The Aurora city council on Tuesday voted against rescinding an ordinance calling for a bond election for improvements to the sewer system. The ordinance to rescind failed, with only two "yes" votes and three "no" votes.
The bond issue was once again the main topic of discussion after weeks of contemplation. It was first voted to add the issue to the August ballot on March 28, and since then the council has had numerous discussions about whether or not to remove it.
At Tuesday's meeting, Councilman Steve Ramirez again expressed the opinion that the city should forgo the bond issue and look for a comparable low-interest loan. Ramirez believed asking the public to pass the bond issue in August would be ill-timed, as it would come too closely on the heels of last year's sewer rate increase.
Councilwoman Dawn Oplinger expressed her disagreement, saying the passing of the bond issue would help "solve a problem that's 25 years old."
Councilman Stephen Wiles said Ramirez was right that the city could possibly get a low-interest loan elsewhere, but said the council "would be silly not to explore both options."
Ultimately, the majority of the council agreed that the problems with the sewer system had been put off long enough, and the first step to fixing said problems in the quickest manner would be to move forward with putting the bond issue on the ballot.
Also on the agenda again Tuesday night was the resolution authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement for the demolition of six properties in the city. The issue was tabled at the last meeting so that the city could reach out to the contractor with the lowest bid to ask if the bid would increase if the demolitions were spread out over a number of months instead of being performed all at once.
A representative for building inspector Trent White informed the council that the cost would in fact increase, by about $1,000 per house. White's recommendation was to move forward with the original plan of demolishing all the properties at the same time.
Ramirez wanted to wait to see if the city's budget would cover the project to move forward that way, suggesting that the city shop around the possibility of doing only a couple of demolitions at a time. City clerk Kathie Needham said the demolitions were a budgeted item and that the general fund money is sufficient, as well. Thus, the council voted to move ahead with the demolitions as originally planned.
In new business, the council voted to approve the fire department's disposal of 11 helmets that are non-repairable. The council also voted to approve a number of appointments to various committees and boards:planning and zoning commission -- Eddie Breeding tax increment funding commission -- Ken Reynolds (will replace former city manager Mike Randall) park board -- Brian Phillips airport board -- Ike McRoberts and Darold Farless board of zoning adjustment -- Doyle Furguson and Joe Van Camp
Following the regular reports, the council then moved to enter closed session to discuss (1) legal actions/causes of action or litigation, (2) leasing/purchase/sale of real estate and (3) hiring/firing/disciplining/promoting of employees.
The next regular meeting of the city council is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., June 13, at city hall.