An agreement for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning air handling unit at the Boonslick Heartland YMCA pool was approved Monday by the Boonville City Council.


The city received two bids, one from Wall’s HVAC Service LLC of Brumley and QuesTec Construction Inc. of Columbia. Wall’s had the low bid of $84,562.


Council member Morris Carter inquired if the Y had worked to maintain the unit or had they waited until it was necessary to replace.


"Because of the age of the equipment, the pieces and parts would have to be made because they do not make them anymore," Mayor Ned Beach said, relaying information he received. "The fear was, in another five years they would be in the same situation they are in today. That much I was told."


The air handling unit works as a dehumidifier for the pool area.


Carter wanted to know if the Y was covering any part of the replacement cost. The agreement the city has with the Y is that major equipment replacements are done by the city, Beach said.


"My question is did they pull routine maintenance on it," Carter said.


City Clerk Teresa Studley called Parks and Recreation Director Paul Linhart during the meeting so that he could answer Carter’s questions.


Linhart informed Carter the YMCA has conducted routine maintenance on its HVAC equipment.


"That unit was just so outdated and they did everything they could to try and keep it going and it was just beyond repair," he said.


Council member Steve Young wanted to know why there was such a stark difference in the bid prices since QuesTec’s bid was slightly more than $100,000. Linhart couldn’t speak to the bid difference but did note Wall has worked with the city before on other projects at the Y.


"They are pretty reputable company to work with," he said. "The other one I don’t know why there was so much of a difference. ... I am very comfortable with this purchase, I think it is very well deserved."


The council approved the agreement with Wall’s for the equipment replacement, with one abstention from Council member Mike Stock.


SUBDIVISION PLANNING


512 Investment is seeking to subdivide a parcel of land at 1290 Locust St. into three properties. The council held a first reading of an ordinance for the final plat of the subdivision.


The property currently is six acres, zoned as R-2 residential.


This was just an item for review. A decision will come at a future council meeting.


COMMITTEE MEETINGS


Council members gave reports about recent council meetings. This included the Boonville Housing Authority, Historic Preservation Advisory Commission and Planning and Zoning Commission.


Mayor Ned Beach made recommendations for appointments to various city committees including the Housing Authority and Planning and Zoning.


He put foward Wayne Jones and Cara Johnson for the Housing Authority with terms ending in 2022 and 2024, respectively; Zach Simpson for Planning and Zoning with a term ending in 2024; and Leo "Dale" Monteer and Rex Myers to the Street, Alley and Sanitation Board with terms expiring in 2021 and 2022, respectively.


The appointments were approved.


COVID-19 TESTING CONCERNS


Council member Albert Turner raised concerns Monday about accessibility of testing for COVID-19.


The current in-county option is via a screening interview with the Cooper County Public Health Center. Tests are done a drive-thru manner, so a person who needs to be tested has to either drive out the health center or to Columbia.


"My concern is we have school starting here in two to three weeks," Turner said. "It just seems to me that it would be reasonable to have a testing center right here. I don’t think it is right to send out people to Columbia to be tested."


He wanted to know why CARES Act funding is not being used to set up a testing center within city limits, possibly at the council chambers building.


"We can get an answer from [county] commissioners," Beach said.


Council member Susan Meadows suggested coordinating with the health center so they could hold testing days in Boonville city limits to serve those with limited access to transportation.


"I think funding is available," Turner said.


The county developed an application process to distribute slightly more than $2 million in coronavirus relief bill funding in early June. The first phase of application was through the end of June. Funding applications have to apply to COVID-19 expenses.


Fire Chief Tim Carmichael explained the application process for the council.


Carmichael attended a local emergency planning committee meeting last week where Presiding Commissioner Don Baragary said the county was starting to distribute some of the $2 million fund, he said.


"I’m sure Don would be glad to visit with you and tell you how it works," he said.