City Council discusses comprehensive sewer project 7-10-13

Posted July 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm

City Council discusses comprehensive sewer project

The Miller City Council met July 1.

Fire chief Steve Resel reported 14 sets of new firefighter bunker gear have been received.

County sheriff Doug DeBoer and Nehemia Volquardsen, emergency manager, met with the council to discuss emergency shelter availability. “A bad storm system came through June 21,” DeBoer said. Some people went to the courthouse for protection; however, they were also informed the courthouse is not staffed after hours or weekends.

Volquardsen said it is necessary to determine what shelters might be available during a summer storm threat, and to get the word out to the public. They planned to meet with Hand County Commissioners the following day.

Mayor Ron Blachford said a committee should be formed to resolve the issue. He and council woman Mary Johnson will represent the City.

Building permits were approved for Scott Gibson, to move in garage storage shed; for Larry Blaseg to replace deck with an open porch; and for Scott Peterson to replace front steps with a deck, and replace back steps.

Pool manager Amanda Taylor said a need has been determined for private swim lessons to be available, and lifeguards have agreed to provide them. She suggested charging $10.00 per half-hour for the lessons, with $3.00 to go to the City, and $7.00 to the lifeguard. Council members gave their approval.

Taylor and Joe Fiala, Swim Club board member, said a triathlon is planned for August 17 to raise money for the Swim Club. The triathlon will include swimming, biking and running, and the club hopes to draw a number of participants. Approval was given to place barricades on the street by the pool during the triathlon, and to have police on hand when the athletes cross the highway during the biking portion.

The electric project pay request for $182,596.78 was approved. The project is ahead of schedule, and under cost projections.

Council member Tony Rangel reported on sewer project recommendations. He said sewer, water main and storm sewer work is necessary, and the recommendation is to do the work throughout the city, but in phases, and repair streets when the water/sewer work is done. Rangel said a grant would be necessary for the project, but repairing “as needed” is a band-aid method, and not cost-effective. The City of Ipswich has completed a similar project, with grant funding. Terry Aker with SPN Engineering will be invited to the July 15 meeting to discuss steps to take.

Rangel has also been appointed the City representative on the Community Center committee.

Finance officer Sheila Coss discussed switching companies to provide software for municipal accounting (utility billing, accounts payable, payroll, etc.). The present software provider has not been meeting the City’s needs adequately, Coss said.

She suggested switching to Summit software through Data Technologies, Inc., which states it provides “municipal and utility accounting solutions.” The Omaha-based company has been in business 28 years. It provides on-site installation and training, and Internet-based support.

Coss said it would be several months before the City could be set up with them, and cost of the system could be paid for over a two-year period. The council approved a motion to go with Data Technologies.

The next Miller Council meeting will be July 15 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.