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City Council Recap: Local Honors and Essential Upgrades

The October 2, 2023, Excelsior Springs City Council meeting was short, clocking in at under 20 minutes and only four items on the agenda.

Proclamation – Recognizing William “Bill” Fostich
In a heartwarming tribute to lifelong commitment and exemplary dedication, the Excelsior Springs City Council took time out of its October 2nd meeting to spotlight a noteworthy local citizen. Mr. Bill Fostich, who has dedicated half a century of his life to IMCA, now known as Paccor, was at the center of this commendation.

Mayor Mark Spohn announced a proclamation in Fostich’s honor, set to be presented on October 12th, acknowledging his immense contribution to the local company and, by extension, the community. This recognition is not just symbolic; it’s deeply significant for the community and the Paccor plant.

Speaking on the matter, Excelsior Springs’ Economic Development Director, Melinda Mehaffy, passionately remarked, “It’s truly remarkable to hear about Mr. Bill Fostich’s incredible 50-year journey with IMCA, now known as Paccor. Such long-standing dedication and commitment to a company are truly exceptional and deserve recognition.”

Mehaffy shared the heartening news that the Paccor plant would temporarily cease operations on October 12, 2023, not for any disruption or strike, but to celebrate Mr. Fostich’s impressive employment milestone. This gesture isn’t just an accolade for Fostich but signifies his immense value to Paccor. His celebration isn’t tied to a retirement ceremony, which is noteworthy. Instead, it’s a nod to his ongoing commitment and showcases that his journey with Paccor is far from over.

Proclamation – Fire Prevention Week
The second agenda item was another proclamation, addressing a matter of national and local significance. Mayor Mark Spohn took the opportunity to read and present a proclamation to Assistant Fire Chief Zac St. John, establishing the week of October 8-14, 2023, as National Fire Prevention Week in Excelsior Springs.

This year, the spotlight for Prevention Week is on cooking safety – an area of concern for communities across the United States. As revealed during the council meeting, cooking is the nation’s leading cause of home fires. Between 2016 and 2020, fire departments responded to a staggering number of over 166,400 cooking-related fire incidents annually. Two out of every five home fires ignite in the kitchen. Alarmingly, 31% of these blazes can be traced back to unattended cooking.

Consideration of Blower Unit #3 & #4 Replacement at the WWTP – Resolution No. 1474
A recent incident at the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) prompted a significant agenda item during the Excelsior Springs City Council Meeting on October 2, 2023. Chad Birdsong, the city’s Public Works Director, presented the urgent need to replace Blower Units #3 and #4 at the WWTP.

Birdsong explained the dire circumstances surrounding the blower units, “On Friday, September 1st, a fire ignited in Blower Unit #4, which subsequently spread to Blower Unit #3 at the WWTP. The damage was severe, rendering both blowers a total loss.” The incident was promptly reported to the city’s insurance provider, Travelers, who undertook several visits and thorough investigations into the cause of the fire.

Travelers’ investigation involved reviewing all service records and repair work related to the blower units. However, they were unable to determine the cause of the fire conclusively. “We have received notice from them that we can start the replacement process,” Birdsong added.

Seeking a quick resolution, the Public Works Department contacted Aerzen, a known provider of such equipment, to obtain quotes for two identical replacement units. “Aerzen has quoted a price of $122,398.00 for each unit, which encompasses not just the blower unit but also the shipping, installation, startup, and two days of training,” Birdsong informed the council.

In addition to the blower units, electrical services for the new blowers, which were damaged during the fire, also need replacement. The department has secured bids for this work, with the lowest bid coming from Yates Electric at $4,860.00.

The combined total for both blower replacements and electrical services amounts to $249,656.00, with Traveler’s taking on the brunt of the cost. The city will be responsible for the deductible amount of $10,000.00 with Travelers for this claim, as highlighted by Birdsong during his presentation. The request was approved unanimously.

Consideration of Change Order #8 for Community Center Phase II Project – Resolution no. 1475
Nate Williams, Director of Parks, Recreation, & Community Center, presented the consideration for Change Order 017R related to door hardware improvements for the Community Center Phase II Project.

Williams said the Excelsior Springs Parks and Recreation Community Center Department (ESPRCC) is nearing the completion of its Phase II project. As progress has unfolded, it became evident that significant repairs were necessary, particularly in the Natatorium.

Change Order 017R addresses key issues in the Natatorium, focusing on replacing and enhancing door hardware. Williams stated, “Most of the current door hardware in the aquatics area is completely rusted through and doesn’t function correctly.” Furthermore, he highlighted concerns regarding an emergency response door included in the original project. “This door is narrow and lacks a removable mullion, making it challenging to access with equipment,” Williams pointed out.

Here’s the breakdown of the costs associated with Change Order 017R:

  • Door Replacements: $53,815.00
  • Door Hardware Set Changes: $14,442.00
  • Key Access to New Door: $3,956.70
  • Bonding and P&O: $8,810.07
  • Total Cost of Change Order 017R: $81,023.77

Williams reassured the council members that funds were available for this project, emphasizing the importance of these changes not just for aesthetics but for the functionality and safety of the facility.

After remarks by the City Manager and council members, the meeting was concluded, and the council entered into closed session.

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