Wykoff council checking civil
defense siren, city well pumps
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 3:35 AM
Wykoff City Council members, earlier in May during a regular meeting, decided to quickly diagnose a civil defense siren, which has been faulty, and listened to a concern with the city's well pumps.
The South Street civil defense siren, which dates back to 1981, malfunctioned during the most recent test, causing concern among councilors and residents of the South Street neighborhood. The city had hired an electrician to check the electrical service to the siren. However, the electrician only determined whether the service to the pole from the ground is functional, not whether the siren itself needs repair.
The cost of replacing a siren with a new one "is easily $28,000," according to council member Jeremy Comstock, who expressed his hope that the council chose to have the siren examined as soon as possible.
"We're kind of in an emergency state here," he said. "We can't wait two months to get a new one."
Councilors decided to obtain a boom truck and a technician capable of diagnosing the siren's problems in order to come to a conclusion.
City well pumps were listed as other infrastructure in need of repair. A representative of Thein Well Co., spoke to the council about the prospect of replacing the existing well pump deemed in poor condition last June and forecasted that the city "will probably end up replacing everything except the pipe" and suggested that the city "act proactively," doing what it can to make advance replacement a possibility.
Wykoff council members also listened to an update from Rick Engstrom of Rochester engineering firm WHKS regarding the extension of a storm sewer pipe on Carimona Street. Councilors voted to approve the 300-foot extension of the storm sewer pipe and to have the dirt being removed from the wastewater treatment plant site used to fill the ravine created by the pipe's installation near the old creamery and the driveway going into the wastewater treatment plant.
In another matter, the council discussed at length Phillip Eickhoff's request to have his sewer bill for his rental properties adjusted, as he felt that he had been overcharged for five apartment units in one of the downtown buildings he owns, in part because the base fee had been charged for all five units, one of which is not habitable. Eickhoff pointed out that the charges on his bill did not coincide with the city's water and sewer ordinance 206, which states "for all buildings or sites with multiple units in which only one water meter is installed, a single water base fee will be charged for the entire building or site each month (base fee times units) plus a charge per gallons for water used over the minimum."
Eickhoff shared once again that he wanted to have one of the meters removed from the two buildings he owns, as the addresses may be different, but the council had already approved the meter removal for the adjoining buildings at the April meeting due to the circumstances of the water service to the buildings being cooperative. He also asked that with that removal, the account be consolidated to one address because the service would be billed to one address.
The council agreed - after much confusion - that the city owed Eickhoff for charging him base usage fees for each of his apartment units and refunded him $1,130.07 in credit to his future billing.
Councilors approved Mike Holzer, Ardell Doering, Lavonne Schwier and Kirby Johnson as 2014 election judges and were informed that city clerk Cheryl Davis would be attending a city clerk election training session at the courthouse on May 13, acknowledged the increase in Blue Cross-Blue Shield employee health insurance rates and the fact that they are far lower than other cities' rate increases, passed a motion to accept Jake Gilbert's resignation from the planning and zoning commission and Matt Kirkpatrick's application to be on the commission.
Visitors to the meeting included resident Jon Bicknese, who asked that the council consider allowing the removal of a meter from his farm property, as he doesn't plan on having any more livestock on the land, and Lois Suckow, a member of the Wykoff Fall Fest Committee. Suckow attended the meeting to inquire about the council's decision on the committee's proposal for changing traffic routes during the time the Fall Fest parade is lining up. She thanked the council for giving the matter consideration, as apparently, no decision had been made regarding celebration street closures.