Test finds city well just below action level for arsenic
By Bert Lehman
Clintonville’s interim City Administrator Chuck Kell’s title no longer includes “interim.”
The city council made that decision in closed session at its Aug. 11 meeting.
City Council President Lois Bressette told the Tribune-Gazette that everything else regarding Kell’s employment with the city remains the same as when he was originally hired. He will continue to be paid $75 per hour and receive no benefits.
Bressette said Kell plans to stay with the city for 2 1/2 years.
Six months prior to the end of that timeframe, Bressette said the city will begin searching for a new city administrator.
Bressette said with the current Main Street reconstruction project taking place, and the second phase scheduled within the next two years, it made sense for Kell to stay longer.
“We felt that getting somebody new to the area, and the learning curve with a new job, that it would be best to have someone that’s really familiar [with the city] at this point, and Chuck has been here for almost a year, that he’d be able to help us get through that,” Bressette said.
Amy Steenbock was appointed by the council to temporally fill the District 3 seat held by Alderman John Wilson, who has taken a medical leave of absence.
Steenbock was appointed to the council in October 2014 filling the seat vacated by Jerry Jorgenson who had resigned a month earlier. Steenbock was defeated in the April general election by Alderman Steve Kettenhoven.
Steenbock was the only resident from District 3 to apply for the temporary vacancy.
She was sworn in at the beginning of the meeting on Aug. 11.
City well No. 4
Sarah Nunn, of GAI Engineering, addressed the council about city well No. 4, which is located behind the elementary school.
She told the council that the well test for arsenic came back at 9.4. Water testing at 10 or higher has to be treated.
“Honestly I would not be confident at this point drilling a well there and expecting that those results would stay below 10,” Nunn said. “Typically if you continue to stretch that aquifer, those arsenic levels will go up.”
The city has several options, Nunn said.
The first option would be to construct a well in that location and treat the water. This was the least favorable option according to Nunn.
The second option involved drilling a test well on County Road I. She said it would cost $10,000 to $12,000 to drill the test well.
Another option would be not drilling another well. She said a water study could be conducted to find out exactly what the city’s water needs are.
“Water usage in the city over the last eight or nine years has not really increased, so there is the ability right now to meet demand,” Nunn said. “You can always look at putting in more storage to address peaks.”
She added that the capacity for well No. 7 has dropped to about one-third of its designed capacity.
“That would be another thing to pursue sooner, rather than later, to ensure that capacity stays at what you can get out of the well,” Nunn said.
The estimated cost to rehabilitate well No. 7 would be $15,000-$20,000, Nunn said.
She recommended that the city not drill a new well at this time.
The council unanimously approved the city obtain a quote for the cost of a water survey and to refer it to the utility board for discussion.
City Attorney April Dunlavy isaid the city has responded to a letter received from the attorney representing Angelus and Aster.
“We have a difference in agreement in what is owed on the TIF,” Dunlavy said. “They believe they have repaid that bond in full, and we believe they owe upwards of $700,000 remaining on that bond.”
Dunlavy said she sent the attorney information about the interest calculated every year, which still remains to be paid. The bond is a 20 year bond and won’t be fully paid until 2021.
The city is waiting for the attorney to respond to that information, Dunlavy said.
Wastewater treatment plant
The council unanimously approved a contract for $620,970 with Foth Infrastructure & Environment LLC for design and bidding of the wastewater treatment plant upgrade.
“This is only part of the cost, but we have about $1.4 million that was the expected cost estimate for all of the engineering, design work, that was going to be required on this project, and now it’s projected to come in at about $1.2 million. Overall it’s underneath what our budget estimates were,” Kell said.
Kell said Foth will start on the project immediately, and a design should be ready in the spring.