Abundance of projects involving streets and sewer discussed by Waukon City Council

by Joe Moses

The Waukon City Council met in regular session Monday, September 19 to discuss a full agenda of items, including a Street Department end loader, the Regan/Leschensky alley project and the proposed storm sewer utility ordinance.

During the Public Comments portion of the meeting, members of the Waukon High School girls cross country team were present and addressed the City Council regarding a proposed 5K run that would be a fundraising benefit for local teacher and coach Joe O’Neill and other cancer patients and would be coordinated with the Waukon Park, Recreation and Wellness Department. Park, Recreation and Wellness Director Jeremy Strub explained that tentative dates include either October 8 or October 15 and that a course has been mapped out. Mayor Duane DeWalle and the City Council were supportive of the event. Strub and the students plan to have details finalized for approval at the upcoming special session of the City Council.

Under Departmental Reports, Water/Sewer Superintendent Bob Campbell reported that the pump at Well 5 will be put back in this week. He also advised that the City has a permit for the new wastewater treatment facility. Campbell said he is working with the EPA compliance plan and strategy including the paperwork that will be submitted prior to January 1.

Campbell further advised that a modification has been made to the water treatment agreement with Aveka which will now include monthly tests for selenium. Although below the threshold for selenium, monthly testing will be done to remain compliant with the EPA and DNR.

Campbell also reported that water has been seeping through the manhole covers at the former Bresnahan property and field, explaining that this will need attention when weather and soil conditions are dry. Campbell recommended that the City may need a portable generator for use at lift stations, as an extended power outage could be an issue if the pumps are without power. Campbell will bring estimates to the Council for further discussion.

Waukon Police Chief Phil Young has ordered some pedestrian safety signs. Young was able to find a vendor that offered some savings on the cost, and two of each style of sign has been ordered. Pat Egan with the Street Department discussed some recent street issues in need of repair.

Strub discussed that Park, Recreation and Wellness youth flag football and volleyball seasons have recently started and also advised that a couple dozen non-reproducing grass carp have been added to the City Park’s pond. Strub discussed the recent dog day event at the pool that was attended by 30 dogs, saying the event went well and a lot of positive feedback has been received.

Under Regular Business, the Street Department end loader was discussed. Through a trade-in with Ziegler, Inc., the City will be purchasing a new end loader at $103,250 with a five-year payment plan and a 48-month warranty. This will replace the City’s older model end loader that is nearing the end of its life without extensive maintenance costs. The purchase was approved by the Council.

The storm sewer at West Main and Ninth Street SW was addressed by Senior Project Manager Lyle TeKippe with Fehr Graham Engineering. TeKippe advised that this section of storm sewer needs repair and requires the joint to be sealed.

The 2016 Trenched Storm Sewer Improvement project was also discussed. City Attorney James Garrett advised that the first section of this agenda item was not applicable and was not considered for approval. This section referred to authorizing the use of competitive quotation procedures and delegating authority to solicit and receive proposals. The three remaining sections of this agenda item were approved including ordering preparations and approval of detailed plans, specifications, notice of hearing, notice to bidders and form of contract, and setting a public hearing for October 3.

The proposed Storm Sewer Utility Ordinance was discussed, with October 17 set for a public hearing on this matter.

The next two agenda items were combined and approved together. This includes the ordinance amending the Code of Ordinances pertaining to litter, which is defined as being less than 10 pounds, and by adding a new subsection pertaining to lien exemption. Both ordinance changes were approved to adopt.

The Northwest Detention Basin Rusty Berger Masonry Inc. Change Order #2 - increase of $7,000 and Pay Estimate #4 for $8,504.87 were both approved by the Council. TeKippe explained that in the excavation process, a layer of limestone was struck unexpectedly. There was removal of hard rock and some repairs were necessary to equipment.

The 2016 HMA Street Paving Project River City Paving Change Order #1 - decrease of $526.95 and Partial Pay Estimate #1 for $34,079.44 were also approved. TeKippe advised that this change is the result of final field measured quantities versus the initial estimate. River City Paving performed the hot-mix asphalt project as requested.

The Regan/Leschensky alley project behind the initial block of businesses on Allamakee Street was discussed by the Council. TeKippe advised that the storm sewer in the middle of the alley was not functioning properly. The parking lot slopes toward the building and resurfacing in the spring would be a good option. TeKippe will have bids soon to present to the Council.
The 2016 Sanitary Sewer Spot Repairs were also addressed by TeKippe. Currently, there are seven places requiring repair likely with open/cut excavations. TeKippe will be getting bids from contractors on this matter as well.

The next four agenda items involving routine accounting measures were combined and approved through one vote by the Council, including $2,368.25 transferred from the Street Improvement Fund to the Sewer Improvement Fund with the understanding that when loan proceeds are received, this amount will be paid back by transfer to the Street Improvement Fund. A total of $17,000 was transferred from the General Fund (property taxes) to the Library Fund for Library expenses; $6,234.12 (Hotel/Motel money received in September 2016 and deposited in the General Fund) was transferred from the General Fund to the Hotel/Motel (Park Improvements) Fund at 75% ($4,675.59) and 25% ($1,558.53) to the Hotel/Motel (Tourism/Economic Development) Fund; and $224 was transferred from the Tax Increment Finance Fund to the Administrative Costs Sub Fund.

Under Other Matters, Strub discussed a report from the DNR regarding ash trees and the ash borer problem. The Council is reaching out to contractors for more information on the removal of ash trees that are affected. There was also discussion of a light pole that has been struck by vehicles multiple times.