The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Monday, April 11th - La Harpe Clubhouse
by Michael Rodeffer, The Quill
Monday evening's regular April 11th meeting gathered around 90 citizens into the La Harpe Clubhouse.
Foster made a motion to elect Councilman Darrell Kraft Mayor Pro tem in absence of Mayor Ryan Kienast. Also absent were Councilman David Mershon and City Attorney Kurt Dittmer.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. with Council members Amy Palmer, Marcia Stiller, Kenny Foster, and Josiah Neff and Clerk Lucretia McPeak, and Treasurer Marcia Neff present, and all stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag.
The March minutes and treasurer's report were approved, and after discussion about some water department bills submitted by Brian MeEllhinney, all bills, with the exception of the $452.00, and $3,000.00 spent by and for Brian McIlhenny, were approved with a 4 to 1 vote, with Neff, Kraft, Palmer, and Foster voting yes, and Marcia Stiller voting "no".
The floor was opened up for public comments:
Richard Wood brought up the issue of the dilapidated building next to his wife's business (Wood Tax & Accounting) on Main Street. Wood said the building was unsafe and questioned who the owner was and if the owner had liability insurance. Councilman Foster said he and Kraft have been looking into the situation and are in the process of seeing what can be done. The council assured him they would keep him informed as they acquired any information.
Dave Clover asked the council if there were a certain amount of meetings the Mayor was able to miss. He mentioned that it is an official misconduct for changing your bills, and thought the council should pursue this issue.
Brian Covert asked about the questions he had brought up at the previous meeting.
Daniel Carpenter stated interim water operator Brian McIlhenny had changed a turbidity meter and recorder that has not been recalibrated and has been running for approximately 3 weeks.
Bart Thompson asked Stiller about the water and sewer audit. She replied that she was still gathering needed information and it would be after tax season before much would be done. Thompson also asked what process took place when water is shut off and who has a list of people who could have their water shut off. Councilwoman Stiller said Monalisa and Tim Graves have a list along with herself and she also checks with Lisa Howd to be sure the person has not paid their water bill. Stiller is the one to tell Tim to have customers water shut off.
Mark Finch asked in regards to Brian McIlhenny if he was given a 30 day notice. Foster responded, he knew for a fact that he hadn't been given a 30 day notice to terminate. He went on to say the mayor told him he would keep him on as long as needed. (On March 28th the council voted to hire a temporary contract worker for 30 days. The vote had went 3 for and 3 against with the mayor voting to hire.)
Finch mentioned there was no salary approved for him either. It was brought up that city insurance would not cover a contract worker as they are to have their own insurance and supply A Certificate of Insurance. Treasurer Marcia Neff said she hadn't seen any. Finch suggested the Mayor should treat McIlhenny like the Mayor did Daniel Carpenter.
The water billing ordinance was again talked about, and Stiller said nothing was received from Attorney Dittmer and since he wasn't there, nothing could be done at this meeting.
In other business the council:
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Others reported at the meeting by Clerk Lucretia McPeak are Dean Spangler, Justin Livingston, Monalisa Graves, Tim Graves, Mellissa A., Marlie Burt, Chad Burt, Carl Hainline, Marilyn Lewis, Cindy Hainline, Heather Maynard, Ted Shutwell, Gary Jackson, Carol Stevens, Todd Stevens, Carl Reeder, Bev Anderson, Paul Anderson, Ed Pence, Jason Graves, Dave Clover, Justin Graves, Mike Rodeffer, Tiffany Foster, Dawn Hardisty, Lynn Hardisty, Ken Brown, John Louden, Rex Stewart, Lacey Covert, Barb Oliver, Kevin Oliver, Brian Covert, Connie Williams, Larry Williams, Sonya Strange, Dan Gillett, Delbert Kreps, Ted Sharpe, Gary Eddington, Cassidy Burt, Jonah Burt, Rhonda Adcock, Rick Adcock, Joni Imthurn, Shelby Jones, Wayne Yetter, Courtney Graves, Amber Pence, Debbie Wisslead, Greg Wisslead, Willo Carpenter, Richard Wood, Bart Thompson, David Carpenter, Daniel Carpenter, Ben Hitz, Nate Todd, Peg Webster, Barry Wright, Mike Bennett, Trevor Finch, Tiffany Finch, Madlyn Finch, Richard Striecher, Dallas Neff, Jay Lebeck, and Janice Smith.
