Friday, April 29, 2011

News Items - May 2, 2011

1. MAY 9 COMMITTEE: Randy Gathers is unable to attend the meeting and thus far there are no urgent agenda items.

2. INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: The committee authorized Finance Director Jean Furler to solicit quotes for the city’s investment and banking services. Quotes are due by June 3 and a recommendation will be presented to council and trustees in June. The contracts will be effective July 1, 2011.

3. 2011 SUSTAINABILITY MONTH: Indianola’s April Sustainability Month was a great success once again this year! Throughout the month there were many opportunities for citizens to get involved and learn about sustainable living practices.

Highlights include:

• 269 electronic items and 352 appliances were properly recycled by Midwest Recovery Inc. during the city’s free E-cycling/appliance drop off
• Eleven citizens participated in the bike/walk to work challenge.
• Approximately 200 citizens attended the 3rd annual Sustainability Fair held at the IMU line shop on North B Street. Eighteen vendors had displays to share their “Green” products and services.
• The month concluded with the Parks and Recreation Spring Fling at the Indianola Fairgrounds Saturday, April 30th. Committee members promoted sustainability and fun activities for our younger consumers.

The Indianola Sustainability Committee would like to thank the entire community for helping make Indianola a more sustainable city for future generations. Thanks also go to Chris Longer and Mindi Robinson for making the entire month a success!

4. SANITARY SEWER PROJECT: The Clerk’s Office has received several questions about the sanitary sewer projects in town. A summary follows:

The General Contractor for the Phase 2 Inflow and Infiltration Project is Visu-Sewer (Blue jet trucks and camera trucks) with 3 crews doing sewer main lining, short liners and manhole grouting.

Visu-Sewer has 2 main sub contractors. One is Vanderpool Construction doing excavation of mains and manhole repairs. The second is United Pipe Renewal working on the sewer service (pipe from a home to the main) connection "T-Liner and Vac-Tee (white pipes along the curb) repairs.

United Pipe has a subcontractor (Precision Excavation) installing the Vac Tee's on 125 sewer services where T-liners will be used. The T-Liner repairs sewer service connections “inside” the main and avoids open excavation.

This "Trenchless Technology" utilizes the Vac-Tee (also called a clean-out) that is installed on the sewer service (white pipes sticking above ground). Precision Excavation is initially installing a longer (than needed) pipe on the ground so they can find them quickly. The T-Liner will be installed as the liners are ordered for length. When the T-Liner has been installed the contractor will lower the cleanouts, cap them (below ground) and mark them. The property owners with these Vac-Tees will be able to use this access in the future for much more efficient service maintenance.

Visu-Sewer leaves door knockers on properties that receive the Vac-Tees prior to installation informing owners of the times/date of installation.

5. PROPERTY TAX LEGISLATION: HSB 240 was submitted to the Iowa House of Representatives on April 27 and has the potential to reduce tax revenues by about $660,000 annually resulting from a reduction of commercial property values. The legislation contains language to reimburse cities about ½ this amount but previous experience shows that when the state falls into financial difficulty, they lessen or remove payments to cities, counties and schools.

The Senate version, SF 522, provides commercial property tax relief but has no effect on cities, counties or schools.

In your packet is a table showing the affect on Indianola.

6. SKID LOADER: Street Supt Ed Yando is soliciting bids to replace the 13 year-old Bobcat skid loader. They will be received on May 31, 2011 and a recommendation provided on the June 6 council agenda. $70,000 is budgeted in FY 11/12.

7. SOUTH LIFT STATION: Per the IDNR, soil tests were taken several weeks ago to determine lead or antimony content. The results showed levels were well below the amount requiring remediation.

Also, Supt Dan Miers reports the plant will not meet its 30 day average ammonia limit for April. The NPDES permit limit is 2.8 mg/l for a 30 day average and the plant is at 3.7 mg/l. On April 20th, the staff brought all tanks online to deal with higher flows (brought in with warmer, wetter weather) and there has been a resulting decline in the effluent ammonia. The solids return rate was also increased to improve the sludge age. Dan discussed operational options with Forrest Aldrich and Tim O'Conner of V&K and they provided some of these suggestions to improve ammonia removal.

As a further precaution, the staff is checking the process to see if ammonia is increasing in the treatment process. They found that March and April are the most challenging months to meet the ammonia limits due to temperature change, seasonal changes and higher flows.

The ammonia was reported to IDNR’s Dave Perry and he noted the plant may receive a notice of violation. Dave stated that if a notice is sent, the city must respond in writing as to what actions have been taken to abate the problem and prevent future occurrences.

8. I&I: In your packet is an administrative consent order with IDNR and the City of Indianola extending the completion of the Phase III project to July 31, 2011. The dates for the completion of the south plant lift station in the original order was not going to be meet because of the amount of it took IDNR to complete the environmental review of the site. The specified completion date with the contactor, Neuvirth, is June 17, 2011. Neuvirth is on schedule with the project and right now they do not see a problem with meeting the completion date.

9. STP TE ADJUSTMENTS: We received an e-mail today regarding federal allocation for Surface Transportation Program and Transportation Enhancement (received by CIRTPA) could possibly decrease from $4.9 to $3.7 million. If this happens, the city’s funding allocation would decrease from $239,000 to $179,000 annually.