The Aberdeen City Council held a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 8, to hear about the status of funding for the city’s wastewater project.
The federal government shutdown may create funding issues for the project. Rural Development has been shut down due to the government furlough.
The council approved payment of bills for the wastewater project, but concerns were discussed because of this development and decisions were made to deal fairly with this issue. The council was urged to call the government leaders and tell them how it was affecting their project.
Attending the council meeting were council members Katherine O’Brien, Mary Leisy, Lisa Pankau, Larry Barrett, Brian Schneider and Craig Wampler. Mayor Morgan Anderson conducted the meeting while city clerk Linda Balls took minutes. City Attorney Dan Acevedo, Police Chief Ray Dalling and city employee Richard Mayer were in attendance.
After the public hearing, Anderson started the regular council meeting.
Approval was given to Maverik for their liquor license. El Jaliciense, Stokes and Gabina Gonzales were given conditional approval contingent upon receiving their Bingham County license. All the fees have been paid for the licenses.
The Safe Routes to School action plan was adopted. Now plans can be made for its implementation.
Anderson then asked for reports from the different departments.
Wampler led discussion about the wastewater project and its progress. He said the project was progressing and they are close to using the new system in treating the water. However it is on hold for the moment pending payment to the contractor. With the government shutdown, Rural Development must approve the payment and they are closed and unavailable for questions. A motion was made to pay Star Corporation and Keller Associates the money due them contingent upon approval from Rural Development.
Wampler also discussed the job description document for the city crew. Wampler, Barrett, Anderson and the city crew had a meeting to discuss the job description approved by the city council. They discussed the responsibilities of the different crew members and the possibility of relieving Mayer of some of his responsibilities by giving them more. They will have another meeting which will also include Mayer to further discuss the document and its implementation.
Airport and Gem Trail
Leisy reported that the tractor is back at the airport after hopefully being fixed. Community forester Gary Bates will help update the city’s tree ordinance.
O’Brien oversees the recycling center. Barrett recognized the Rupp and Jacobs families, who have done a good job cleaning up the area.
Barrett brought up a concern about the water usage at a business. The council discussed their options and decided to purchase and install a meter and backflow preventer for the use of the business. A motion was made and passed to this effect.
Anderson said that Three Rivers RC&D will write a grant to try and get funding to replace the bridge by the Aberdeen Research and Development Center. The grant would be for $100,000 which should cover the cost of replacement. Three Rivers will charge a $1,300 fee for writing the grant. A motion was made to have a contract with Three Rivers RC&D to write the grant for the bridge replacement.
Anderson also discussed the possibility of Keller Associates again writing the road grant. He will talk to them about their fee for writing the grant.
Mayer reported to the council that the city crew had worked on the new water main, located utilities for residents, winterized the parks, put up street signs, removed the picnic tables from the parks, brought in fill dirt and completed some water service. In the future they will continue to work on the water project, complete putting up the street signs, grade the gravel roads if time is available, winterize the well houses and attach a new sludge bag.
Balls thanked the council for allowing her and Lori Rupp to attend training in Boise.
Bills for September were approved for payment. The October bills that needed to be paid were also approved for payment.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.