At last week’s meeting of the Keewatin City Council, the deadline to submit bids for the library handicap door project was extended until Feb. 12 because no bids were received. Several contacts have been made and it is expected there will be a response by the next council meeting.
Benchmark Engineering, the city’s engineering firm, along with Santec, a corporation that offers wastewater project management, gave the council an update on the waste water treatment facility upgrade. Ron LaFond of Santec spoke to the council about the key findings from their inspection and reviewed suggested next steps in the process. The plan must be submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency by March 7. One of the next steps was for the council to authorize the recalibration of the influent flow meter - the council did so. A formal plan will be presented to the council and a public hearing held prior to submission of the plan to the MPCA.
In other business, the council:
• Approved resolutions to accept two grants that were received from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board. The first grant, in the amount of $70,000 will be used to install a new water line in the area of 2nd Avenue East and 3rd Avenue East. A second grant for $200,000 will provide an upgrade to the city’s electric substation.
• Noted that Sue Bayliss from Keetac is seeking space in the city hall garage and will provide details at the next council meeting.
• Accepted the 2013 incident report from Police Chief Paul Fairbanks. There were a total of 1,352 incidents ranging from texting while driving to dog at large to harassment to domestic arguments. In addition, there were 245 parking tickets issued during the year. In recent history, 2010 was the high count of ICRs when there were 1,518.
• Ordinance 81, concerning synthetic drug sales, was approved. Discussion about the ordinance included the need for any licensing procedure and City Attorney John Dimich explained there are limits to what can and cannot be licensed without violation of personal rights. Assurance was given that the ordinance provides adequate safeguards for the community.
Following the regular agenda, Santec, in concert with City Engineer Alan Johnson, met with the council to further define the upgrade plan for the wastewater treatment facility. Four options for the upgrade were discussed at length: 1) do nothing; 2) minimum; 3) Keewatin; and, 4) Keewatin plus Keetac. Each option includes more detail to the upgrade and cost increases.
The next regular meeting of the council will take place Feb. 12 at 5 p.m.