Daily American Republic
Questions again faced Poplar Bluff city manager Heath Kaplan this week about payments to a developer and a phone system bought in July and replaced in October. On Tuesday, Kaplan denied the city has missed payments to Eight Point developers, despite having painted a different picture during an earlier city council finance committee meeting. The city has an agreement to reimburse the developer for certain costs related to a redevelopment project on Oak Grove Road. The debt stands at almost $14 million, with 21 years remaining on the repayment schedule. Kaplan says not one payment has been missed. On March 18, Kaplan urged the council to pass a debt-management policy quickly. Kaplan says the city has accepted two certificates of substantial completion from the developer. The deadline for repayment does not begin until the city accepts them. Meanwhile, a local technology company claimed Tuesday the city bought $32,000 in phone equipment in July, only to replace it in October with $580,000 in equipment from a Michigan company that did not bid on the job. Kaplan said the July purchase was intended only for the temporary Municipal Utilities building. The Cisco system purchased in October from Information Systems Intelligence, the Michigan company is better and has less expensive licensing costs. Eric Arnold, owner of Today’s Computers in Poplar Bluff says the system he provided in July was meant to be used citywide. Arnold said his company worked directly with Municipal Utilities director Bill Bach and city technology worker Michael Pry to find a system that met the city’s requirements.