Infrastructure plans for water treatment proceed in Stacy

At last week’s council meeting, the city of Stacy and its engineering firm Stantec reported progress in addressing the water supply radium issue. Equipment to drill a test well has been brought in and drilling was to start this week. Soil analyses were completed also.

The city faces a Nov. 15  pre-application deadline after having been approved by the USDA Rural Development to be placed on the list of projects eligible for federal funding. Stacy will now have to compete to secure the up to $1,750,000 the city requested. If the city’s pre-application makes the cut it will go on to the formal application process. City Engineer Chuck Schwartz said projects must serve the entire city to qualify, but he is unsure what “the whole city means.”

He said completing the documents will take approximately four hours, but thought it would be worth it. The council authorized City Clerk Sharon Payne to sign the documents.

The engineering firm of Bolton and Menk contacted Mayor Mark Utecht again, quoting a figure of $1,700,000 to build a treatment plant. Stantec engineer Ryan Capelle had acknowledged that Bolton & Menk’s price is far less than Stantec’s $2,500,000 but maintained the former contained plans for fewer features than the Stantec proposal. Schwartz reiterated Stantec proposes an additional well and a back wash tank. Utecht and Ness offered the opinion that Bolton and Menk do not need to come out again, they will stick with Stantec and their colleagues agreed.

In other Stacy news:

• The council certified a 2012 preliminary levy to the county of $402,090. It is the same amount as the 2012 levy. The council approved a 2013 budget of $446,353 compared to $465,140 for 2012. The city is counting on an increase in Local Government Aid and reductions in government costs, fire administration, highways, streets and roads and insurance charges.

• Mayor Utecht is looking for competition for providing cable service to Stacy. Midcontinent Communications feel they are just the company to provide this. Representatives from the company sat down with the Stacy council to say the city is “definitely on our radar for 2013.”  There will be further discussion with Midcontinent in the coming months to talk about service area and franchise agreements.

• The Stacy-Lent Fire Department plans to purchase a new fire truck for an approximate cost of $450,000. City Attorney Peter Grundhoefer advised the council that due to the cost, the city and Lent Township may have to go through a competitive bidding process. The fire department has obtained three cost estimates thinking this would be sufficiently transparent but, “We were wrong on that,” Utecht said looking at Grundhoefer.  There will be a special Joint Powers meeting at 7 p.m. at the fire hall, Tuesday, Sept 27.

• The North Branch Area Hockey Association has responded to the city’s proposal to sell them the Stacy Sports Complex land parcel that they cannot afford $1.09 per square foot. The council felt they could conceivably drop the NBAHA issue for now as it is the end of construction season and nothing would move forward at this point anyway. “They have to find a way to pay for it themselves,” Utecht said.

• The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6. The council will meet at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13 to canvass the election. The council approved the closing of city hall on Christmas Eve day, Dec. 24. Employees were authorized to use vacation time.

• The council approved two ordinances; 2012-9-1 pertaining to amendments for permits, zoning, site plan review and fees, and 2012-9-2 authorizing the Stacy City Council to act as Board of Adjustments and Appeals. Both ordinance changes passed unanimously.

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