredge.

LTech’s contract calls for a one-time transition cost in 2019 of $5,000, plus $75,000 per year. Aldredge said the city requested proposals from five firms, and three of them responded.

An ordinance to establish a full-time construction and inspection manager position was introduced and will be on second reading at Council’s Dec. 17 meeting.

It would carry a salary range of $50,605 to $97,520. According to Aldredge, the position would allow the administration to have better control, consistency and cost effectiveness over multiple projects, and would save about $53,850 per year over contracting out inspection services.

Meanwhile, Council authorized a memorandum of understanding with Teamsters Union Local 436 that would commit the city to give retroactive pay raises back to Jan. 1, 2018 to union members working for the city under the current contract.

Law Director Dean DePiero said the union is seeking to have the retroactive raises go back to June 29, 2017, when the previous contract expired. So until that issue is resolved, the pay raises will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.

"Negotiations with unions are sometimes difficult and frustrating, but we work hard to be fair," said DePiero.

Council repealed three chapters of ordinances dealing with the job requirements of a city architect, dog warden and grant coordinator and archivist. They were removed because the positions are no longer in existence.

Council approved employing part-time firefighters William Lovell, Matthew Mikoch and Kristopher Longo, and part-time parks-rec maintenance person Emily Keller.

Aldredge said Lovell recently retired as a full-time firefighter, and is being hired as a part-timer. The other two firefighters are replacements for departed part-timers, while Keller will work with the parks-rec department just for the holiday season.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 Ext. 4189 or klahmers@recordpub.com.