City Council meets
Continuing discussion over Ironwood Estates and a sewer and water service agreement with the city was the primary topic at the January meeting of the Cottonwood City Council Monday, Jan. 13.
Mayor Denis Duman prefaced the discussion by commenting that he feels previous negotiations got out of hand and it wound up costing them one of the council members. He feels there is still an equitable resolution possible that would benefit both sides.
From the city’s side, they know there has been a problem with excessive flows from that system in the past due to infiltration from storm runoff among other things and the more that winds up flowing into the sewage treatment system southeast of town, the more it costs. Ironwood Estates on the other hand is looking at the excessive costs that would be generated on their side plus the city was asking to be able to do inspections of their system.
City maintenance supervisor Roy Uhlenkott has come up with another possibility that could be much more workable. That would be putting a flow meter where the housing area sewer system connects to the city’s system. The city could then just charge for what comes through. Ironwood, the BLM and the homeowner that use the system could work out an agreement on how to split the costs. This would also eliminate any need for the city to do inspections. Ryan Uhlenkott of Ironwood said that sounds good but he would like some time to think about it. Actual costs of putting in such a meter need to be looked into further.
There were also some things in the agreement proposal that need to be ironed out between city attorney Joe Wright and Ironwood’s attorney. Both sides hope to have something ready to approve by the next city council meeting.
In other business, re-elected council members Ron Grant and Pat Holthaus were sworn in.
Grant was re-elected as president of the council.
Mayor Duman reappointed everyone to their current positions, leaving streets commissioner open at this point.
Shelli Schumacher will continue as land and buildings commissioner.
Grant will continue as sewer and storm water commissioner and also as fire commissioner and planning and zoning representative.
Pat Holthaus will continue as water commissioner.
Terry Cochran will continue as chief of police.
Greg Sonnen will continue as fire chief.
Roy Uhlenkott will continue as city maintenance supervisor.
Carol Altman will continue as city clerk.
Joe Wright will continue as city attorney.
In reports the city pumped 2.6 million gallons of water and sold just over 2 million for a 21% loss. The actual amount of lost water appears to be steady at about half a million gallons per month. The percentage of loss is higher this time of year as less is pumped. Holthaus reported that for the past year the loss is about 12.2%.
Testing came back clean this month.
In the sewer report Grant said the electronics that got burned out are being replaced. They haven’t heard anything back yet from their insurance carrier.
He also said he is working with Uhlenkott on a sewer pipe replacement program for this coming summer, looking to target the areas that need it most.
Mayor Duman gave the streets report saying that Joe Forsmann has been birddogging the grant applications that have already been submitted.
Schumacher reported construction has started in the hall basement. One change of earlier plans is to put the downstairs kitchen where Terry Cochran’s office is now and move him over to the old jail area. This would cut down on the additional plumbing and electrical that would have been needed.
In the fire report Grant said they had 2 rural calls this past month. One was a vehicle fire that was pretty much out by the time the got there. The other was a possible field fire.
Under new business alcohol beverage licenses were approved for Wolf Track Brewing, Riener’s Grocery, Cottonwood Foods, Mini-Village and RoDonna’s Country Haus. A license was tentatively approved for Doreen’s contingent on them getting their state and county licenses.
A proposal to purchase the GIS Mapping System software was brought up. Altman and Uhlenkott have looked at the City of Lewiston’s system. They said it would take some time to get all the data input but once it is you would have all your sewer and water lines mapped and be able to keep track of streets that have been worked on. Locate all hydrants and keep track of how old they are. Keep track of all street signage. And on and on. You can also coordinate with the county, state, Avista and other entities.
It was felt all city departments would benefit from this. A motion was made and passed to purchase the software at $1500 for the initial purchase and spread the cost over all city department funds. Continuing costs would be $500 for maintenance and the latest upgrades.
As a closing comment Mayor Duman said he is out of ideas for someone to fill the street commissioner position. Jack Duman did a great job of working for grant money to keep the streets upgraded and put them on a schedule to keep them in shape. He will be a hard one to replace. Any suggestions are appreciated.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Monday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.