January 13, 2005
January Memphis City Council Meeting Focuses On Contracts
Contracts were the main topic of discussion at the January 6 meeting of the Memphis City Council. The aldermen renewed several contracts and also reviewed the ongoing issue with the city’s existing hay contract.
It had been brought to the council’s attention at the end of last year that there had been a possible error when the city had awarded the contract for the hay service on the city’s ground at Lake Show-Me.
A change in the contract had apparently caused some confusion amongst bidders as well as the council members. Two bids were received. The first from David Jackson, quoted a bid price of $7.50 to be paid to the city for each bale of hay. A bid of $9.56 was submitted by Curtis Mallett, but his bid was based on a contract that would give him half of the hay for providing the mowing and baling service. His bid was to buy the city’s half of the hay at $9.56 per bale.
At the December meeting the council had planned to re-bid the contract because of the discrepancy, noting members had apparently misread the bids when the contract was awarded to Mallett, whose per-bale bid price was higher, but whose overall contract value meant less revenue for the city.
Mallett was present at the January meeting and asked the council members to honor the existing contract. He pointed out that he had purchased new equipment based on his three-year agreement with the city. He stated he did not wish to cause the city problems but added that he made business decisions based on the three-year agreement.
“I honored my end of the contract and I would expect no less from the other party,” Mallett told the aldermen. “I entered this agreement in good faith. It is a signed contract.”
Alderman Lucas Remley questioned the process, asking when the hay contract format had changed. He pointed out that Jackson had provided the service for roughly 10 years before, when the contract had always been based on a per bale price for the total amount of hay.
He indicated that he didn’t feel the council had ever seen the new contract and strongly recommended that any contract changes should go before the council for review and approval to eliminate any problems like this in the future.
Alderman Ronnie Gardner stated the city did have a binding agreement with Mallett and motioned that the previous month’s action to rebid the hay contract be rescinded. The council voted 3-1 to rescind the motion, with Remley voting no.
Council members voted 4-0 to renew the cemetery maintenance contract for another year with Michael Kauth. The $21,000 price included a slight cost of living increase.
The council also entered a one-year agreement with Sam Redding to provide grave opening services at the cemetery. The contract had previously been held by Joe Paul, who is turning the business over to Redding and told the council he would supervise the transition this year.
Police Office Lease
The police department has a new two-year lease for the office space the city rents from the Masonic Lodge. The council voted 3-0 to renew the contract, which calls for a $2,100 annual rent to be paid in two $1,050 payments every six months.
Economic Development Board Director Dr. Harlo Donelson attended the meeting and distributed copies of the new “Community Profile” books published by the group. The bound-booklet is to be used as a tool to be distributed to businesses considering expanding or relocating to Scotland County. Donelson indicated individuals interested in receiving a copy of the booklet should contact him.
Police Chief Steve Snodgrass gave the December department report. He stated officers investigated one burglary and four motor vehicle accidents. The department made 18 community security checks and assisted on 12 animal calls and six ambulance runs while also answering 57 miscellaneous calls.
Superintendent Dennis Howard reported the water department performed routine vehicle and plant maintenance. Employees also responded to one water break. Howard told the council that the cemetery gates had been sandblasted and painted and are ready to be reinstalled.
Superintendent Roy Monroe gave a pool update. He noted that both shower rooms have been painted and fixtures would be arriving this week. The snack bar had been renovated with a new roof and windows.
All four council members as well as the mayor voiced their appreciation for the work done by the light crews to return electric service to city customers after outages last week due to the ice storm.
Alderman Mike Stone reported receiving compliments on the new pool. He asked about ownership of a shed at the Legion Park and whether it could be removed once ownership is determined.
Alderman Gardner reported attending an enhanced 911 meeting. He told the council that a fact-finding committee was formed to review the possibility of bringing the service to Scotland County.