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New sewage lift station fails after 1 week

RONAN — At a Ronan City Council meeting on Monday, city officials announced that only one week after its completion, the Spring Creek Lift Station experienced major mechanical problems. 

“The sewage continued to come in, but the (pump) did not turn on,” Public Works Director Kevin Templer said. “I wasn’t happy because that’s why we spent all the money to rebuild the station.”

Templer explained that city workers found the sewage overflowing at the station on Monday, March 15.

When the pumps malfunctioned on Sunday, March 14 city officials were not notified by the redundancy system, which is designed to call city officials via a computer if the station malfunctions. 

The city council voted to withhold payment from Thomas Dean and Hoskins Inc. and Patterson Engineering until the situation is resolved and assigned Templer and Mayor Kim Aipperspach to investigate the situation. 

“I think we dodged a bullet this time, but I don’t think we will be as lucky the next time,” Templer said. 

In other news, Jennifer Rolfsness approached the council for approval to receive $125,000 for a Community Transportation Enhancement Project. Rolfsness originally requested approval to receive the funds in 2009, but the request and the action of the council could not be located in the minutes.

The funds will be used for the construction of a bike path and will include 13.58 percent of in-kind donations and labor. 

Council member Ann Brower made the motion to sign the contract and take the necessary measures to receive the grant. The motion was unanimously approved. 

Jennifer Cote addressed the city council on behalf of Cote and Wheeler, Certified Public Accountants. Cote has been working on the 2007-2008 city audit with city clerk Kaylene Melton.

Cote reported that she will be able to deliver an audit report on Wednesday or shortly thereafter. 

To date, there will be only one major adjustment for 2007-2008, Cote said. Over $14,000 of interest was not reported over the two year period. She noted that there will be changes in the investment assets and cash due to the interest adjustment. 

She closed her presentation seeking comments and feedback from city council.

Frank Delgado with the Ronan City Library Board requested a change to the library’s budget after receiving an anonymous donation of $12,000.

The donation was tagged specifically for salaries and was received a month after the library’s first major donation of $13,000. The council unanimously approved the budget adjustment. 

Council member Marcia Ganieany reported the findings of the finance committee concerning the solicitor license ordinance. The committee recommended two different permits: a seven-day soliciting permit for $35 and a permit that lasts until the end of the year for $75.

The council discussed the matter in great length, finally voting unanimously to approve the ordinance. 

The council also voted unanimously to raise the charge for open container permits to $125. Of the $125, $90 will serve as a deposit, which will be returned to the business after approval by city employees and the police department. 

Templer then approached the council to discuss the city’s roads. Displaying a color-coordinated map of water lines and roads, the city council discussed plans to fix roads, providing money is left over from the Sky Line Project. Lake County is receiving $12 million from Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery to repair Sky Line Road. County officials have projected that $3 million to $3.5 million will be left over from the project. 

The council decided to hold a work meeting to discuss the proposed project further on March 24 at 6 p.m. after the public hearing regarding the Storm Water Project. 

The next city council meeting will be held on April 5 at 6 p.m.

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