MOPR'S 1/21/03 VP LEVEE CMSN MTG MINS

 

Notes:  5/19/05 Updated formatting & note Mtg time 5:05 - 5:35 pm.

 

Present:  DC,  BL,  BW (Bob Walls),  JKB (John K. Brust - appointed 11/18/02),  DS,  CLM,  EM,  JZ,  JW,  TW. 

 

Also Present:  Jim Mitas of Congressman Akin's office, Andy McCord of PG Purdy, Tom Maurer of Meramec Valley Plaza.  Also, about 5:10 Vivian Blackman, 5:15 TB, 5:20 DM.)


 

1/21/03 Levee - Section 1 of  6

 

DC:  We won't be able to have a mtg, not really truly, because we don't have a quorum here tonight, but let's have a roll call (see above + RS & RH are absent).  (Pledge Allegiance)  Does anybody have anything to add or deletions to the agenda.  I'm going to add #6 & that's gonna be approve the mins for the 12/16, but we don't have a quorum here tonight so I'll just hold them over to the next thing.  So don't worry about it, there'll be no mins here.  So the agenda - we'll go into discussion for this mtg. 

 

Like I said, we can't do anything, but I just wanted to uh inform you, you got a coordinate progress & coordination report.  You see that we have um, awarded the contract - we had a pre-construction conference & was awarded to SOL Env'l Svcs, Inc. & CSR Env'l & went over the specs & all the uh procedures to follow, requiremts complete the tree clearing.  They've got a notice I think the 15th of this mo to start.  I just got a call from Len Martin with the COE & Friday, the superintendent is coming in & next Monday, the surveyors from the COE will be markin' off the points to set up the construction limits.  Probably, maybe the last wk in Jan or the 1st wk in Feb, they may start settin' up mowin' & doin' whatever it takes to get a - I just want to ask John Brust here if he would kind of intercede with the uh Lions Club down there.  & could we possibly again use the pkg lot that we used for - JKB:  Yeah, there's no problem.  DC:  It's all set up down there & I think that's where they'll probably set their - JKB:  Well, the mtg is still there & everything.  That's no problem;  they don't care. That's just tentative.  I don't know, maybe they'll want to set it down there, but we were shootin' to put it right there.  That's really all I have on the tree clearing contract. 

 

Anybody have any - ok, it looks like we're gonna get a start on this.  The people that did this are from Dallas, TX, that got this contract.  & I guess he's gonna be the general contractor or whatever, however that works out.  But another co Bisheras & they were from Minnesota or - JZ:  I didn't catch that part of it.  I'm not sure.  DC:  I really don't know & I really won't know who all the contractors are gonna be until we get set up & probably one day next wk we can all pretty much line up.  Len's gonna get set up downstairs like he did last time.  & we'll use a little office & use the other room, the conference rm to probably have our weekly mtgs in & everything like that.   So it looks like we're gonna be gettin' the go on this tree clearing contract pretty quick.  I don't know the scope of work.  That'll probably be worked out after they get their construction limits set up & everything, how they're gonna do the tree clearing & everything like that.

 

JZ:  There's plans & specs that they have to comply with.  TW:  They have to be done by April.  JZ:  They have to have the trees dones by April.  DC:  They don't have to have actually all the trees - TW:  Removed. - DC: removed, burnt up or anything like that, but they have to have all the trees on the ground by 4/1.  JZ:  They're well aware of that.  DC:  & they said that would be no problem there.  Ok, I don't have anything on Item 4B.

 

1/21/03 Levee - Section 2 of  6

 

EM:  Well, I'll pipe up.  On land acquisitions for 4B, um we've um gotten contracts that have been accepted from uh Rondell Investmts which is 801 Marshall Rd, that's where Kirschner Brick is; um Wallace Investmts at 180 Pharoah Dr, behind Connelly Roofing & there's Rideout has a, a towing operation & salvage yard there;  & uh 639 & 701 Marshall Rd which is Simpson Materials on one side, & it used to be LaFarge, it's owned by the Simpsons now.  So we've got those properties in hand;  they're just in title examination, waiting uh for title, & ordered the checks for those.

