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Council gets update on Waste Water Treatment Plant

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Thayer City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, Nov. 9, and began the meeting with an update on the The $4,250,000 Waste Water Treatment Plant project from Charles Ray, the project engineer, from Missouri Engineering in Rolla.

Ray began by discussing the timetable for completing the project, which was begun in February to replace the outdated plant. "As you know, at the very beginning of this project we were delayed by the railroad, getting things in. We had wet weather and other issues, so in my mind, there's no doubt that we're running a bit behind," said Ray. "The contractor has not asked for a time extension yet. He's trying to figure out just how long an extension he's going to need. But I have projected that it will be at least April 1, and I would request that the inspection services be increased to allow for that time period. It would be an additional cost of $40,000, for a total of $180,000. If he does shut down in January and February, it won't matter whatever he adds on to the other end, because it is still a 'not to exceed' contract. I need to get this through DNR with the council's approval, so we can have that money there when we need it."

Ray also discussed the findings of the smoke tests done on the city's sewer lines. "We did the smoke testing and found three major spots that have a lot of smoke coming out, two of them around culvert areas. I would like to have our contractor do that out of our grant funds. I ran a budget estimate and it looks like it will run about $111,000, being included in this project. I think we can replace these lines for that cost and have it come out of our ARRA grant money."

Ray told the council that to get approval for the repairs, he would need to complete a design on it, which would cost $12,500. "To fix this will either cost money out of your pocket or their pocket, and I suggest we take it out of theirs and use the grant funds available to us."

The council agreed with Ray and moved to pass both items.

Ray then moved on to an update on the city's water system. "I found out that we have an area of about 46 homes that do not have adequate pressure by DNR standards of 35 psi. The cost estimate of $800,000 would be used to build a stand pipe, a booster station, put lines with proper fire hydrants in that area, and then tie it into the old lines and isolate that area so we don't increase the pressure downtown or at the plant. That is eligible for DNR funding. Because of the grant we got last time, you have plenty of bonding capacity available and you have a sales tax coming in to pay your debt on that. The obligation we have is to turn this in to DNR. I feel certain we'll get funded. Stimulus money is still coming down, and I think we could get a low interest loan to cover this and the amount would still fall within the amount you are bringing in with your sales tax. The sales tax was passed as a water and sewer combined system, so we can use it towards both the treatment plant and the water lines."

Council agreed to move ahead with the grant application for the water line repairs and moved on to review the city's October financial report.

The report showed that the city's sales tax revenue is down, leaving the city approximately $60,000 in debt for the month.

In other business, the council agreed to change the city workers day off for Veteran's Day to Friday, Nov. 12. They also approved the purchase of two tires for the city backhoe from Nelson Tire for $500 each, along with approving $250 in requests for the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The council then discussed the new sludge truck that was delivered for the plant, and talked about the lettering needed for it and the possibility of building a new shed to house it in.

Mayor Buddy Rogers mentioned that a suggestion had been made by Mike Alexander to donate the old sludge truck to the city of Alton. The council agreed to do so on Dec. 1, once the new sludge truck had been lettered and received it's license tags.

The rest of the requests were tabled by the council.

The Electric Department requested a new chain saw, at a cost of $829.95 from Atkins Saw shop. Alderman Bob Freeman asked the other council members why the city didn't put high dollar items out for bid, including a service contract in the bids.

"If you gentlemen want to bid this out, we can do that," said Mayor Rogers.

A motion was made and passed to put the chainsaw out for bid.

The council also agreed to requests by the Electrical Department for $654.81 in parts and $300 for replacement lights for the Christmas decorations.

Van Garrison with the Parks Department made a request to the council for new tires for the 1987 Chevy truck they use at a cost of $270. Garrison also requested building materials for the department's new building.

Alderman Steve Alford suggested the department buy a small amount each month, instead of making one large purchase for all the materials.

The council agreed to approve the cost for the new tires and tabled the discussion regarding the supplies for the building.

"With our financial situation the way it is, we need to be tightening our belts," said Rogers. "We can't keep spending more money than we take in."

Adam Courter with the Bank of Thayer then addressed the council regarding the parking situation downtown.

"We've got a problem finding parking for all of our employees," said Courter. "We have 23 employees who work at the main bank. We rented the parking lot behind the Steed's building and we have spaces designated along the street to park in. Back, several years ago, we had employees park down between the police station and Dillard Insurance, but when the Whistlestop Restaurant opened up, we were prohibited from parking down there. I would like to propose that we be able to park down there again. In the banking business, you do have issues of security regarding bank employees going to and from work, and we feel parking down by the police station would be a safe place to park."

"Since that crossing is going to be closed, perhaps we need to restripe that lot," said Alderman Freeman.

Mayor Rogers mentioned some spots behind the police station, but Police Chief David Bailey pointed out that the parolees who check in weekly at the station stand behind the department in that area when they are waiting to check in with their parole officer.

The council agreed that the bank employees could begin to park down in that lot again, if they stayed to the rear side of the lot along the tracks, until the lot can be restriped and re-signed.

With that, council adjourned.

On Thursday, Nov. 11, the city council met in a called session to address some of the items tabled at the Nov. 9 meeting.

John Yancey from the Parks Department addressed the council concerning the need for a new shed. Yancey explained that the shed was needed in order to keep mowers and other city equipment dry. He presented the council with a cost proposal of $1,100 in materials for the walls, $1,000 for the materials for the trusses, which the Parks Department personnel would build themselves and a total project cost estimate of between $12,000 and $15,000.

Alderman Mike Harber made a motion to wait until January to begin the building project. That motion was approved by all council members.

Alderman Alford made a motion to take sealed bids on the city's Ford Tractor. That motion carried.

Alford also made a motion to purchase tires for the city's yellow dump truck at a cost of $371, with the funds coming out of the Street Department Fund. That motion also carried.

In regards to the fence along the Two Mile Creek Bridge, it was agreed by the council to leave responsibility for the fence in the hands of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, in accordance with their contract.

With that, the council adjourned.

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