1. The city received bids on Aug. 14 for the replacement of the guardrails along South 14th Street and a drainage rehabilitation project there.
City Engineer Mike Guerra, in a memo to Council, has asked that all bids be rejected because the bids came in 22 percent higher than the city’s initial estimate and $165,000 over the budgeted amount. The city received six bids. The city will revise the bid specifications.
“The reason for the bid to be over budget and estimate was due to the cost of the rock for the Rip Rap,” said Guerra. “With a large quantity of rock this size there are (a) limited amount of quarries that were capable of fulfilling the project requirements. Therefore due to their locations, the hauling distance and time caused the price to (be) greater than the estimated cost.”

2. The Pekin City Council will again consider an agreement with Hanson Professional Services for engineering and design improvements of Front Street at a cost of $600,000.
The Council tabled the agreement at its Aug. 14 meeting after some questions about the cost of the projects and future funding once the design phase is done. The project would extend from Fayette Street to Distillery Road.
“With the completion of the design the city will be able to seek grant funding from state and federal levels for these improvements,” said City Engineer Mike Guerra in a memo to Council. “The city has already initiated the process for application of funding and plans to secure additional funding. ... Recently the industries located in this corridor have experienced growth with the possibility of additional capital improvements to facilities along Front and Distillery. While the improvements to these industries are beneficial to the city, they add additional stress to an already overstressed road.”
3. The Council will be asked to allow City Manager Tony Carson to negotiate contracts for group health insurance including life, dental, vision and short term disability insurance for full-time eligible employees and retirees.
Pekin Human Resources Director Sarah Newcomb said in a Council memo that the city is in negotiations with Teamsters Local 627. The city was provided with group health insurance rates through the Teamsters Central States Health and Welfare Fund. The city also requested pricing for self-insurance products. Newcomb said the city can save $250,000 to $931,000.
Central States premiums is expected to increase by 11.5 percent from Oct. 1 through September 2018, with another increase of 13 percent for the following year.

4. The Council will be asked to approve a master service agreement with Farnsworth Group for $85,500 for three tasks involving general wastewater engineering.
The services are in accordance with the Master Service Agreement with Farnsworth approved by the Council on June 26. The task orders include:
• General maintenance and support for software monitors of the equipment at the wastewater treatment plant that provides the automation of the equipment. Farnsworth was the one that programed the software at the plant. The cost of the service would be $50,000 for five years.
• Replace and improve the controls at the Hickory Hills pump station and integrate the process of recording and transmitting the readings of an instrument to the city’s fiber network. The cost estimate is $20,500.
• Provide assistance and advise the IT department with the replacement of computer servers at the wastewater treatment plant. The IT department is planning to replace the servers due to age and serviceability. In order to replace these servers, several software programs will have to be upgraded and reinstalled. The cost is $15,000 for the software and the labor.

5. The Council will consider an upgrade of the audio visual equipment used to televise meetings.
The equipment currently used by the city is antiquated and the cameras were not intended for use for broadcasting. The cameras are for outdoor monitoring. The equipment often does not function properly. People at home viewing the production can’t hear what is going on or the picture is of poor quality.
The cost of the new system is estimated at $30,000. Failure to replace it, said Hess in a Council memo, will result in continued poor quality. The alternative is to stop live broadcasts of the meeting.
Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin