The Burlington Jct. City Council heard citizen concerns, discussed the Farmers Fall Festival and began planning to rectify city drinking water issues at its regularly scheduled meeting September 11.
The meeting began with citizens voicing concerns over water quality in the south end of Burlington Jct. The discussion focused on an issue with the waterline responsible with supplying the area with a bad color, smell and taste to the water. Testing done by Alliance Water Resources showed the water was safe to drink and concerns were aesthetic. The city will be installing a new filter on the individuals’ line in hopes of partially alleviating the problems.
The citizens still were concerned with the safety of the water. After discussion between the council and the citizens, the board decided to offer all residents connected to the waterline be given free water until the line is replaced or the new filter fixes the problem enough to revisit the matter.
The council continued discussion on the waterline replacement. There was consideration about two different funding methods the city could pursue: one through a state revolving fund and the other being a USDA Rural Development Loan. The city leaders decided to pursue the USDA grant, as it had a shorter timeline for projected completion and an interest rate set at three percent over 40 years.
The project would focus on replacing the waterline at the south end of town and making improvements to a line on the west side. The board expressed interest in adding more water system repairs to the project. The next step for the project is to hire an engineer and start the necessary studies and planning. The hope of the board, barring anything going wrong, would be for the line to be replaced in a year.
West Nodaway Junior High School Football Team Coach Matt Shipley asked the council for permission for the team to use a fire hydrant for water activities at the Farmers Fall Festival. He also requested the board allow his consumer science students to be able to place trash cans alongside the walking and biking trail for the students’ community service project. The council approved both requests.
There was also extensive discussion from citizens regarding the city’s ordinance requiring animals to be restrained by their owners. A group of citizens, who had received tickets for their dogs being loose, challenged the need for the ordinance. Mayor Justin Plymell led the discussion with the citizens; he citied safety and city liability for the purposes of the law. No changes to the ordinance came from the discussion.
The board also went through the city’s financial report and discussed tickets being issued to unmowed properties. Citizens also voiced concerns with the need for this practice. The board informed the citizens that the issue was a state statute and not something written by the city.
Alliance reported the water plant was in good working order and that the city was improving at water management citing, a 3.5 percent drop in unaccounted for water.
Finally, Plymell led the council in discussion over the Farmers Fall Festival. On behalf of the festival committee, he asked the city to help with blocking Main Street and two adjoining streets for the parade and car show. The council approved the street blocking. There was also discussion centered around events timing and attendee parking.
The council went into closed session to discuss matters involving legal actions, confidential and/or privileged communications between Burlington Jct. city officials, its representatives and attorney.