Website, mosquitoes on council agenda

Sunday, April 19, 2015

By DONNA FARLEY

Staff Writer

The Poplar Bluff City Council is expected to act Monday on a contract for development of a new city website and consider purchasing aerial application services for mosquito control.

A contract with CivicsPlus of Manhattan, Kan., will be voted on to create a new city website at a cost of nearly $48,000 in start up fees and almost $15,000 in annual maintenance costs, according to city council documents.

An agreement to replace the mosquito abatement program will also be discussed. The city currently spends just under $23,000 annually utilizing vehicles with foggers. The proposed contract would require approximately $20,000 a month for aerial treatment.

The website proposal was discussed by council as a workshop item April 6.

The new website would take 16-24 weeks to develop, CivicsPlus explained in a proposal.

CivicsPlus would create a website that allows for online payments for Municipal Utilities and city court, according to City Manager Heath Kaplan. The new website would also allow citizens to report items that need immediate attention and file a Sunshine request. It would include a human resource module and integration of social media.

CivicsPlus was one of four companies which bid on the project, including Vision Internet, Yoodle and Poole Communications.

City council members asked April 6 to be provided with the bid documents for the other three companies.

The city council packet included only the proposal from CivicsPlus.

The bids were reviewed by a committee. A city report obtained through a Sunshine request said Vision Internet had poor customer service references. Yoodle would have required additional spending for customer support, it said. The price for Poole Communications' product exceeded the quality of the product, according to the city. The report did not contain bid prices and details for the other companies and this information was not received as of press time.

The mosquito contract is a workshop only item.

In a request from the city manager, the council is asked to consider purchasing one or two aerial treatments from Vector Disease Control International of Monroe, La., to try the method.

"I am concerned regarding the effectiveness of this program as its goal is to control the mosquito population," Kaplan said in a council document.

City staff spoke to other cities and found most use aerial treatment rather than vehicle treatment, according to Kaplan.

Kaplan acknowledged a concern with this type of application is the cost.

The treatment would cost $10,000 and require application every two weeks, or sooner if there is rain or windy conditions.

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