By Anne Thom
The Stacy City Council was clearly miffed at their last meeting, regarding a flyer sent to city residents by an unnamed vendor seeking to market a home softener remedy for radium. Radium has been found in the city’s water supply.
What riled the council was the vendor used the city logo.
Councilor Jim Ness said the flyer gives the impression the city is endorsing or sponsoring the product.
“It kind of raised my hackles, they’re throwing in a scare factor,” Councilor Michael Carlson said.
The council has been diligent in disseminating correct information to the public on how this issue will be resolved.
City Engineer Chuck Schwartz said the proposed charcoal filter solution has not been recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
Councilor Chuck Lucia asked if radium can be controlled by a water softener.
Schwartz said that the softener may remove the radium but there is no way to test the degree to which it might be working in any private system.
Councilor Cindy Bruss countered that she recalled that MDH representatives may have made the suggestion, but City Clerk Sharon Payne did not.
“I think the city should declare it is not endorsing any company,” City Attorney Peter Grundhoefer said. He suggested sending out general information from MDH on the next required notice.
The city, as required by the state, has been sending a quarterly communication regarding the presence of radium as they are in the process of correcting the situation.
A letter will be sent to residents next month. Grundhoefer thought it was reasonable to have engineer Schwartz and Mayor Mark Utecht review the communication.
Schwartz suggested that Payne request the vendor refrain from sending the flyers with the city logo.
Grundhoefer said they should be asked to state they are not affiliated with the city. He thought Payne could make a phone call but the council felt something should be sent in writing.
Councilor Carlson, acting as mayor in Utecht’s absence, said that they will run this by the mayor for his opinion.
Regarding a solution to the radium, Schwartz has spoken to Carlos Avery personnel and county environmental staff. There would be an impact to the surrounding wetlands with a potential water treatment plant.
Schwartz also discovered a well head protection plan is needed. This is mandated “to prevent drinking water from becoming polluted by managing potential sources of contamination in the area which supplies water to a public well”, according to MDH. The state wasn’t aware that the city of Stacy has over 1,000 residents.
Schwartz said MDH will do most of the work on the plan, but city staff time is needed to provide the state with requested data.