Highland News Leader

City seeks to replace utilities at Weinheimer Center, add LED lighting around town

Highland Mayor Joe Michaelis, right, and City Manager Mark Latham at a city council meeting.
Highland Mayor Joe Michaelis, right, and City Manager Mark Latham at a city council meeting. kmansouri@bnd.com

Highland’s City Council once again approved a request for bids to replace aging utilities inside of the city-owned Weinheimer Community Center, after its last attempt only garnered a single bid that was nearly double the estimated cost of the project.

The community center, located at 1100 Main St. in Highland, was built in 1952 and serves as a place for the city’s seniors and others to gather for activities. The council in the past has shown interest in building a new senior center.

The building’s furnace and AC unit are 60 and 35 years old, respectively. Director of Parks and Recreation Mark Rosen said the replacement of the two units is imperative, due to the concern of high CO2 levels.

Rosen said the building only has one thermostat, making controlling the temperature of the building, used by people of all ages, nearly impossible.

He also noted that updated utilities in the building could save the city money, on account of the old systems’ lack of energy efficiency.

The project is estimated to cost roughly $90,000. It was put out to bid once before, but the council only received a bid nearly doubling the then estimated cost of the project. The cost was higher due to the limited amount of time the company had to complete the project, according to a city memo.

Some funds from the Building Mitigation fund will be used for the renovations.

Other Council Action

The council approved an ordinance to seeks bids for LED streetlights to be installed throughout Highland. The estimated cost of the project is $52,500 and will add to the approximately 200 LED fixtures already installed in the city.

Director of Light and Power Dan Cook said the fixtures will reduce maintenance costs due to a less frequent need for replacements. He said the LED lights have a far longer lifespan than normal bulbs.

The LEDs also will increase visibility in the areas they are installed and lower electricity usage, Cook said. He added that his department would like to continue replacing traditional lighting with the LEDs.

A combined administrative assistant and deputy city clerk position was approved by the council. Whoever fills the position will answer to the city’s clerk, mayor, City Council and city manager.

The duties will include typing, processing, correspondence; receiving, screening and relaying telephone calls and mail for the mayor and city manager; preparing council meeting agenda packets; assisting in maintaining the code of ordinances and other official documents.

The council also approved the sale of a city dump truck.

The next meeting of the City Council will be Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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