At the January 12 Skidmore City Council meeting, the council questioned the need for all the processes in the sewer project which has been ongoing since 2016-17.

Tim Trigg of Smico Services, Odessa, attended the meeting. He had two recommendations. One, the trickle wheel filtration system to be repaired and put into service. Two, the city to get opinions from other engineering firms.

Smico Services provides program management, maintenance agreements, project budgeting, NASSCO certified, CCTV inspection, 3D video inspection, sludge judging, smoke testing, lift station repair and rehab, manhole lining, Jetter vacuum services, hydro excavation, pump maintenance and replacement. It is not an engineering firm.

Also, Trigg said initial consultations shouldn’t cost.

If the city changes engineering firms, it will increase costs, Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Government’s Jeri Dearmont said.

The city will ask Snyder and Associates, St. Joseph, for a copy of the contract between the company and the city.

Circuit Rider Mary Calcagno with Missouri Rural Water Association said the city can’t put off the repair of the sewer operation plant. Also, the city should pipe wastewater which needs to be processed to the sewer plant. Storm water, groundwater and gutter runoff water needs to be diverted away from the sewer plant.

The city hired Gilmore Bell, Kansas City, for its bond officer to handle the 2018 bond financials.

Calcagno will work on the DNR loan and grant applications that need to be submitted by March 1.

City Clerk Meagan Morrow wants to switch to a new utility billing system. The current Easy Bill hasn’t correlated the billing with the new sewer meters.

Jessie Smock from the ballpark association brought the expense receipts that the association spent on the ballfield last summer. The receipts totaled more than the $400 rent. The council accepted the receipts and decided to move on.

In the future, ballfield items that require attention need to be brought to the council or city hall to allow Skidmore staff the time to do them. It was noted the field needs to be mowed before each game day and the lights tested.

Resident Roger McAfee brought his water bill to the council because of broken water pipes. The council agreed to waive the sewer fees. McAfee will pay his normal monthly utility payment and contact Community Services to see if there is some financial assistance for him.

Water Operator Cassie Partridge asked residents to clean off their water meter lids the last week of the month so the meters can be read easily. She also printed the city’s last month’s water usage. She was excited that it showed daily usage over the month so spikes in water usage can be spotted.

The council decided to raise the water and sewer rates for non-profits to match the rates being charged to residents.

Partridge has put together a Go Fund Me account to raise money for the headstone for the Native American who died in Skidmore.

Ordinance #Water-2023 was passed after discussion with a 3-1 vote. Alderman Tim Slagle thought increasing the water deposit to $250 was too high. It is currently $100 for owners and $200 for renters. After the discussion, the other three aldermen wanted to continue the new $250 deposit. Slagle was the lone dissenting vote.

In the December 8 closed session, the council reviewed Partridge’s job performance. Her pay was raised to $15.75 an hour. Morrow’s job performance was also reviewed and wage increased to $16 per hour. Her work week hours moved to 40 hours.