Archive for Wednesday, May 17, 2000

City to study needs of sewer treatment plant

May 17, 2000

The city is preparing for the expansion or replacement of its wastewater treatment plant and is spending up to $40,000 to develop a plan for the plant.

The Baldwin City Council on Monday night approved hiring BG Consultants to prepare a preliminary engineering report. City Administrator Larry Paine said the study is required to obtain funding for the project.

A report done earlier in the year by the same firm indicated the city would need a new treatment plant within three to 10 years, based on population. The plant is currently serving a population equivalent of 4,200 people.

"We have 250 units of capacity left in terms of development," Paine said of the capacity of the treatment plant. "With the number of proposed housing units known presently, the capacity left in the plant would be used by building those units."

Council members said the study is needed.

"We need as much lead time as we can get, in order to get some grants and set up the best financing possible," said Gene Nelson. "The sooner we get started the better."

The council also approved spending about $57,000 to upgrade the city's water system telemetry equipment. Telemetry equipment is used to control the water elevation in the city's water tower and ground storage tank. The current system is two decades old, and Paine said the city has been having problems with the system for the past year including two recent failures that depleted water in the storage tanks.

Heritage plat approved

The second phase of the Heritage Addition on the northeast side of town was approved. Mayor Stan Krysztof supported the project, after the council split the vote 2-2. Council members Ted Brecheisen Jr. and Lee Whaley voted against the plat of an additional 35 houses in the development. Both expressed concern about sewer line capacity. Joe Salb, the developer of the Heritage Addition, abstained from voting.

Brecheisen said he would like to see the flow of the sewer line studied before more homes are added to it.

"I hate to see it cause somebody else problems," Brecheisen said. "I think it should be addressed before we allow more."

Salb said the council had approved other developments after the preliminary plat of his development was approved.

"We'd like to begin as soon as possible," Salb said. "This preliminary plat was approved long before FireTree."

Assistant utilities director Bill Winegar said the sewer line should be able to handle the additional homes.

"I don't think line sizing is a problem," Winegar said.

Noise ordinance studied

A complaint from a citizen has prompted the city to begin preparing a noise ordinance.

JoEtta Rogers, 105 Chapel, said noise from the since-closed Good Times and The Salt Mine need to be monitored.

"Where I live is across the highway from the closed bar," Rogers said. "It would wake me up at night. It was relentless from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. It's waking up people who have to go to work. It's keeping children awake. All of us have been tormented by the boom, boom, boom of car stereos. Imagine that car being parked in your driveway from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m."

She said a party at The Salt Mine two weeks ago sounded like it was in her front yard.

"A license to sell liquor does not give them a license to torment neighbors with noise," Rogers said.

Police Chief Steve Butell will work with city staff to draft a noise ordinance.

Setback granted

The council granted a request for a setback change from Heartland Building and Development, which is building duplexes on Washington and Eisenhower streets between Fourth and Fifth streets across from Baldwin High School.

City inspector and zoning administrator Jim Tarwater said the lot sizes are such that the setbacks are difficult to meet within the requirements of the right of way. The council granted the request, which will include a 10-foot utility easement on Fourth and Fifth Streets.

July 4 contribution

The council unanimously approved contributing $1,000 to a July 4 fireworks display sponsored by the Baldwin City Jaycees. Jaycees president Tammy Leslie told the council that they had raised nearly $2,000 toward the fireworks display, short of the service organization's $3,000-$5,000 goal.

"We have gotten some donations. However, we need a lot more money," Leslie said. "We are very short of our goal."

Leslie said the money needed to be raised by the end of this month for the fireworks and insurance to be purchased. The group also is hiring a person licensed to set off the fireworks.

"We are going to hire someone this year to do it," she said.

The fireworks show will be north of the baseball fields at Baldwin High School.

Nelson moved the city contribute $1,000 to salute present and past armed forces from the community.

Pearse asked whether the city usually made donations to civic organizations.

"In my history, the municipal government has provided a portion toward community fireworks displays," Paine said.

Heartland Building and Development also contributed $500 to the Jaycees at the meeting.

Third May meeting

A third meeting of the City Council this month will be announced by Krysztof. The only expected agenda item is the appointment of two members to the Baldwin City Public Library Board of Trustees.

Martha Wright, a board trustee, said three recommendations for the two vacancies were made to Krysztof. Krysztof said he is in the process of interviewing the recommendations. The appointments are usually made in May, and the board would like to have the new members on board in time for the May 30 annual meeting of the board.

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