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City officials return to work with no heat

Staff writer

When city employees arrived at work Monday morning, they discovered that the temperature in the front offices of Peabody City Building were a chilling 58 degrees. Adjusting the thermostat did nothing and by later in the day, City Administrator Mac Manning was in receipt of bids to repair the heating system or install a new one.

“Denny’s Heating and Cooling has the maintenance contract on the system,” Manning said. “They came over and checked it out. The ignition coil and inducer motor are bad. Replacement costs will be about $700 to $800 and the furnace is already 25 years old.

“The price for a new 100,000 BTU heating system is $2,994. The money is available in the current year’s budget.”

After discussion, the council voted to purchase the new system.

In other business:

  • Manning shared a notification from Kansas Department of Health and Environment that routine monthly testing of drinking water in October, turned up a violation of total coliform bacteria in the distribution system. The city took repeat test samples as required by law from upstream and downstream of the contaminated sample and one of those samples also tested positive. The letter indicated the situation is not an emergency and no action — such as boiling water — needs to be taken by consumers. State law requires that all water customers be notified of such violations. Notification will be included in the monthly billing going out this week.
  • Council members discussed the cost of maintaining extra alley lights at the end of many blocks in Peabody. There are 26 such lights and the cost is about $2,200 per year for rent and electric usage. Two customers have contacted the city in hopes of keeping the lights in close proximity to their residences. After discussion, the council tabled a decision until the next meeting to give members a chance to look at the light fixtures and assess their impact on neighborhoods.
  • Jim Rippe, head of Peabody Planning and Zoning Commission, reminded the mayor and council that three additional appointments to the commission will need to be made in April to fill expiring positions.
  • The council reviewed a letter from Allegiance Communications informing them of negotiations that are underway with broadcasters who own or control local television stations. In other areas of the country, some cable providers have seen rates escalate by as much as 400 percent to accommodate broadcasters’ rate increase requests. Allegiance noted it anticipates some form of fee hike, but has no indication yet of how much it will be.
  • At the request of Police Chief Bruce Burke, the council went into executive session to discuss personnel for 10 minutes. They took no action on return to open meeting.
  • Council members approved moving the final meeting of the month to Dec. 27, anticipating Dec. 26 to be a part of the official Christmas holiday.
  • Manning informed the council that APAC was back in Peabody during the past week and finished repairing the large craters it had identified as part of the 2011 street repair work.
  • Public Works Director Darren Pickens said the maintenance crew from Cunningham’s was in town to do inside inspection on the water tower. They noted that some areas of the interior need repair. The company will send information on the extent of the problem and a timeline as to when they can address it.
  • Pickens also noted the work on drainage and culvert replacement on Peabody Street was completed by Marion County Road and Bridge Department. Only the overlay part of the project needs to be done, but will not be addressed until the weather warms up again in the spring.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 27 in the Peabody City Building.

Last modified Dec. 1, 2011

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