 

Um I corresponded with St. Louis County in order to get a property that we need for the 5th St stormwater outfall & the uh, Director of Parks & Recreation corresponded with me uh, yesterday & indicated that they will convey the property to the city without charge & uh, they want to restrict it to open space & I said that's fine.  & it takes 6 wks for the process to work, but we'll, we'll have that thru.  County Council actually passes an ord on it.  Um, we're still in condemnation, um an amended petition was filed, &, & we're waiting for a new date for a hearing on that.  Other than that, there's really not much else to report.

 

1/21/03 Levee - Section 3 of  6

 

TW:  There's some ROW docs that we're to provide to Eric & the COE.  We've completed what we found in Young's ROW & it's done.  It's back from our surveryor.  We're verifying it right now.  We should have that for tomorrow along with the AL RR ROW drawing.  We're hoping to have that finished for tomorrow.  The RR ROW & the area in ques around Valley Material, I think we're still waiting on a formal request area, Jim, from the COE.  We're prepared to go fwd with that, but I think there was still some ques about exactly how much property you guys needed in that area.  I think Kirk & Greg are working on that.  JZ:  Right, right. 

 

TW:  One of the other items that we're starting & continuing on & starting on is the pump sta over at Kena, determining whether we can go gravity or force main.  We looked at some new info today & yesterday that's kind of telling us we might have to stick with a forced line in there because of the way the gravity lines goes so many different directions.  We're thinking the best thing may be to do is just to put the central lift sta in to accommodate all the existing lines, instead of having to relay people's lateral's & gravity lines in that area mainly.  We're gonna do a quick cost estimate to see which is the most economical way.  Right now, actually it's flipped back to where maybe we need a force main in that area.  The existing force main that would be on the river side of the levee would stay in svc for those 3 houses, but it would tie into this new lift sta.  Then whatever happens on that side of the levee, if that floods again, that'll be dealt with at that time.  We'll have those people be reinstated back into svc or closed off I guess.  How does that work? 

 

JZ:  My understanding is, of course it has flooded over the yrs & they're outside the levee, so they would just be served by that pump sta.  TW:  So _ _ _ _ _ that pump sta would need to be rebuilt after a flood.  EM:  MSD thought was is that we just let it burn out.  _ _ _ _ .  TW:  Right, so that's where we're at on things & we owe Eric a couple of pieces of info.  Should get that to him tomorrow, but there's a few other things that are, Valley Material, RR ROW & _ _ talked to Kirk about that today.  That's something that he needs a little bit from you guys _ _ _ .  But we do owe you those two & we've got, one of 'em, Young's is done;  & the other one should be done by tomorrow, so _ _ _ .

 

DC:  Is that's Young's property up by the RR tracks?  TW:  Yes, in the Arnold's Grove area.  EM:  Just for a pipeline easemt.  TW:  One last thing, there's a storm sewer that the easemt was adjusted I guess by you guys as far as what _ _ _  because someone had built, right in that same area,  a structure actually over where your proposed easemt was.  JZ:  That's that Young's property.  TW:  Yes & so that, we just received, there is actually a kink in that, so hopefully that will be outside of the area that you're easemt will be required.  So anyway, you've got a handle on that.  We're gonna share that with you guys as well. 

 

JZ:  Ok.  Just to let you know, we're gonna have a mtg tomorrow to kind of go thru the overall lands & relocations picture between the city eng, city atty & the COE.  If there's anything that we're dealing with, we want to make sure we have the complete list.  I think I've got a spread sheet that shows properties & relocations & we're gonna try to make sure we're not missing anybody.  TW:  I just wanted to give them a brief summary of some of the things outstanding.  JZ:  Um, the COE's proceeding with our design for the uh, the levee, the levee uh contract & you know, we're putting together our plans & specs.  The specs for the relief wells have been provided to our specs section.  So we're, we're proceeding with that design effort &uh,  trying to assist the city in getting the lands & relocations & meet the schedule.  So that's all I have on 4B right now.  We did issue the notice to proceed on the 15th of Jan like you mentioned;  that did happen on the tree clearing. 

