Wykoff council approves new water ordinance
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:41 AM
Wykoff's city council made major decisions during its Feb. 11 meeting, including ratifying its new water ordinance and determining whether to renew its current contract with Waste Management.
The water ordinance, number 206, has been under review for the past several months as the town replaced its water meters and restructured its billing system from quarterly to monthly as a means toward more accurate meter reading and water customer billing.
Mayor Lyman Hare stated that a member of the community had requested some language changes to the ordinance, but that he felt it was otherwise "ready to go."
"We've discussed this over and over again, and I think maybe Mayor Holzer and the prior council had done due diligence in writing it," he said.
Councilor Rocky Vreeman agreed, stating, "We've been working on this for a long time and I think it's set up so that the residents of the town will like it. They've been waiting for monthly billing, and we've put in new meters, so I think it's time we pass this ordinance."
Wykoff's water meters have not been read since the new meters were installed late last year, but the new billing system will help the city attempt to catch up with delinquent water bills. Additionally, the old water meters will be dismantled and sold for scrap.
The Waste Management contract, set to expire in April 2016, has been a topic of discussion for several months since residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the company's services and Wykoff City Clerk Cheryl Davis has expressed hers with having to handle billing since the contract is with the city and not with the residents. The city had the options of canceling its current contract and writing a new one that would place billing responsibilities on Waste Management - which would require a 90-day notice in writing to the company - or continuing with the existing contract and choosing whether to renew with Waste Management once the contract expires.
The previous council had voted to contract with another waste hauler, but that was not possible since the Waste Management agreement had not been taken into account. Councilor Jeremy Comstock moved to stay with the old contract and make a decision in 2016 when that contract ends. The motion passed.
Kevin Graves of WHKS attended the meeting to share that plans for the city's new wastewater treatment plant are under review with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and also Rural Development, and that the review and comment phase is nearing completion.
"We'll be able to set the bid-letting, hopefully during the March meeting. There'll be three to four weeks before the bids are opened. We'd like to be able to get this turned around fairly quickly," he said. A payment of $6,594 was made to the Minnesota Rural Water Association for financing costs.
Council proponents of placing a 30-mile-per-hour sign on the east side of town to slow traffic coming into Wykoff on Highway 80 were frustrated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation's dismissal of the request, as Comstock pointed out that tractor traffic near the elevator in the fall is heavy. "Traffic triples there in the fall. Do we want to wait until an accident happens there to put up signs?"
Councilor Mitch Grabau stated that Preston has tried several times to have the speed limit at the intersection of highways 16 and 52 lowered to alleviate traffic problems but has been unsuccessful. The council left the matter for later perusal, as the department of transportation doesn't seem to be convinced of the need.
Councilors granted a request from the fire department for the purchase of two new pagers to start rounding out the department's communications hardware collection and chose to start searching for an electrician to handle streetlight repairs since Alliant Energy no longer handles them. The council also granted vacation time to city maintenance foreman Al Williams, observing that there is a difference between how Davis' vacation is allotted and how Williams' vacation is structured. It was noted Davis must use her vacation by year's end. Williams carries his vacation from one year to the next because he may be on vacation, but interrupted by calls for city services.