Wykoff council discusses traffic on Main and Fillmore streets, approves stop sign at intersection
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 3:47 AM
The Wykoff City Council met Tuesday, Nov. 13, for a four-hour long meeting, discussing traffic on Main and Fillmore streets, advertising for a Class B operator for the new wastewater treatment plant, and ordinance No. 206, among other items.
During the visitors' section of the meeting, Wykoff resident Tim Zwart, who lives on Fillmore Street, spoke out about the traffic hazards with semis and other vehicles pulling out from Main Street on to Fillmore Street. He said he has witnessed semis on the way to the elevator parked on the wrong side of the street and driving down the center of the road. Zwart said he contacted the sheriff's department but would like the council to address it.
Council member Tim Grabau said he could talk to the general manager at CHS to discuss the issue of the semi traffic with him.
Zwart suggested a stop sign be installed at the intersection of the two streets to replace the yield sign.
Mayor Mike Holzer agreed that it is a "blind intersection."
Grabau added that he felt a stop sign should be installed. The board approved the change.
Later in the meeting, residents Lois Suckow and Ron Lark, who live on Main Street in apartments, said the dust on their street is "terrible." They said the dust is from the semis coming off of the gravel. Suckow said traffic speed on the street is "unbelievable."
She said with the thick dust it is hard to see traffic when backing out of the driveway.
Suckow wanted to make clear that her and Lark are not "against the elevator company or farmers" and that they understand it is only a few times a year. She said she would like to see CHS, residents that live on the street, and city council members sit down for a meeting to figure out what to do next year.
"I would like to see it paved or tarred," she said.
Lyman Hare, who was elected mayor to take over next year for Holzer, said he would like to sit in on the meeting when it is held.
Holzer said the meeting could be a way to say "business you're welcome here and let's work together."
Herb Krueger with PeopleService was on hand during the meeting to answer questions from council members and residents about the city possibly contracting with the company for operation and maintenance of the city's new wastewater treatment plant, which is currently in the works.
Resident LeRoy Rowe asked the council why it was rushing into the decision to contract with the company when it still has time to look into other options if the earliest the ground could be broken for the plant is in the spring. Rowe said cost for the service would be $5,000 per month with PeopleService.
Grabau said PeopleService was the first company to contact the city in a year. Holzer said the new plant will need a Class B licensed operator, which is hard to find.
Kevin Graves of WHKS said 60 days prior to the new plant being in operation, a new operator would need to be on board. This could be as early as the summer, he added.
Holzer suggested having the city attorney look into the contract with PeopleService and the council could also decide to advertise if it wants to for an operator.
Council member Rocky Vreeman said he doesn't think the prices are "too far off" for the cost of PeopleService and what the city is spending now.
The council approved advertising for a Class B operator and formulating a job description. The application deadline was set for the end of January.
Council members also discussed Ordinance 206, which establishes and adopts rates, reconnection charges, and termination of water and sewer services in Wykoff.
Philip Eickhoff, a property owner in Wykoff, questioned the base rate charge per unit if a customer has one service connection in use. Eickhoff said he has two buildings downtown that have one service connection and felt he shouldn't be charged more than one base rate. He said other cities charge one base rate per meter.
Both Holzer and Graves said the ordinance needs better terminology, with Holzer noting the definition of "units" needs to be looked at. He said the rates are high in order to support the new wastewater treatment plant.
Eickhoff said he wants one base rate per connection charged.
Leroy Eickhoff, who owns the trailer court, said he felt the ordinance was poorly written. He said he would like to have the tenants billed for their own usage, noting that the ordinance says tenants can be put on the bill. He said this suggests that individual meters can be used.
Holzer said they discussed and decided to use one meter for multiple units on rental property.
Eickhoff said that with 16 lots - nine full and seven empty - that he will be paying $350 more a month that will have to be passed on to the tenants. "That's lot rent increase. I'm trying to provide a cheap place for people to live if they so choose," he said.
Holzer suggested that maybe the council should have had an attorney draw up the ordinance instead of them doing it themselves.
Leroy Eickhoff said if the ordinance passes, he felt that the city "is going to lose rental property in town - no question."
The council decided to "go back through it," to have the lawyer look over the ordinance, and hold a special meeting soon to discuss Ordinance 206. Also at this special meeting there will be discussion about adopting a fire call ordinance authorizing the manner and amount of charging for fire department services. The notice for this meeting will be published before the council's December meeting.
Inflow and infiltration
Graves gave a summary of the testing done to check inflow and infiltration (I & I) on the city's sewer lines. Lines were televised, manholes were inspected and smoke testing was done.
"Your system is in good shape. There are some I & I getting in but less than many other communities I have worked with," he noted.
Of the 65 manholes, about 40 of them need some sort of repair for an estimated cost of $90,000, added Graves. There are also several lines that are less than 8 inches in diameter that need to be fixed and he recommended increasing the diameter.
He said there are leaks in the systems and he recommends a "more aggressive cleaning schedule for the lines," suggesting every three years one-third of the lines are cleaned. Graves also suggested it would be a "good practice" to cut the roots around the lines every few years.
The cost is $248,000 for the suggested repairs, not including the $90,000 for the manholes. There is 1,400 linear feet of pipe to increase in size. The cost for restoration of the road is not included in the estimate.
Graves said it is "not critical" but he recommends the city do it to "help keep the infrastructure going as long as you can."
Graves said the critical repairs found have already been taken care of.
The council approved a resolution for the sale of a $552,000 general obligation sewer revenue bond. The money is to help fund the sanitary sewer project currently underway. City clerk Cheryl Davis said the total cost for the project is $1,630,000. The city has received $578,000 from the USDA and $500,000 from DEED.
It approved a liquor license for Shooter's, pending proof of insurance.
The council approved a resolution canvassing the election and certifying the results.
It approved having the city clerk/treasurer/zoning administrator (Davis' position) and the public works director positions go back to working five eight-hour days from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., instead of four 10-hour days.
The council authorized installing meters on city buildings that have not had them before. Davis said she has no idea why there aren't meters installed on these city buildings. The buildings include the Jail Haus B&B, Ed's Museum, city shed, municipal building, and the community center.
Council member Jeremy Comstock will be donating a dog kennel to the city that he no longer needs. The donation was accepted.
The council authorized having the community center's card tables and folding chairs that are in bad shape thrown away. They also approved replacing the fridge at the center, which they felt wouldn't be worth it to repair.