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Iron Mountain Lake Board makes approvals

The Iron Mountain Lake Board of Alderpersons discussed several topics and heard reports during their May monthly meeting, including budget adjustments and bids.

The board agreed to take bids to have asphalt laid on Parkway and they also approved Ordinance 97, which will assign C.I.T.Y. as manager of the new pavilion in the park.

The board opened the one bid they received from Kindlesparger Construction for the erection and construction of the new city hall. The bid was taken under advisement.

The board discussed and voted to amend the budget to include the purchase of an electric utility pole for the east side of the lake. They made a motion and approved up to $300 for the purchase of the pole. They also approved a $400 adjustment to the budget for the purchase of an entry sign for Parkway.

They also heard reports from Shaun Kunz on sewer and road and bridge. Kunz reported that the sewer is running good and there is duckweed present at the lagoon. He told the board he would look into treatments to detour that.

Kunz also reported the roads are in desperate need of grating and one inch minus. He recommended the board consider obtaining bids per mile for having the roads properly and professionally grated. He also informed the board he should be getting the forks for the backhoe soon.

Police Chief Jeffery Wohaska reported the police department will need to purchase patches soon and he said the police department is discussing fundraisers for the near future.

Corporal Austin Turner informed the board that their new radios came in, but he is having difficulty getting anyone to give him proper frequencies needed for them to work efficiently. Turner reported he spoke with the St. Francois County Joint Communications Center 911 Director Allen Wells and he assured Turner that he would obtain those frequencies for him.

It was announced Iron Mountain Lake Sewer Superintendent Kunz recently received “The Kramer Award” at the Missouri Water and Wastewater Conference.

City of Cape Girardeau Wastewater Plant Manager Todd Fulton, speaking on behalf of the Missouri Water and Wastewater organization, said the person who nominated Kunz wrote a submission letter to MWWC.

“The letter said Shaun (Kunz) is the certified operator for Iron Mountain Lake,” said Fulton. “Iron Mountain Lake has a rather complicated vacuum sewage collection system with treatment at an aerated lagoon. The collection system began giving IML problems within approximately four years of the installation.”

Fulton said the letter stated at the time it was an “innovative alternative” technology that was installed to solve problems associated with installing traditional sewage collection systems. Kunz was not the original operator. As the lake development changed mayors, the operators changed as well.

“Needless to say, the collection system fell into disrepair and multiple complaints stemming from IML residents to the Department of Natural Resources,” said Fulton. “When Shaun came as the operator he was not certified. He devoted himself to studying to become certified and to learning how to work with this collection system.”

The letter also said after a study by an engineering firm and three visits by the equipment manufacturer it was discovered that the system did have some vacuum leaks and multiple failing vacuum valves.

“One line was rebuilt,” added Fulton. “Shaun worked with the factory representatives learning how the system worked and how to rebuild the vacuum switches on each pod. As a result of his dedicated work, MDNR complaints at IML have diminished to only one or two a year.”

IML City Treasurer Lanette Kunz said Shaun’s approach has been to go to the source (the manufacturer, the Department of Natural Resources) for education so that the system will operate correctly and not just have a band aid repair job.

“Shaun approached the mayor and board of aldermen in 2013 and asked for the manufacturer of the vacuum sewer system (AirVac in Rochester, Indiana) to be paid to come to Iron Mountain Lake to give a hands-on instruction on the proper way to repair and install this system,” said Lanette. “The system is the only remaining one of its kind in the state of Missouri.”

Lanette added AirVac sent a technician/educator to Iron Mountain Lake for a week of instruction and he soon realized that this was going to take a lot more work. An emergency grant was applied for through the state’s Community Development Block Grant program.

“The board and Shaun began working with Tim Robbs of Taylor Engineering to develop a plan of action,” said Lanette. “AirVac was approached again and asked if they could return for a longer period of time and this time at no cost to the city due to the urgency of the problem and the cost of repairs.”

The grant allowed for purchase of new sewer plant motors, new valves, new sewer pit components, more hands on training and the UV Collection Station. They are in the last phase of completion of all of the grant repairs.

The Kramer Award is given to one worthy recipient per district based on their desire for education and improving their city through learning and hard work. Shaun was chosen out of the 22 counties which comprise this district for this award.

The Kramer Award was established in 1970 in memory of Dr. Warren A. Kramer as an educational opportunity for deserving water or wastewater operators. The first Kramer Awards were presented at the 1972 Annual meeting.

The Kramer Award is presented to Shaun Kunz, left, by Committee Chair for MWWC SE Section Kent Peetz, on right.

The Kramer Award is presented to Shaun Kunz, left, by Committee Chair for MWWC SE Section Kent Peetz, on right.

Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or

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