10/9/2013 11:29:00 AM Waukon City Council discusses trailer court issues, Aveka sewer usage and fire station solutions
by Bob Beach
During the regular meeting of the Waukon City Council Monday, October 7 City Zoning Administrator Al Lyon reported that the removal of all of the residents and trailers at the Town and Country Trailer Court is nearly complete, with only a handful of trailers remaining on the property. The remaining trailers are expected to be either demolished or removed by the end of the month. He reported that one former resident of the trailer court has been living with a friend but some of her belongings remain in her former trailer and she has not paid rent for October. The Council agreed not to require a further reduction in her relocation allocation if the personal items are removed from the trailer by October 14. Lyon also asked the Council how to handle the disconnection of utilities from the property in preparation for winter with regard to the remaining Food Shelf building on the property and the Council advised Lyon to leave those decisions to the Stillwells, who retain ownership of that portion of the property. Lyon also reported that the bid he received for the replacement of skirting on seven trailers was higher than he had expected - $10,000 - and suggested the Council consider the option of paying only the cost of materials - $3,500. The Council agreed that Lyon's suggestion is a reasonable compromise and agreed to pay up to $500 per trailer for the replacement of skirting on those trailers. City Attorney Jim Garrett reported that he has been working on draft agreements for an easement and cost sharing agreement for the extension of the City water main onto Brian Herman's property on Third Street SE. The Council agreed to move forward with the project by seeking competitive quotes for the work and directed Lyle TeKippe to seek Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approval of the project. Mayor Loren Beneke reported that Aveka has requested a modification of its agreement with the City regarding sewer usage. Water and Sewer Superintendent Bob Campbell said that he has cited Aveka for overuse violations numerous times and assessed fines. Campbell also expressed some doubts that the sewer system could handle the increased usage Aveka has proposed. Councilman Joe Cunningham said that there may be funding sources available to expand the sewer system to accommodate the needs of a business, which may have the additional benefit of helping to fund other improvements to the City's storm sewers. Mayor Loren Beneke said that he would be meeting with Aveka representatives this Thursday to discuss the issue and invited Campbell and members of the Council to attend. Mayor Beneke also reported that while the Fire Board would like to move forward with either a new fire station or expansion of the existing fire station, it has come to the conclusion that the project could wait. He said that a new pumper truck should be arriving soon and that the current fire station could accommodate it if a couple of smaller vehicles could be stored beneath City Hall. Councilman Cunningham added that the cost of adding two bays to the existing station would cost roughly half as much as the construction of a new station and that he could not support spending an estimated $5,000 for a feasibility study of the expansion of the old station, which he called "obsolete." Cunningham said that if money were to be spent on such a study, he would prefer that it be spent on a new fire station. In other business, Police Chief Phil Young reported that one officer has recently resigned, another is expected to resign, and a third will be at the academy in Des Moines until December, which means the department is essentially three officers short. The Council directed Young to begin to advertise for the hiring of additional officers. The Council also adopted an ordinance to expand the "no well area" in the city and approved the bid of $36,864 from West Union Trenching for the installation of a water line at the wastewater treatment plant. The Council also met in closed session to discuss the City's appeal of the Compensation Board's decision regarding the Bresnahan property condemnation.
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