 

1/21/03 Levee - Section 4 of  6

 

CLM:  Jim, Since you all were still operating under that Continuing Resolution Cap based on 2002, you're not having any problems, are you?  JZ:  No, I was gonna talk about funding a little bit maybe when we get down to Item C here.  Andy:  This one env'l issue to do with the um stormwater permit that are relief wells.  DNR's informed me that they're actually writing the permit now;  hopefully it's in its final stage. 

 

CLM:  Some of you may have read that DNR was no longer going to handle clean water permits, Section 401 permits, because they're out of money.  They're gonna give it back to US EPA, who doesn't want it, probably can't take it.  So US EPA said, 'we've got money to pay for doin' that for the rest of the yr'.  TW:  I think it's thru June.  CLM:  Fiscal yr.  TW: Right, we heard that.  CLM:  Word I get on the st is that part of that budget problem, part of it was some people that were ticked off at DNR going to the governor's office & so probably what'll happen is the governor will probably find money after June 30th, & DNR will probably be operating with a little bit different attitude.  But anyway, don't expect the EPA to take it 'cause I don't think they legally can under the Clean Water Act of '72 & I don't think they want to take the funds to do it anyway.  As of right now, the state is still _ _ _ clean water _ _  improvemts _ _ .

 

DC:  How 'bout the city cost share for the project & total project cost - anything on that?  JZ:  I sent Eric a revised cost estimate.  We had talked about it a couple times on the phone, but on 1/3, a revised cost estimate, it includes uh you know, a major increase in the real estate costs, based on actual costs incurred by the city for real est acquisition.  There are other changes, but that's the main change.  That brings the total project price of the project up to 44 Million 489. (Forty-four million, four hundred eighty-nine thousand dollars).  The federal share is 33 Million 256 & the sponsor share is 11,233.  CLM:  & we have a federal cap of 35 Million.  JZ:  There's a cap of 35 Million in the Water Resource Development Act of 1999.  But planning money that was spent back in the early 80's that was applied to - you know there's a planning effort of the entire lower Meramec River, all the communities along the river.  A Million 276 thousand was expended on planning studies for other communities besides VP, but that still has to come out of the federal cap, based on the way the language is written.  So the fed cap for the VP project is 33,724.

 

CLM:  You actually broke it out?  _ _ _ you got that increased to 35, 20 Million to 35 Million.  33, 256 doesn't include that planning study money for all the area - that came (thru in '76?)  All of that doesn't have to be charged against the 35 Million cap you said?   JZ:  Um, let's talk about the cap.  The cap is 35 Million & written in law.  We have to subtract from that money that's already been spent on other communities which is 1 Million 276.  So the cap for the VP part of the project is 33,724.  The law says you are authorized to construct improvemts for communities along the lower Meramec River & here's the maximum money you can spend.  CLLM:  Yeah, I helped write _ _ _ .  JZ:  So that's why that planning money comes off the cap.  But anyway, the bottom line is that um, with this cost estimate, the estimated fed cost is only 468,000 below the fed limit for VP. 

 

CLM:  You still don't want us to do anything (someone coughs).  Last time we talked you said you still felt like you wanted to validate some of the #'s.  JZ:  I guess my theory is that we will uh see what we get for our bid for this big contract.  Then we'll know where we are.  CLM:  We didn't want to come to you all to help you, Jim, till the COE felt like - JZ:  The rule is you really can't expend the money.  I guess maybe we're getting into a legal thing here, but like that contract's gonna run for a couple yrs.  So once we know what the bid amt is, we won't be expending that money immediately.  CLM:  So we'll have some time to get it done, but ideally, we want to get it into another (warder?) like we did last time 'cause it's easier puttin' into wording than it is to _ _ _ _ _ _.   JZ: & ideally, we would not have to get the interest (& he chuckles). 

 

CLM:  Ideally, if we have to do it & uh, I think we're gonna have to, but it looks like for sure, that it will awarded this yr, whether it's gonna be the late, late part of the calendar yr, probably Oct, maybe even Nov before we're gonna get it worked out because we've got the same problem we had last yr with people that weren't as quick, what they called the COE Reform Legislation _ _ & some objected to that.  So they balked on it.  This yr, the people who objected to it are not controlling the Congress - it's Senate.  So people who wanted to put it in last yr, (someone coughs) filibuster like (collectors?) did last yr.  _ _ _ _ , but we've got a lot of time to put it in.

