The Perryville Board of Aldermen had a busy night as they had lengthy discussions on several items on the agenda at its latest meeting Dec. 20.
The first of which pertained to the Fall Craft Festival application that was submitted by John Brown. Several year ago, John and his wife, Jill, owned JB’s Custom Furniture. Their business was located at 115 North Jackson. They approached the city and asked if they could close a portion of the street in front of their business and host a fall craft fair. The city readily agreed and the event was successful. They have since moved away from Jackson Street and closed their storefront in town. The City allowed John to host the event last year but drew some criticism about letting a private individual close an unaffiliated city street to host a for-profit event.
The board offered that the event be put under the Perryville Downtown Revitalization group because he is a private citizen.
Brown was not quite agreeable with that, but is willing to do anything so that the event can happen.
“I don’t get rich off this event, I just want to be able to work with my event that I started,” Brown said. “I’ll sign up with whoever and I would like the money to go to the ballfields because that is my passion.”
The event will not happen for another year so the board agreed to work with Brown so that he could have his event.
Another item on the agenda involved change orders. Currently, any and all change orders to city contracts are to be brought to the Board of Aldermen for approval, regardless of the size and scope. According to City Administrator Brent Buerck, this can be problematic, particularly for items that are time sensitive or very small in nature. For example, recently it was noticed a small part of the Perry Park Center was not included in our paint project. It totaled less than $1,200 and the painter was ready to do the work immediately. Staff approved it but, technically, a change order should have been done officially. Another example can be found above where Fire Department staff wanted to add a door to their training room during the construction of said room and paint a small portion of metal support beams so they would match the rest of the building. Staff would like to have the option to approve minor items, perhaps in a fashion similar to what is allowed in our purchasing policy, up to $20,000. All change orders could still be presented to the Board after the fact and the Board would have the opportunity to then consider the items to make sure staff did the right thing. Another option that has worked for the city is to include a small owner contingency on construction projects which would allow staff to review and approve minor change orders up to a certain cumulative amount or even a percentage of the total project. Either option could be a viable solution for a particular project and, if the Board is agreeable, staff would bring a policy back to the Board for final consideration.