At the August 1 meeting, the Pickering City Council set the tax levy at the maximum allowed for the next year.

The state has an equation the city must follow for the tax amount. It takes in the number of people plus the valuation of property to come up with the street levy of 91.18¢ per $100 valuation, instead of the $1 passed by the voters. The general fund rate will be 87.26¢ per $100 valuation.

Both of these amounts are slightly higher than 2022. City Clerk Milt Sovereign said it would only give the city a few more dollars in 2023.

The saga of the siren repair is still ongoing. After the replacement of the motor, the siren worked. However, when tested by the Nodaway County Sheriff’s office, the siren did not work. Parts were ordered to repair the Midland radio that receives the signal.

Amy Diechman of the American Rural Water Association, will visit with Sovereign August 4 to help Pickering receive an unique identifier number for the city to report to the American Rescue Plan Act for grants received and future grants.

In the financial report, Sovereign reported the city had spent $1,850 on the new motor for the siren and $8,000 on the recent street repairs from the ARPA funds. The city still has $4,615.78.

After the payment for the street repairs to Mid-America Road Builders, Platte City, the street fund has $2,068.18 which will allow the city to purchase a load of gravel if needed. The aldermen expressed their pleasure at the job done by Mid-America Road Builders on the streets this summer.

Sovereign reported two sewer pumps had been removed and replaced with rebuilt pumps. One of these was an original sewer pump which led to the discussion of taking out all of the original pumps and replacing with rebuilt pumps. Then rebuilding those pumps for inventory. Sovereign thinks there are only two to three original pumps. To rebuild a sewer pump is now costing the city approximately $300.

White Cloud Engineering and Construction examined the sewer plant to determine what can be done to get lower ammonia levels in the DNR tests. The city had been running the pumps for 4.5 minutes and leaving off for nine minutes on a 24 hour basis. The company has recommended a 10 minute off cycle to allow the water to trickle down and gain more oxygen. It is also going to explore other methods for the city sewer plant.

Mayor Charles Smith has asked residents to not allow their lawnmowers to throw grass clippings onto the asphalted streets. The grass mats when left on the road and causes deterioration of the asphalt. He wants residents to blow these clippings into the ditch to help preserve Pickering streets that much longer. It also is safer for cyclists if grass clippings are not on the road.

Alderman Dale Sharp visited with City Attorney Taryn Henry about progressing on the ordinance violations of Pickering resident, Mike Moyer. He said she was taking steps to get papers served.

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