Chris Parthun, a planner with the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) Wellhead Protection Program, spoke to the Keewatin City Council at a Public Hearing held just prior to the regular meeting on May 28. The city’s current Wellhead Protection Plan is nearly ten years old and is in need of amendment. Such amendment must be completed by August of 2015. Because the city is over 1,000 in population, a consultant must be hired to develop Part II of the plan. Parthun strongly suggested the city work in concert with KeeTac because of the overlap of the protection areas. A consultant will be sought and the amendment will be addressed.
According to the MDH: Wellhead protection is a method of preventing contamination of a public water supply well by effectively managing potential contaminant sources in the area which contributes water to a public water supply well. All public water suppliers are required by Minnesota statute to implement wellhead protection measures. This does not affect private wells.
Following the presentation on the Wellhead Protection Program, Mayor Bill King called the regular meeting to order.
The business items addressed at the regular meeting included:
• Benchmark Engineering suggested the city request placement on the 2015 intended use plan with the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority. The placement would put the city in line to receive funds for improvements to the wastewater treatment facility. The request does not obligate the city in any way.
• The N-K Fastpitch Team received a donation of $200 for cleaning the Highway 169 entrances to the city.
• The Commercial Development Program, from Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, will end June 30 unless the city wishes to extend it. There is no cost to the city to have the program, however, there has been no use of the funds for the past eight years. The item will be on the June 11 agenda.
• Vendor fees for the city were raised: Door to door from $10 per day to $20 per day; 4th of July from $50 with electricity to $75 and from $25 to $30 with no electricity.
• A committee to update the comprehensive plan will be formed and the process initiated. Mayor King and one other councilperson will serve on the committee.
• There will be a “Congress comes to You” meeting on June 30, 10 a.m. - noon, at City Hall. Congressman Nolan or a representative will be present to answer questions and field comments.
• After several re-scheduled meetings with the council, representatives of General Waste, located south of Highway 169 in the city limits, were in attendance and made a presentation to the council. Currently, General Waste, in operation since 2004, accepts construction and demolition waste. Construction has begun on the site, a 2.5 acre plot, to accept industrial waste with a permit to receive 2.8 million yards of waste. It is hoped the site will be up and running by the first quarter of 2015.
• General Waste is considering becoming a MSW site, MSW being municipal solid waste. The upgrade would require a major modification to the existing permit, the city’s support, and the county’s support. A MSW site requires strict management of leachate (a liquid that has dissolved or appropriated environmentally harmful substances), odor, and litter.
• Without encouragement or discouragement for General Waste, the council will give further study and consideration to the site upgrade.
The next regular meeting of the council will be June 11, 5 p.m.