 

1/21/03 Levee - Section 5 of  6

 

JZ:  I guess we could go on to C if you want which is federal & sponsor funding for - DC: for fiscal yr 2003 & 2004.  JZ:  One thing tho about this cost estimate that I just described to you is that the sponsor's cash contribution, & I think I mentioned this at the last cmsn mtg, is reduced significantly because the land costs went up.  & the way the law's written, the sponsor has to provide 25% minimum.  Part of that would be lands & they have to make up cash to bring it up to 25% minimum of the total project cost.  So if your land costs goes up, then your cash contribution goes down.  You still have the 25% minimum. 

 

So um, we have um, stopped spending - the sponsor's cash contribution is going down dramatically.  The requiremt & um, our accounting office is well aware of that & so we're stopped spending sponsor money.  We're spending only fed money right now.  & we're gathering together whatever sponsor money that we didn't expend, you know, in order to be able to give that back;  either put it in the escrow acct or whatever the sponsor wants.  & then the ques, if more money beyond that is needed, then we'll have to get fed money to give back sponsor money.  Then that brings me to the fed part of the picture;  we still are under Continuing Resolution - we still don't have an official budget for this fiscal yr.  & so right now, we're under Continuing Res that takes us thru the end of Jan.  & basically we have enough money to proceed with all the work that we're gonna do between now & the end of Jan, & hopefully sometime there'll be an actual budget that takes us to the end of the FY. 

 

CLM:  The Senate should wrap that up this wk.  The ominous appropriations bill for FY 2003 _ _ _ _ _ _.  In the House I think it pretty much_ _  whatever the Senate does, except they may cut a little bit.  But the last #'s that I was able to get on the money from the Senate side from Energy & Water Appropriations is that it looks like for sure that there'll be substantially larger amt of money put in on the COE's water policy than what the president's budget _ _ _ .  I think that'll pretty well be kept in the House for _ _.   JZ:  FY '04, the next FY, um is , is still from a federal standpoint, is not, the president's budget has not been released for public review.  So there's really nothing I can say about that.  CLM:  Word I pick up is that the president's budget request for COE's water project for FY 2004 will also be substantially lower than what the COE's capabilities are for a lot of the COE's projects, which means that once again, we'll be dependent upon our friend Congressman Akin & Jim Mitas to get us more money in the House & Senator Bond & _ _ _ _ to get us more money _ _ _ _ .

 

EM:  I have a question on logistics & maybe on dollar amts.  Um, we were talking at one point a little less than a Million $ coming back to the city.  JZ:  Yeah, 900 something.  EM:  Um, it's only money!  & it would be my recommendation to the bd when that happens, that the bd goes ahead, we escrow it, but we strip, put it in strips, short-term stuff, so we can generate as much interest as possible.  Um, do, is, is the money going to come when the new budget comes or when you guys look at your house to see where you're at?  JK:  Ok, of the money that the COE requested for cash contributions, you put that money in the escrow acct & there's still 281,000 in the escrow acct, but we never (someone coughs) sitting there earning interest.  EM:  Right.  JZ:  The money that we have removed, but we haven't spent yet, will be a little over 250,000.  So that's something that we can give back to you just in a matter of a wk or so.  EM:  Gotcha! 

 

JZ:  As soon as we, like for example, for this tree clearing contract, I've got $1000 in a tree clearing contract.  I gotta take that non-federal $1000 out, put federal money in, put that all together in one pot & then send you, however we do it, send you a check for that amt of money.   EM:  Sure.  JZ:  Then the federal part, I put in a request to get money back during the CRA period, this period between now & the end of Jan, but our budget office says that, you know,  they don't have the money that they requested, for the COE St. Louis District, & they don't think they can provide that money to pay back VP in the next, you know, between now & the end of Jan.  So I would think we would certainly hope to get it right after that. 

