USDA representative Laurie Balata, right, speaks to Wykoff's city council about the progress of loan funding for the city's new wastewater treatment plant.  Councilors Jeremy Comstock and Megan Larson listen as she explains the details.  GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
USDA representative Laurie Balata, right, speaks to Wykoff's city council about the progress of loan funding for the city's new wastewater treatment plant. Councilors Jeremy Comstock and Megan Larson listen as she explains the details. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE
Wykoff's city council learned during its meeting Monday, Jan. 13, who will provide consultation during, and perhaps after, construction of a wastewater treatment plant.

Kevin Graves, of WHKS, was in attendance to introduce Steve Bushman as a new WHKS employee. Bushman had attended the December council meeting to share recommendations for the hiring of a new wastewater treatment plant operator and to offer his services as a wastewater treatment plant consultant. With his hiring by WHKS, Bushman now can serve as a construction consultant to the city during the building of the new wastewater treatment plant for little or no extra cost under WHKS's engineering contract with Wykoff, and possibly continue as a plant operation consultant at a cost to be determined through proposals drawn up by WHKS.

The city of Wykoff continues to seek a wastewater treatment plant operator with a class B license, but also seeks to replace city maintenance worker Al Williams, who announced his retirement last November but has since been unable to actually take that retirement in full due to his combined position of maintenance worker and wastewater treatment plant operator not being filled.

Councilors voted to continue advertising for a plant operator, taking into consideration the implications of how much training a prospective operator might need to complete while under Bushman's supervision in order to obtain proper licensure. They also voted to restore Williams's pay to up to $20 per hour, with a limit of 840 hours remaining in his November-to-November work year until a replacement can be found.

Laurie Balata of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development reviewed paperwork for the finalization of funding applications for the wastewater plant, noting that the $2.3 million project is to be partially funded first by loans, then by grants. The council passed a motion accepting a letter of conditions that governs the project, and also set the contractors' bid opening date and time as Thursday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. at city hall.

Prior to discussion on the wastewater plant, the council passed its 2014 town designations resolution, naming Security State Bank of Lewiston, Spring Valley and Wykoff as its official depository, authorizing council member Jeremy Comstock to sign checks in the absence of the mayor, designating its city clerk, Cheryl Davis, as the authorized agent to make deposits and withdrawals involving city accounts, the Fillmore County Journal as the official city newspaper, and Thomas Manion, Jr., as the city attorney. Also, the council designated committee appointments assigning Mitch Grabau and Rocky Vreeman to streets, Vreeman and Comstock to sewer and water matters, Grabau and Comstock to snow removal and sanding, Grabau and Vreeman to parks and recreation, Megan Larson to community education and to taking charge of pest and weed control complaints. Mayor Lyman Hare and Larson are representatives to the Joint Trails Committee, Jason Hare is the town's incident command director, Michelle Hitchcock is the deputy incident command director, Hare and Vreeman are the police and fire commissioners, and Comstock is the emergency management director.