Letter from McClure Engineering in regards to water system improvements:
Re: Water System Improvements
Dear Mayor Kienast
and City Council:
We appreciated the opportunity to meet last week with the Mayor, the interim operator and the Water Committee Chair to discuss the water system and treatment works and some of the issues facing the City in this regard. We also appreciated the tour of both of the treatment plants.
After careful consideration of the options, it is our recommendation that a twofold approach should be taken consisting of both short term and long term components. After looking at the condition of both of the treatment works, there are numerous issues that need to be addressed at each.
With ever increasing more stringent regulations on surface water treatment by state and federal agencies, future operation of such plants for smaller communities is going to become more and more cost prohibitive. Problems with the reservoir and the surrounding environment, flirting with violations of finished water minimum contaminant levels, and deteriorating equipment conditions are three of several real and current problems that need immediate attention at the La Harpe surface water plant. At the well water treatment plant, safety issues, rapidly deteriorating plant and equipment issues, and code violations are real concerns.
It is readily apparent that a significant investment will need to be made in the City's water treatment system in the near future in order to have a functioning system in the longer term.
The City will need assistance with funding from outside agencies in order to take on a project such as this.
Any of the outside funding sources typically involved with these types of infrastructure projects required a "facility planning' document to evaluate options available and the associated project costs, determine the long term growth and needs of the community, and determine the methods for funding operation, debt, and maintenance.
Planning, design, funding, bidding, and construction of these types of projects is time consuming and generally takes from five to sever years from start to finish. We recommend the City get started with the preliminary application process and facility planning document immediately.
We estimate that a water treatment facility plan for the City would cost approximately $15,000 and take several months to complete.
We would be happy to prepare a scope of services and an engineering services agreement for this work if so directed by the Water Committee and City Council.
The second part of our recommendation is that the City develop wit the joint collaboration of the water system operator, the engineer and the water committee, a short term operational plan.
This plan would identify the system deficiencies, non-operational equipment, and safety issues, prioritize these items, and set a schedule for resolution of those issues which are needed for safe operation and compliance with the permit regulations.
Doing so will ensure a safe and adequate supply of potable water for the community until the more long term solutions can be met.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We look forward to your response and to working with you to resolve the City's water issues to provide a safe and adequate supply of potable water both now and long into the future.
Very truly yours.
McClure Engineering Associates, Inc.
/s/ John Kusek, P.E., P.L.S.
Water Practice Leader
La Harpe IL0670450 violation Notice No. W-2015-00025:
Questions regarding the violations identified in this attachment should be referred to Mary Reed at (217) 785-0561.
A review of information available to the Illinois EPA indicates the following violations of statutes, regulations, or permits. Included with each type of violation is an explanation of the activities that the Illinois EPA believes may resolve the violation including an estimated time period for resolution.
Drinking Water Maximum Contaminant Level
All public water supplies must achieve and maintain compliance with the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) requirements. Compliance with these levels is expected to be pursued immediately. Options for returning to compliance include but are not limited to: adjustment and proper operation of present treatment, obtaining a new source of water that complies with the MCL, blending of potable water or obtaining the proper permits and installing treatment. In addition, the water system must repeat public notification every 90 days as long as the contamination concentration exceeds the MCL.
07/15/15 Stage 2 - Total Haloacetic Acid - the MCL is 0.060 mg/L. the 2015Q3 locational running annual average at S2HH1- 307 State Highway 94 was 0.062 mg/L.
Rule/Reg. Section 18 of the Act 415 ILCS 5/18, 35 Ill. Adm. Code 611 . 312 (b) (2) (A)