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Council OKs appointments, Water Department upgrade

Monday, January 16, 2012

City working on cost-savings deal with Landfill

The Cherokee City Council last week approved the 2012 Mayoral and Council appointments to the various City boards and committees, and authorized the purchase of the Municipal Water Department's Telemetry SCADA Control System upgrade.

That total system upgrade replaces the City's out-dated 17-year-old system that monitors the department's equipment and function, including the department's four wells, three water towers, and the main control board.

The City had budgeted $75,000 for the upgrade and the final bid was awarded to Instrument Control Systems (ICS) for $72,037. The bid also includes a "Cold Back-up PC Option" and a "High Service Pump Speed Control" that automatically restores the system in the event of a power outage.

The Council tabled action on possible changes to a proposed Wastewater Treatment Agreement with the Cherokee County Solid Waste Commission.

In 2007, the City and Landfill Commission entered into an agreement that the City allow the Landfill to deposit its leachate (liquid run-off) at the Wastewater Treatment Plant at no charge. Based on the cost for others to dump septic wastes at the Treatment Plant, the cost for the Landfill's volume dumped in 2011 would total approximately $14,000.

City Administrator Don Eikmeier has been negotiating with Landfill Interim Manager Dennis Henrich that the City not begin charging the Landfill for its leachate if the Solid Waste Commission agrees not to charge the City for the demolition debris incurred when the City condemns and razes a dilapidated house or other building. Such demolition costs yo yjr City the past few years average $10,000 to $15,000 annually.

"We'd like to have both charges just be a wash that would benefit both parties," explained Eikmeier, who was to meet with the Solid Waste Commission last week to hammer out more details. The Council will revisit the matter at its next meeting.

The Council also approved authorizing a contract with engineers Calhoun Burns in the amount of $26,105 for the hydraulic analysis, preliminary bridge design, preliminary roadway design, preliminary plan submittals, and survey coordination for the proposed River Road bridge replacement.

In accordance with Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) procedure, the City solicited proposals from three engineering firms for design services and Calhoun Burns was recommended and selected.

Final bridge design, bid letting, and engineering inspection services are still to be negotiated after the IDOT pproves the preliminary design. Those latter costs are estimated at approximately $122,000. Grant monies are trageted by the City to fund 80 percent of the total project cost.

Among the many Council appointments approved last week include Planning & Zoning Board - Al Carlson, Dave Wilberding; Board of Adjustment - Matt Royster; County Solid Waste Commission - Mick Mallory; Siouxland Regional Housing Authority - Marci Brown; County REAP Committee - Chad Brown; County Damage Assessment Team - Mallory; Labor Negotiations - Mayor Mark Murphy, Jim Peck, City Attorney Wally Miller Jr.; Iowa Surface Transportation Committee - Peck; Iowa Surface Transportation Committee Technical Advisory Board - John Meis; Fire & Rescue Officers - Chief Gary Chase, Assistant Chief 1 Greg Eaton, Assistant Chief 2 Mark Napier, Treasurer Dan Murphy, Secretary Wayne Pingel.

Among the Mayoral appointments were Historic Preservation Commission - Mick Samsel, Dwight Varce, D.G. Blair, John Snapp, Jane Schmillen; Cherokee County Conference Board - Mark Murphy; Cherokee County Emergency MManagement Commission - Mark Murphy; Cherokee Economic Development Corporation Board - Pingel; Cherokee E911 Board - Peck; Council Department Liaisons - Police, Marl Murphy; Parks & Recreation, Dan Morrow; Streets, Peck; Wastewater, Pingel; Fire, Mallory; Water, Chad Brown.

The Chronicle Times was approved as the City's official newspaper.

In other business, Council member Dan Morrow asked Eikmeier and the City to consider raising user fees at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in light of all the recent mandated costly improvements made there. Morrow said the taxpayers had their rates raised after the improvements and that it's only right for the commercial and other users to have rates raised, too.

Eikmeier said the request was a budgeting issue and will be considered when the Council ponders possible new revenues for the City during its annual series of budgeting workshops beginning soon.

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