Feb 15 2015

City Council Feb. 17: Undergrounding Lawsuit, Recreation Outreach, Garbage Services Audit, Contract and Bidding Ordinance, Drainage on Highland Avenue

The Piedmont City Council February 17 agenda includes further closed session consideration of the City’s on-going lawsuit against engineers involved in Piedmont’s $2+ million private undergounding expense.

Piedmont has continued to improve contracting procedures.

With the encouragement of Mayor Margaret Fujioka, laws and polices governing purchasing and contracting have been updated to correct many years of inconsistent actions. 02/17/15 – Approval of the 2nd Reading of Ord. 716 N.S. Changing the Thresholds for Informal and Formal Bidding Requirements into Conformance with Current Best Practices

Also, on the agenda is a Recreation Department outreach program including a community survey and Town Hall style meetings to learn about recreation needs, programs and ideas.  Piedmont’s new Recreation Director Sara Lillevand and the Recreation Commission have proposed a community outreach plan.  The information gathered is intended to assist in future program designs for all users new and established. The community will be encouraged to weigh in on all recreation issues including the pool, grassy playfields, programs for seniors, etc. 02/17/15 – Receipt of a Report Regarding the Recreation Department’s Community Outreach Project

Drainage problems on Highland Avenue between Park Way Avenue and Moraga Avenue have persisted for years.  Sand bags have been frequently seen in the area as attempts were made to control storm water.  The trees in the area have caused the sidewalks and gutters to be damaged.  Some diseased trees will be removed.  The project to correct the problem will cost $278,650.  02/17/15 –  Consideration of the Award of the Highland Avenue Park Way Drainage Improvement Project to JJR Construction, Inc. in the Amount of $217,969.25 and Authorize an Overall Construction Budget of $278,650 and Authorization for the City Administrator to Sign the Contract

After considerable discussion at the February 2 Council meeting, the Council decided to go forward with $51,000 + performance audit of the services and billing by Richmond Sanitary Services, Piedmont’s solid waste collector.  Some residents were concerned by news of neighboring cities charging a lesser rate for services. Explanations for Piedmont’s fees included Piedmont’s hilly terrain, extra pick up services for bulk and e waste, lack of commercial properties, and additional charges for those using backyard services. 02/17/15 – Consider an Agreement with R3 Consulting Group Inc. in the Amount of $51,300 for the Billing and Performance Audit for Richmond Sanitary Services and Review of the Franchise Amendments Requested by Richmond Sanitary Services

One Response to “City Council Feb. 17: Undergrounding Lawsuit, Recreation Outreach, Garbage Services Audit, Contract and Bidding Ordinance, Drainage on Highland Avenue”

  1. The performance audit of RSS is intended to review the company’s performance under the current contract. There will be no evaluation of the current rate structure under this audit. In the statement of work by R3 there is some fact-finding proposed that may help to explain Piedmont’s rate structure which will be renewed in 2018 with a new solid waste contract. The audit will be used to evaluate RSS rate increases proposed under the current contract.

    Regarding the contract and bidding ordinance, staff clearly advocated for a $75,000 threshold in the ordinance so it would have been more helpful to public notice to include that value in the ordinance or as a recommendation in the staff report. As it stands now, the change was made at the first reading and will be adopted at the second reading during a week when a great deal of residents are away from town.

    A major contracting expense not included in the ordinance is for professional services. These are in fact excluded from the ordinance and only divulged if requested by council. The previous city administrator and public work department awarded sole-source consulting contracts to Coastland, law firms and traffic consultants well in excess of the proposed $75,000 limit. Perhaps this will be addressed in the purchasing ordinance and policy being brought back to Council this spring.

Leave a Comment