Tuesday, Dec. 12 was anything but typical as Elsberry Aldermen and other parties met for the City’s monthly meeting.
Following a nice award presentation by Elsberry Police Chief Robert Bodley, things got a little heated as discussion on the Lakeview Water and Wastewater project had finally reached it’s ‘now or never’ point.
According to Jay Gourley with Boonslick Regional Planning, everyone involved in the project is ready to go, but a few details needed to be ironed out. One issue, which was simple to solve, was in regards to the lateral connections going from the main line to the homes.
“The NIDS funds will pay for that if the city will take ownership of those connections,” explained Gourley. “What that means is that there is a one-year warranty, obviously, when these are put in. This is something that needs to be taken care of otherwise I don’t know how their going to get paid, because the block grant will not pay it or anything towards it. It’s already been figured in to the engineering side of things, but this is the only way it’s going to get paid for.”
Alderman Matt Hartley asked what size they were proposing, whether it was a scheduled 35 or a scheduled 40, on the hook ups to the homes.
“I think we might want to know that if we’re going to have to take them over and if you need action taken tonight,” said Hartley.
Unfortunately, it was not something Gourley was able to answer. What could be answered was exactly how the city would take ownership and why. According to Terry Merritt with Alliance Water Resources, the city would only own the connections, not the lateral from the main to the homes.
“The person that owns the collection system typically owns the tap going into the main. So the city would not be responsible for any damage in the yards or anything, but they would be responsible for the tap itself.,” said Merritt . “During that time period where there would need to be inspection work, verifying they were done correctly, Alliance would want a representative from the city to be present during those inspections.”
Hartley explained and Alliance agreed, that Y’s would make a better solution for all.
“Typically Y’s are put in, especially in new construction and I’m not sure if we got to look at the plans and if that was listed in them or not,” said Hartley. “Like I said, if we have to make a decision tonight, then I think it would be best if we were able to see exactly what we’re talking about here.”
Alderman Steve Wilch asked if the contractor agreed to put the Y’s in during the bid and according to Gourley they did.
Moving on to the second topic, Gourley stated they needed to go over the tap fees. What he was advising is that rather than paying everything over the first year, it be spread over the next four years.
“Water is approximately $700, as is sewer,” explained Gourley. “The reason for the payments being stretched out over four-years rather than just the first year is because if the city tried to collect the $1400 dollars over the first year plus a sewer bill residents aren’t used to and a water bill their somewhat used to, it would be to much.”
At this time Mark Kroeger addressed the board stating this has been in the works for a lot of years. He went on to say that since the beginning there was never to be a tap on fee for the wastewater and was curious when that was determined. However, nobody was sure that was correct and Jo Ann Cordsiemon, Elsberry City Clerk, said she would go through past minutes to verify either way. But from the best of her knowledge that was never the case.
“They offered to give the residents the city rate rather than the out of town rate, which saves them approximately $200,” said Cordsiemon.
At the beginning of the project, approximately 11-years-ago, there was talk that the funds from NID would possibly cover some of the cost, however, that is no longer the case, nor was it ever set in stone.
In regards to the tap fees, the board voted six Aye’s – zero nay’s to stretch the fees over four years instead of the first year.
The third and final issue was in regards to a phase three generator. According to Gourley, the Community Development Block Grant funds and the Neighborhood Improvement District funds will not pay for a three-phase generator for the SCADA System. Gourley said this was more of a statement than a question for discussion. However, according to the plans, they will pay for a dial up system, just not a SCADA System.
According to the plans, DNR approved the construction without the generator. The problem becomes what happens if Lakeview loses power? What will that do to the system? One option discussed several months ago was having Marshall Suddarth with Alliance to drive out and turn the pumps off as not to overload the city’s flow. The concern from Alderman Brent Rockwell is that doing that will cause the homes at Lakeview to flood. This brought up some confusion as to where or who would have a generator, whether it be the City, by the Broadway Ball Field or Lakeview Subdivision.
After some lengthy discussion and some major confusion, it was determined that there would be a generator placed at Lakeview, as planned, but not at the Hwy. B. That location would simply be getting a back up pump.
With no more discussion the board moved on to other agenda items including the approval of submitting a one cent gasoline tax to the City’s voters for approval. The funds, if approved will go towards construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair of city roads and streets.
The board also voted to allow digital copies of driver’s insurance be accepted, as to meet the state statute. Until this passed, officers were not able to accept anything other than a hard card copy from drivers. However, due to the technological age and changes made in state, they can now accept digital documentation from smartphones, tablets or whatever device can show proof.
Finally the board announced that the 2014 election, to be held on April 8, 2014 would be for the following positions: Mayor – two-year-term, City Collector – two-year-term and Alderman Ward I, II and III, all two-year-terms.
The next meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14 in the City Hall Meeting room.