Busy Night for Carmi City Council
As expected the Carmi City Council meeting Tuesday night was lengthy as the council covered a number of items ranging from tennis courts to good-byes to city employees who have and are retiring.
The first order of business was discussion of the Carmi tennis courts, an issue the council has visited for a number of times. Carmi Mayor Jeff Pollard explained the back two courts could be refinished for close to $25,000, with the single court expected to run a little over $16,000. The mayor explained this is an issue the high school would like to see resolved prior to the August girls tennis season.
Alderman Steve Winkleman pointed out it was time to get this done.
The council approved the motion and work will get underway in the near future. It was reported city crews will help with the ground work, which will help keep the cost of the project down.
Don Davis, foreman at the Waste Water Treatment Plant reported on mounting problems at the “plant.” He explained the state and national EPA are cracking down on phosphorus exchange, pointing out “something will have to be done.” He spent about 20 minutes explaining to the council a couple of options, both extremely expensive, one would cost millions of dollars. He pointed out the best fix, a new plant, would be the most expensive.
Davis also pointed out nitrogen will be the next thing the EPA starts to crack down on. The council agreed something would have to be done, but also pointed out that will be a budget problem. While there was no official action taken, Davis will begin to put some numbers on paper and will be back before the council sometime in the future.
Prior to Davis’ discussion the council approved upgrading the sludge beds, which Davis reported were built 31 years ago, with an expected user life of 20 years.
Dave Coston, the cities electrical engineer reported on Generator 11. He explained the insurance company has indicated there is sufficient evidence to know the city was not at fault when the generator laid down. But the insurance company is needing a cost estimate to move forward, which Coston explained he has been working diligently to get a report from the company, Baker Hughes General Electric that he can pass on to the insurance company. It is hoped at that time, the project will move forward.
Coston also presented an revised electric ordinance.
In committee reports, Doug Hays of the police committee reported the contract for the school resource officer has been renewed for next year with the Unit Five School Board. He also had high praise for Chief Jason Carter for his efforts in securing funding for the new K-9 officer to replace Orest who is being retired due to health issues. Hays pointed out that the chief’s press release has resulted in a “super response” from the community. It was pointed out children, adults, business and other interest have donated to the fund. He said it’s a “good feeling,” and pointed out donations are still be gratefully accepted.
Mayor Jeff Pollard thanked two employees, one who recently retired and the other who will retire this week.
Pollard also reminded everyone of the blood drive coming up June 18 at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall.
Pool hours and special event nights were also discussed.