The Miller City Council held its second meeting of the month April 15.
Darlene and Jesse Hammer, who live on East Third Avenue, were present to discuss sewer backup problems. Darlene Hammer said the pipe is only four inches in circumference, and causes backup in the Hammer home, as well as another’s home.
Water-sewer department head Jim Bonebright said there is no sewer main in that street; rather it is a private sewer line that one or more residents have tied into. Similar problems are found in other areas of town. Bonebright said SPN & Associates will be coming to Miller, and he will have them look at the sewer problems.
Mayor Ron Blachford authorized Bonebright to get an estimate for three similar projects, so repairs can be included in future plans.
Council member Tony Rangel said he wanted to remind dog owners that Miller does have a dog ordinance and it is being enforced. Dogs need to be leashed, and owners are required to clean up after their pets in public places. “We will be watching,” he said.
Department heads gave their reports.
Bill Lewellen, electric department, said staking will continue for the electric project as soon as weather cooperates. The Strata Corporation will be coming May 1 to begin on the project again.
Lewellen reported Josh Koeck has completed his second-year journeyman testing, and the Council approved a $3 per hour raise, as per agreement.
Bonebright, water/sewer/airport, said the FAA wants to redo the airport runway in 2014, and add taxiways. He said consideration is being given to use concrete for the runway, because of its longevity. The FFA is also pursuing the purchase of 2.9 acres adjoining the airport. Overall, the project is slated to cost $2.1 million, of which the City pays five percent. Mayor Blachford commented that is still a hefty amount of money, and recommended building up reserve amounts whenever possible to cover such costs.
Additionally, Bonebright said a new fence needs to be installed at the airport, at a cost of about $12,000, which would not be federally funded. However, if the FFA buys the 2.9 acres that they are considering, the fencing could possibly be included at that time. Bonebright agreed to hold off on any decision until he has more information.
Ron Hoftiezer, street department, reported on the past month’s activities, and said blading roads and alleys and filling potholes is at the mercy of weather conditions.
Street crews were kept busy trying to keep ahead of the recent heavy snowfalls.
Shannon Speck, police chief, reported officers attended a baton-training class. DARE officer Chris Henrickson was approved to attend a three-day DARE update school in Pierre. Speck said Henrickson has taught DARE classes in Miller for five years, and this year’s fifth-grade class will have DARE graduation May 9.
The driver’s side seat in the new patrol car needs to be replaced, and Speck expressed his disappointment about how the car has held up.
Council member Joe Zeller said the City committee for the police department met and recommended that Officer Wayne Ames be promoted to Deputy Police Chief, with a $1-per-hour raise. Speck said he feels confident that Ames could handle any problems that might arise in his absence, and added that Ames is an instructor in eight areas of law enforcement. Action cannot be taken on the recommendation until the next Council meeting.
Finance officer Sheila Coss said Banyon Data Systems provided a quote of approximately $350 to correct the City’s utility billing problem. Mayor Blachford recommended going ahead with the quote.
Coss said Banyon will also help the office with setting up a spreadsheet for current accounts, comparing it to the Chart of Accounts for municipalities, and help with payroll fund accounting.
The Council approved destroying numerous old finance office records, some dating back to the1970s.
For the City sales tax comparison, revenue was up 2.80 percent compared to the same time in 2012.
Sitting as the Board of Adjustment, the Council approved a variance request from Justin Sell, to move an existing garage closer to the lot line than City code allows.
Building permits were approved for Sell, as well as for Jill Wallace, new garage.
A plat was approved at the request of Mike Beaner, for two lots south of the Latter-day Saints church, and across from the Prairie Vista development.
The next regular Council meeting will be Monday, May 6, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.