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Council handles variety of issues

The weather outside was frightful as the city council met in the basement of Long Memorial Hall for its regular monthly meeting Monday evening. The meeting was being held in the basement to make way for the building of the annual Winter Wonderland display on the building’s main floor. Outside the weather was looking wintery with the first snow and sleet of the season.

Back inside, what’s often considered the end of the line ranked high on the list of discussion items as councilmen approved a $230,000 project to repair sewer mains in the downtown area.

The council voted 6-0 to transfer $275,000 from the downtown Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, fund to the municipal sewer fund. Guidelines allow the money to be spent for improvements in the area covered by the TIF district boundaries. It’s estimated the pending sewer main repairs will total upward of $230,000, leaving a balance for unanticipated costs.

Insituform Technologies USA, Inc. will perform the work on the sewer mains. The company uses a patented method in which a chemical-impregnated sock is stretched through a length of deteriorated sewer main. The sock is inflated with a blast of air and steam, which causes the chemicals in the fabric to harden creating a liner.

City Administrator Greg Beavers explained that the process is comparable in price to excavating and installing a new length of sewer pipe … if the work was being done in an open field. But, he said, when the aging and deteriorated mains are beneath streets, sidewalks and structures the cost of lining versus replacement can be significant.

Public Works Director Larry Lacy said the contracted work could begin as early as next week. The contractor will first explore the sewer mains with cameras to determine which sections need repaired.

Council members also made way for a planned expansion of Midwest Embroidery in the city’s industrial park. It was said that the planned addition would not allow for the necessary setbacks according to city codes.

The city transferred ownership of a neighboring vacant lot to the Farmington Industrial Development Authority, or IDA. The IDA will sell the lot to Midwest Embroidery. Once the construction is completed, the manufacturer will sell the unneeded portion of the lot back to the IDA.

The council also voted on and approved a contract with Shannon and Wilson, Inc. for “groundwater and soil delineation” at the municipal airport. The city administrator explained that recent sampling has shown the soil in the ground around where some buried fuel tanks were removed in 2007 has shown “trace” signs of contamination.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has said there is no hard division between the shallow and deep aquifers in the area. To prevent the possibility of future contamination migrating into the water supply, the contracted company will drill test wells and provide horizontal sampling of the area around where the fuel tanks were located. The area will be checked in coming years to see of any contaminants continue to migrate underground.

Council members were introduced to the newest employee at city hall. Alycia Eckardt, a recent graduate of Webster University with a master’s degree in Human Resources Management, began work this week as the deputy city clerk and collector.

Eckardt replaces Laura Yates, who will take a new position as program coordinator at the municipal civic center when she returns from a current maternity leave.

Monday’s council meeting started with an informational presentation about the recent Traveling Wall war memorial. Ken Kelly outlined the activities surrounding the time the wall was in town.

The council also:

• were reminded of the annual Krekeler Christmas Parade which happens Monday evening;

• discussed the new trees being planted near the intersection of U.S. 67 and State Route 32;

• learned that the library is now accepting canned good in exchange for library fines through the holiday season. One called good is worth $1 in library fine. There is a collection box in the library for the food items.

The council will meet next on Dec. 13.

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