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Council discusses lost revenue, rescheduled Fall Festival


 
By M. A. Smith
Contributing Writer
Posted on 10/30/2019, 1:39 AM

The Benton City Council met Oct. 28. All members were present.

Mayor Fred Kondritz opened the public affairs report to a presentation by a representative of Azavar Government Solutions. Azavar Government Solutions helps municipalities find revenue lost due to coding and collection errors; by examining missed opportunities for tax, utilities and franchise fees; and by professional audits of all city expenses.

The rep explained this company works on a contingency basis, with 55 percent of monies recovered during the 36-month contract period going to the city and 45 percent to Azavar. After the completion of the three-year contract, 100 percent of the revenue goes to the city.

The H96-4656 construction engineering fee for the airport terminal building was approved. The matter concerning the purchase of the property at 202 E. Main St. was tabled.

Rachel Gartner, community relations director for the city, reported the Fall Festival has been rescheduled for 3 to 8 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Benton Community Park. Gartner said all activities planned for the free event remain the same: trunk or treat, games, hayrides, live music and a DJ, inflatables and photo booths. The shuttle service will run from the parking areas in the park to the event entry. Gartner also reminded those present this Saturday will be a busy day for Benton with a cross country sectional meet in the morning, the Ranger football playoff beginning at 3 p.m. and a craft fair at the Benton Civic Center.

Commissioner Perkins led a discussion on the writing of an ordinance to set limits on leachate from landfills and run-off water and the purification of wastewater. Perkins noted the city of Benton has received a $206,000 grant from the Delta Regional Authority for use on Petroff Road and led the board in approving payment no. 2 to Wiggs Excavating for a job done on North Main to Joplin Street as part of the water main relocation project. Commissioner Messersmith of Streets and Improvements reported the North Main project should be completed by the end of this week, weather permitting. Kondritz expressed approval of this project with a "remarkable job" comment.

Commissioner Storey opened the public health and safety report with a list of expenditures: $1,067 for the mandatory annual fire department ladder testing, the emergency purchase of a generator and cable kit to replace one which had been in function since 1970 for $1,163, and the purchase of dive team equipment of $638. Storey noted the dive team purchase would be paid through a $5,000 donation given to the Fire Department. These purchase orders were approved.

Commissioner Garavalia began the accounts and finance report by asking City Treasurer Lisa Meno to clarify the previously discussed resolution to amend the distribution of wastewater funds. Meno explained that $40,000 of these funds would go toward debt reduction and $15,000 would be used as a "pro-active" stance on sewer infrastructure projects. This resolution was approved, as was the amendment of the resolution for the sewer surcharge. Questions arose during the sewer adjustment segment, with most applications being approved and a few warranting further study. Purchase orders, monthly bills and payroll were approved in the amount of $195,000. The issue of repairs at the Ford Garage Museum and a matter regarding the Historic Preservation Board were tabled.

With no further business or matters from the public audience, the meeting was adjourned.