Council turns down bid to move parade

The City Council declined to move the annual Christmas parade back to Main Street last week during its regular meeting on Nov. 10.

Chamber of Commerce officials advised Police Chief Bob Burford earlier that day that they would like to move it back to Main Street. A couple of board members had previously asked about it but were unaware of the costs associated with using Main Street.

Since 2004, the parade has been held on Long Street, Burford said. The decision to move away from Main Street in the first place was reached after a meeting with the chamber and discussion about the low parade participation; the cost of diverting Highway 20 traffic; the disruption to downtown businesses caused by parking restrictions; and the inherent liability issues when the city assumes responsibility for diverting traffic.

When held on Long Street, the overtime costs for Public Works employees are $3,240, and police overtime costs are $480, a total of $3,720. On Main Street, police overtime costs rise to $3,896, and Public Works costs rise to $5,768, a total of $9,664.

In other business, Public Works Director Mike Adams reported that the city put in its last loan reimbursement request to the state for the construction of the Water Treatment Plant.

He reported the total cost of the project was $12.453 million, including construction, the raw water line from Foster Dam to the new plant, engineering and the fish screen in Foster Dam.

The project had $400,000 in change orders, Adams said, which is a low number for a project that size.

The city is borrowing $10.69 million for the project, Adams said, leaving the city with instant equity of $1.76 million.

That’s justification for rate increases used to pay for the project, Adams said. In the long run, the city has had to borrow less.

The city had $11.5 million available to borrow for the project.