Burton View

Council approves contract after procedural woes

BURTON — In the end, a lengthy discussion over an error in the minutes for a Feb. 5 council meeting all boiled down to one thing – a typo.

The Burton City Council spent a good portion of its 55-minute meeting Feb. 19 figuring out procedural matters regarding the tabling of a construction engineering project at its Feb. 5 meeting which appeared as an approved item in the minutes for the earlier meeting.

During approval of the minutes Councilwoman Candice Miller said she was reading through the minutes and noticed the action taken Feb. 5, where the council voted to table a contract with ROWE Professional Services Company for construction engineering of Bristol Road from Saginaw to Dort Highway, showed the council had approved the contract instead.

At issue Feb. 5 was the motion read the cost would be $190,798.25, where other paperwork had indicated the construction engineering fee breakdown was actually $124,030.

The project was then tabled at the Feb. 5 meeting but was reflected as approved in the minutes.

Clerk Racheal Boggs said the council could make a motion to approve the minutes with the following corrections.

“The problem is the item that was tabled is coming back in front of you tonight,” she said. “I think that’s where the issue is. You could say ‘I’d like to make a motion to approve the minutes with the following corrections’.”

Attorney Amanda Doyle told the council they can always approve minutes with corrections. She said the council can also postpone action on the minutes until later in the meeting.

Council President Greg Fenner attempted to make a motion to postpone the minutes, but Heffner said he thought tabling would be a better solution.

“It appears we didn’t table it and we approved it. Now we have to vote on the tabled measure and we want to get the minutes right prior to that,” Fenner said. “What I’m looking for is the easiest way forward.”

Councilman Vaughn Smith suggested voting on the first two sets of minutes from other meetings the council held Feb. 5 and vote on the third set that was in question later in the meeting.

Doyle questioned why the council couldn’t just postpone approval until later, but Councilman Gary Wines said the council would be voting on the project later in the meeting with new materials requested at the time the matter was tabled Feb. 5.

“We have the information in the new packet for the reason we tabled it in the first place,” Wine said. “I understand we want the minutes to be correct.”

Heffner said it’s not about the information the item was tabled for, but rather the information the council discussed and its actions which are not reflected in the minutes.

Fenner said he understood and added the council doesn’t want to give the appearance it is approving something the minutes already reflect as being approved on Feb. 5 when it was actually tabled.

Mayor Duane Haskins asked the council would it vote on a tabled item tonight if it wasn’t previously tabled.

Furthermore, if you want the minutes changed, you can make the motion saying with the changes to these minutes approve and vote on all three of them at once,” Haskins said. “It’s that simple.”

Fenner asked if Boggs could make the changes right now, but she said she could not while facilitating the meeting because it is done in the same system.

“But you can say, ‘with the following amendments” and approve it tonight,” she said. “That’s absolutely fine.”

Councilman Steve Heffner then made a motion to table the regular meeting minutes from Feb. 5 until the next meeting, which was supported by Miller.

Wines and Hull voted no, while the rest of the council voted yes for a 5-2 approval on the tabling.

Later in the meeting, the council voted to un-table the item and discussed it further before a vote.

Heffner asked the administration to answer the question raised Feb. 5 about the difference in prices in the original motion and the paperwork.

Charles Abbey, director of the DPW, said the $124,030 was a typo in the paperwork. He said the company uses a form which it enters and deletes information from and attributed the error to someone not replacing a previous figure with new numbers.

“It was an oversight on their part,” he said. “But we didn’t have back up stuff you asked for and it has clarified that info.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the project for the $190,798.25.