City Council meets
The Cottonwood City Council held their regular December meeting Monday, Dec. 10.
At the meeting sewer commissioner Ron Grant reported there was vandalism recently at the sewage treatment site. Someone broke into the building out there and opened a valve that caused untreated water to be discharged into the creek, a serious offense in the eyes of the Environmental Protection Agency. Through an unfortunate set of circumstances this went undetected for a couple of days. Steps have since been taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The fine for such an offense can amount to almost $35,000 per day to the party at fault.
Drew Cochran, a candidate for Eagle Scout, presented a proposal to the council to remodel and fix up the city dog pound as his community service project. Police Chief Terry Cochran said there was money budgeted in his department for this.
Water commissioner Pat Holthaus reported substantial water loss but the heavy chlorination and ensuing hydrant flushing to get it through the system may account for much of the over half million gallons pumped that did not get paid for. The chlorination was required due to some water testing failures and the problem appears to be fixed now. The water used to fight the fire at Jack Duman’s shop also was not metered.
In the Police Report Joe Hall Ford has been awarded the bid for the new police vehicle. Other bidders were eliminated due to higher price or not meeting the specs.
Police chief Terry Cochran also talked about closing Madison Street except for local traffic so it can be used for sledding again. He would like to see the sledders go there rather than using the other hilly streets that pretty much all feed into either King or Main Streets.
In the street report Jack Duman said the sign grant has been submitted. Cottonwood is also in with the Cottonwood and Fenn Highway Districts on a grant to get Graves Creek Road sealcoated.
In the fire department report Ron Grant said they had one extrication call. He also reported that fire chief Greg Sonnen provided him with a signed memorandum of agreement with the Dept. of Lands that could lead to acquisition of a city engine.
There was one more concern on the proposed open burning/burn permit ordinance. The requested changes will be made and it will be acted on at the January meeting.
Meeting dates were approved for 2013. Meetings will be on the second Monday of each month except for October and November when the meeting will be on the Tuesday following the second Monday due to Monday being a holiday. All meeting will start at 7 p.m.
A list of surplus property was approved for sale. This will be advertised in the last couple of Chronicles prior to the January meeting, at which bids will be opened.
The JUB Engineers contract was discussed with some concerns expressed. Ron Grant will discuss these concerns with them and get back to the council at the January meeting.
The housing area status was discussed. The city is still waiting on action concerning the water and sewer service. Roy Uhlenkott express concern that the issue of massive water inflow into the city sewer system be addressed. Jack Duman said he would meet with them.
In other business Jack Duman said he is looking into some grant possibilities to get East Street from Front Street north past the Elementary School fixed. One grant is 4 to 5 years out and could possibly completely rebuild it. Another, more likely, possibility is a grant to put a BST coating down, which wouldn’t completely fix the problems but would buy some time.
Mayor Denis Duman cautioned that word he’s hearing is that federal grant funding monies may dry up after the first of the year with the federal budget cuts that would need to be made if no action is taken by Congress on the impending “fiscal cliff.”
Earlier in the meeting Mayor Duman had reported he has been appointed to the legislative committee for the Association of Idaho Cities. He said the legislation getting attention in the upcoming session that would affect cities is the proposed abolishing of the personal property tax. It could mean a loss of revenue of about $9,000 for the city. He gave a little history on how the personal property tax started out as a tax on all personal property including such things as silverware and dishes, etc. Over the years more and more items get exempted until currently it is the fixed items businesses have such as tables, chairs, desks, computers, etc.
The council meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m. The next regular meeting is set for Monday, January 14 at 7 p.m.