Council addresses many repair projects

GLENWOOD CITY — The council faced several repair projects and issues at their meeting on Monday, July 14 including repair of the city water tower, snow blower, wastewater treatment facility, fire engine and street repair.

Kevin Oium of Cedar Corporation addressed the council with three items.

 The first was the grant for the “Safe Route to School” that the city has applied for. Oium told the council that a decision on the grant has been delayed and he had no indication when it will be addressed.

The second was repair to the city’s water tower located on Third Street. Oium told the council that Cedar would be working with KLM Engineering out of Lake Elmo, Minnesota to inspect the water tank, clean it and make repairs to some concrete work at the base. The cost for the inspection is $3,800 on the thirty-plus-year-old 246,000 gallon glass-lined storage facility.

Discussion centered around the fact that the storage tank will be drained and out of service for a week and city engineer, Doug Doornink, informed the council that the city well will run 24/7 during that time. Relief values will be placed at several fire hydrants to keep the pressure in the mains at an acceptable level. But Doornink warned that there would be no backup water supply for firefighting. He noted that the system could supply up to 1,200 gallons per minute for fires, but that the fire department would have to haul water if the need was greater than that.

Oium also addressed a timeline for reports at the wastewater treatment facility that are due on October 1st. Doornink also addressed needs and a CMA report on the facility. He noted the report was good, with one question and that was that it is discharging more water than it receives. He said that the state might indicate that groundwater is seeping into the ponds, but Doornink said the ponds are above grade. He also noted that after holding the treated water over the winter months they are now discharging some 250,000 gallons daily. He also informed the council of some needed equipment and the mayor asked him to put together some specs and cost for the next council meeting.

During Doornink’s report, he indicated that the state has questioned that expenses at the facility were more than the customers were paying. Mayor Larson said that rates were raised last year and that addressed the state’s concern.

Snow Blower

Doornink addressed the council about the city’s snow blower and its need for repairs. The unit is a 1986 model and parts are no longer available, but the South Dakota company that manufactured it can re-built it with new parts. Doornink stated that the unit has 760 hours on it and the cost of repairs is $20,000. The cost of a new unit to replace it would be about $80,000.

“A new unit would require us to get a bigger loader,” Doornink informed the council. Most members agreed that the city could not get along without a blower. The council approved spending $20,000 plus shipping cost to rebuild the snow blower.

Doornink also requested that a part-time person be hired to mow grass to free up some time to allow the city crew to complete other projects. The council approved hiring someone for a hundred hours at ten dollars per hour.

Doornink also addressed the need to resurface the streets in the fairgrounds. These are city streets, he told the council, referencing a letter from the County Highway Department about those streets. He felt that the streets’ big users are the county with their facility there and the county fair.

He stated from the county letter that the cost to do that street would be $77,000. He said the county would pay a third, if the city and fair would each pay a third. No action was taken on this matter as they are waiting for more information.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Greg Holden appeared at the meeting to inform the council about several items that they needed to address.

One was that the department was audited by the state over the two percent fire dues that they receive each year. Of everyone’s fire insurance premium paid each year, state fire departments get two percent back. That money is to be used for fire inspections and fire prevention, Holden told the council. “Because one municipality did not certify to the state, that caused the audit,” Holden stated.

During the audit, the department’s training records were reviewed and, as Holden put it, that every firefighter needs to keep up on training. He made an example to the council by saying, “If a firefighter climbs a ladder and falls and has not been trained on ladder use, it could come back on the department and the city.”

Holden explained to the council that he had sent several letters to all firefighters explained the need for training. He told the council that he was terminating five firefighters from the department that did not respond to the letters or training. He said that two of those five are long-term members and they will be invited to become honorary members who can attended social functions, but will not be able to participate in firefighting functions.

But the biggest financial item on Holden’s list was that a recent test of the fire department’s two pumpers indicated that one unit did not pass the pump test. Holden presented an estimate of needed repairs to the 18-year-old pumper. Apparently the pressure governor system that automatically controls the pump pressure has problems and is not working. The repair company could try to get it working by moving some equipment around, but the council favored replacing the obsolete system with a new mechanical relief system at a cost of $5,884. The council approved this expenditure.

Library

The city approved the recommendation of the Mayor to appoint two new members to the Library board. The council heard from Library President Jan Scepurek about those appointments to bring the board to the full seven members. The two new members are Meghan Moore and Mary Pat Weeks.