Vandalia Leader

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City Deals with waste water woes

Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 4:23 pm

By Ben Marshall

VANDALIA—Eastern District County Commissioner Alan Winders addressed the waste water issue that would be covered at the coming Benton City meeting, and he invited all elected officials to attend.
Also, City Administrator Darren Berry explained that for a number of years, the city’s lagoon system has struggled with consistently meeting its effluent limits, specifically ammonia. In 2016, the city received a Small Community Engineering Assistance Grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. McClure Engineering was hired to conduct a study of the city’s wastewater collection system and treatment facility. In November 2017, McClure Engineering presented to the city a Wastewater Facility Plan. This plan identified high inflow and infiltration problem areas in our collection system. The plan also had six treatment alternatives for the lagoon system that ranged in cost between $3.7 million to $16.5 million. Berry also stated that on Nov. 15, 2018, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources conducted an inspection on the treatment facility. On Dec. 4, 2018, a letter of warning was issued to the city from the MDNR. This letter of warning identified many non-compliant issues. The majority of the non-compliant issues had to do with short detention time and also not being able to meet the effluent parameters that are identified in our permit. A response letter was sent to MDNR on February 21,2019 to address the non-compliant issues. The response was rejected. The MDNR wanted the city to provide more detail in explaining which upgrade option the city has chosen and how the city plans to meet the final effluent limitations for ammonia and e-coli. The new response letter needed to be in their office by March 5, 2019. The city requested and received a 0 day extension. The city met with PSBA and started working on a response letter that outlined options to meet the final permit effluent limitations along with a schedule for upgrading our treatment facility. That letter was sent on April 5, 2019 and on April 16, 2019 we received a Return to Compliance Letter from the department. City Administrator Berry then introduced Quinten Gehring from Poepping Stone Bach & Associates. Gehring agreed and went on state that Vandalia has applicable solutions. Water Plant Supervisor Dave Sanders then added that currently Gibson’s have 600 acres currently and looking to add 250 more acres with two new pivots after clearing trees giving the city 850 acres to irrigate. Berry stated that if approved this would authorize PSBA to conduct a Phase one study of the City of Vandalia’s Waste Water Lagoon System. With this study, PSBA will be working along with the City of Vandalia and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in developing a plan for future upgrades, which are needed in order to meet the cities Final Effluent Limitations. The cities current permit is due to expire on December 3, 2020. The cost of this Phase one study is $37,000.00. Alderman Hopke made a motion to approve and authorize the City Administrator to sign the Professional Service Agreement with PSBA. Alderman Weiser seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
The city renewed the contract with Dayne’s Waste Disposal. City Administrator Darren Berry explained the history of the contract with Dayne’s. in 2002, the city teamed up with Dayne’s Waste Disposal with a five year agreement with the option to renew the contract in three year increments up to five times. Each year a $.15 increase is added to the base charge. the renewal would be the last of the three year renewals. Berry reminded the board that at the March board meeting he reported that Dayne’s had notified him that the Handi-Shop in Mexico was no longer going to accept any recycling. This prompted Dayne’s to take the recycling to Columbia and to recover their cost Daynes’s would need to increase the city’s recycling fees from $.55 to $.90 per customer. Berry explained that he was waiting to increase the cost because the contract renewal was coming up in June. To help offset the increase to the recycling fees City Administrator Darren Berry recommended that the Charges for the limb removal be lowered from $.75 to $.40 per customer. With the rate of $.40 per customer the city will , on average, take in $5,030.00 per year, which should cover the cost of limb grinding that is done every other year. With approval the next three years trash rate per customer would be $11.29 for 2019, $11.44 for 2020, and $11.59 for the year 2021.
Under informational Updates City Administrator Berry told the board that Mo Dot would be starting toadework next week and will be working at night starting at 4: P.M. They will start on Route F, but at this time will not be doing Route W due to waiting on Rail Road permits.
City Administrator Berry updated the council on the Oak Street Project stating that the project will begin as soon as the weather allows with substantial completion on July 25, and total completion on September 8, 2019.
City Administrator Berry advised the board that there are two positions open at City Hall. Office Assistant Diane Butler and Billing Clerk Megan Luckett both resigned.
Berry gave update that golf cart stickers are being printed and picked up within the week.
Alderperson Hopke asked about the Power Plant Project and City Administrator Berry informed her and the board that Jeff was here in the past week looking at the building and discussing how to remove the turbines, and that they are looking to start the project soon.