 

CLM:  I don't think legally they could because you'd have to ask them to write a check for the money that they don't know they have until they know what the 2 thousand - JZ:  I don't know the legality of it.  CLM:   See right now, you're only allowed to spend money based on what you spent the previous FY, at that same rate.  & you're doing that for similar type works.  This I think would be an exception & I think they were going to have to have a # of what the St. Louis District FY 2003 total project's going to be before the treasury folks could write a check.  JZ:  On the other hand, we should be paying back the sponsor ASAP.  We're out of line, out of balance I should say.  CLM:  Oh yeah. 

 

EM:  All this does, is put us straight.  We, we did & we'll have a Million bucks or so in our acct, but then we'll still owe money.  JZ:  Really the next FY is the key FY for all of us.  The sooner we award this contract this late in this FY.  EM:  But I think according to the city's figures, we owe you very little money left on the cash contributions, assuming the land estimates work out.  JZ:  You would have the money you need to meet that requiremt.  CLM:  We're in that unusual position where my dad once said he never heard of the federal gov't giving money back to anybody.  He's gone now, but I bet he'd be surprised to know that the fed gov't actually is gonna give some money back.  JW:  For a little while.  JZ:  For a few months.  JW:  I'm sure it'll go back the other direction soon.

 

1/21/03 Levee - Section 6 of  6

 

EM:  Uh, & I did omit - I,  I've also talked with um 3 property owners on Pyramid St.  I've reached tentative agreemt with one, (Budinis?) mortgage co.  We need temporary construction easemts uh for 5 properties on Pyramid over & above what we already got.  That's simply because of ROW changes that were made.  Um, Absorbent Cotton is the same story.  We, we got property from them, they changed hands & then ROW requiremts changed, that's a levee alignmt & the det basin is being expanded.  So I've met with Nelson Everhard & it's now owned by US Cotton, LLC & it's in their corporate office now. 

 

So we should be getting some response from them very shortly.  We're, we're moving ahead with land acquisitions.  We're very much on target.  Um, & um, guess the next big rd is going to be getting those properties uh in suit that we were waiting for the Young was the last one.  & then beginning negotiations with the RR.   & I, I guess I, we have ROW issues with the waywod over on the, uh Burlington Northern end, uh -  TW:  I think there's not a final alignmt or easemt _ _ _ spelled out yet.  Is that your understanding from Greg?  JZ:  Yeah, we will talk about that tomorrow a bit.

 

DM:  Eric, When do you think land acq - you say it's moving ahead.  Do you have a projected date for all the land acquisitions?  EM: Oh I mean we're still on track I think for the end of May.  DM:  Jim, How does that put us for uh movin' ahead & awarding the contract?  JZ:  That's, that's the date that we have in our schedule.  DM:  So if we make it by May for land acquisition, August ok to (pursue?)?  JZ:  Right.  DM:  Is that the main reason it slipped from May to August, is land acquisition or was it that 2' det pond or whatever?  JZ:  Um, they're both really tied together.  I mean we, we changed - DM:  I mean I realize one affects the other - JZ:  I think there are several things that are going on with land acquisition, but that's one of the things. 

 

EM:  We, we just had a, a new ROW for our outfall (he chuckles).  I think you actually have a bid out to a person & the outfall has changed on 5th St to go on, is it city property now, I'm not sure, it just snaked over a snid so which relieves us from -  ?: _ _ _ _.   EM:  Yeah!  We'd like the land anyway, down the road for other reasons as you well know.  DM:  Yeah. 

 

DC: Is that it, gentlemen?  Any questions?  Ok, next levee mtg will be Feb 18th, another Tues 'cause Mon the 17th is Presidents' Day.  Tues, same time.  JZ:  It may be that um, that our District Commander would join us at that mtg.  I haven't really heard back from him, but he had said he assumed that he would be available on that date so I'll just let you know.  DC:  Just let me know, Jim, & we'll put in here kind of something. 

 

Jim Mitas:  I talked to him on Saturday & Col. Williams said that he currently has conflicts.  He's supposed to be traveling down to Vicksbury for a series of mtgs & briefings on the 18th.  (inaudible due to background noises) (End of 1/21/03 Levee Cmsn Mtg)