The Skidmore City Council reiterated its decision to go with a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan for the sewer renovation at its December 14 meeting.

Skidmore Mayor Tracy Shewey and council members listen to Ian Sloniker present his Eagle Scout project idea of replacing Skidmore city street signs.

Civil Engineer Emily Wicoff, Snyder and Associates, Inc., St. Joseph, spoke to the council about decisions that need to be made at the January 11, 2018, meeting in order for the sewer project bond issue to be on the April 3, 2018, ballot.

Additional paperwork must be completed for the city to obtain the SRF loan through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) versus a USDA loan. It was the consensus that being able to pay off the sewer project in 20 years with the SRF loan versus the 35-year USDA loan was beneficial to Skidmore residents as the life of the sewer project is projected to be 20 years. Also, the overall cost of the project will be lower with the SRF loan.

The city needs to start raising sewer rates, which now stand at the minimum charge of $18 for the first 2,500 gallons of water per month. The estimated sewer rate per Skidmore resident is $46.71 per month.

The need for the sewer project is because of tighter DNR regulations of which the city is not in compliance. The maximum fines for being out of compliance can be up to $10,000 per day. As long as the city is showing progress to becoming compliant, it is believed that DNR will work with the city.

The sewer project includes:

• Proposed collection system improvements include repairing gravity sewer pipe deficiencies, broken cleanouts, damaged manholes and camper dump cap; requiring that illegal basement connections be removed; and making video inspections of gravity sewer.

• Preliminary treatment improvements include reusing existing manual bar screen and the Imhoff tank.

• Primary treatment improvements include rehabilitating the trickling filter by installing a siphon mechanism, new rotary distributor, new recirculation pumps and controls.

• Secondary treatment improvements include reusing the clarification tank.

• Adding an ultraviolet disinfection unit.

• Biosolids management improvements include settling biosolids stored and digested in Imhoff tank; cleaning existing biosolid drying beds and replacing valves, piping and sand; having land applied biannually.

Wicoff also informed the city that there is $167,000 in bonding capacity available from the 2012 water project. The city will apply for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant. This factors into the bond issue being under one million dollars, with Mayor Tracy Shewey saying she hopes it will be in the $700,000 to $800,000 range.

Johansen Drainage & Tile, Rulo, NE, was awarded the bid for lagoon removal at the water treatment plant at the March 9 city council meeting. At that time, Stephen Johansen stated he could start work on the project within two weeks, before crops were planted.

As of the December 14 meeting, nothing has been done on the project. Johansen has not returned phone calls. The council and mayor instructed City Clerk Jennifer Poland to continue to try to reach Johansen. The matter will be taken up again in 2018, if Johansen is unable to fulfill the bid.

Ian Sloniker addressed the council about completing his Eagle Scout project to replace Skidmore street signs. He will need to do the project during the winter and early spring as he is going to attend Army basic training during the summer. Maintenance Operator Marvin Sumy will check to make sure the city has poles and hardware for the signs. Poland and Sumy have compiled a list with the number of signs needed.

The council directed Sumy to cut the tall weeds on two properties. He is to take before and after photos and keep track of his hours. The property owners will be billed for the service.

The Get ‘R Done Tree Service hasn’t completed the tree trimming that was approved at the November meeting. Poland stated that the company was expected to be in town the week of December 18 to do the work.

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