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Monroe Common Council: March 5, 2013
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MONROE - At a meeting Tuesday, the City of Monroe Common Council:

• Approved unanimously a service agreement with Payment Services Network, Inc. for online and credit card or debit card payments of utility and park and recreation bills and fees. User fees, ranging from $1.50 to $3.99 per transaction, will be passed on to the customer.

• Approved, on a 6-2 vote, a three-year employment agreement with Rex Ewald for executive legal services and technology coordinator services. Jan Lefevre and Tyler Schultz voted against. The agreement allows upper-level city government staff and officials almost unlimited access to the city attorney for legal advice, counsel, drafting and representation at a flat monthly rate of $5,900, plus 38 percent of health insurance benefits. Ewald will also perform duties as a coordinator and consultant for increasing the technology efficiencies throughout city government. Total minimum hours for performance of duties for both positions is 1,044 annually.

• Approved, on a 6-2 vote, a compensation and classification plan for non-represented employees and positions. Lefevre and Schultz voted against.

• Approved unanimously $305,600 to pay bills.

• Approved Main Street Monroe's Concerts on the Square for the 2013 season.

• Approved installation of yield signs on 23rd Street at 8th Avenue.

• Granted miscellaneous licenses.

• Granted, on a 6-2 voice vote, temporary class B beer and wine licenses to Green County Humane Society for Concerts on the Square. The wine license covers events on Aug. 16 and Sept. 6 only. Lefevre and Sara Conway voted against.

• Approved unanimously a contract to enter into a cooperative bid process to purchase carts for the city's new automated garbage collection system. The service is free through Houston-Galveston (Texas) Area Council.

• Authorized, on a 7-1 vote, the purchase of a 2013 GMC Sierra from Dearth Motors, for $23,900 after trade in, for the engineering department. The truck will become the department's main survey truck, replacing a 1998 Dodge that will be retained as a secondary vehicle. A 1993 Chevrolet half-ton pickup was used as the trade-in for $3,000. Schultz voted against.

• Police Chief Fred Kelley presented his department's newest officers, Jacob J. Allen and Brent R. Krebs, who were sworn in by City Clerk Carl Stamm. The officers began their duties March 4 and March 5.

• Alderman Brooke Bauman was absent.

MONROE - At a meeting Tuesday, the Finance and Taxation Committee:

• Heard from Al Eckstein, water utilities director, and Rex Ewald, city attorney, about on-going problems working with Siemens and the water treatment plant SCADA project. SCADA is a computer-controlled system that monitors and controls the water utility's operations. Eckstein concluded that Siemens is not going to fix the six-year-old system, and recommended a settlement agreement. Eckstein is awaiting written confirmation for an $80,000 settlement to let Siemens out of its contract. A quote from a third party for new custom programming, estimated to be about $125,000, is expected March 14. The committee will await the confirmation and new information before making a recommendation to the city council.