During the Monday night Storm Lake City Council meeting, council members approved capital loan notes for water and sewer projects, awarded a bid for the third phase of the FEMA sewer mitigation project, passed a contract with Veenstra & Kimm Engineering for water system modeling and discussed a small voluntary annexation area on Redwood Drive.
*Capital loan notes totaling $8 million were approved to finance wastewater treatment plant upgrades, the City's portion of the $17.9 million FEMA sewer project set to conclude in 2014, and for construction of new wells and piping. A public hearing will be held during the March 4 council meeting for $1.1 million in water revenue bonds to finance a storm water project in the east central part of town. If the bonds are approved, customers will first notice a $1 per ERU increase on their June 15 water bill.
*With a final bid of $1.31 million, H&W Contracting of Sioux Falls, S.D., was the lowest bidder out of six contractors for the third phase of the FEMA sewer mitigation project, which includes installation of force main from Hope Evangelical Free Church east to the 13th Street lift station. Although H&W is currently working on the first phase of the project, City Manager Jim Patrick said he did not foresee any problems.
"We are anticipating another 20-25 days of work on phase one," he said. "They are well ahead of schedule."
To date, the project, which aims to reduce flooding around the west and south sides of the lake, is under budget. The City of Storm Lake is responsible for 15 percent of costs, with FEMA and Iowa Homeland Security covering the remaining 85 percent.
The contract for the fifth phase of the project, wastewater treatment plant upgrades, will be awarded during the March 4 council meeting.
*A $20,000 contract with Veenstra and Kimm Engineering was approved to create a model of the City's water system.
Bacteria in water lines has become a problem, Patrick said, but noted it does not pose a threat to residents' well-being or health.
When water does not flow as quickly through older, smaller lines, bacteria becomes an issue.
"It will allow us to know where to replace pipes, improve water flow and where to put water towers," Patrick explained.
*Voluntary annexation for two home lots on Redwood Drive passed, with the Buena Vista County Supervisors remaining neutral on the 100 percent voluntary request.