Leadwood Board of Aldermen approved various business licenses, approved shopping for another utility truck for the water and sewer department, and discussed ongoing concerns on the town’s water project during their December meeting.
The board approved authorizing Leadwood Water Supervisor Kevin Brooks to look into bargaining for a four-wheel drive, gas-powered, 2011 Ford 250 truck, currently priced at $15,000. It would replace the current truck that’s needed multiple repairs since the 2000 Dodge, two-ton, diesel-powered truck was purchased in 2010.
“It was half worn-out when we got it,” Mayor David Henry said of the old truck, adding it’s needed several transmissions at $2,000 each time, several fuel injectors at $1,500 each time, several turbos for $600, and it was just recently “acting up” again.
Since the council approved buying a newer truck, they also approved getting rid of the old one.
A new blower for $2,000 for the sewer treatment plant and five new grinders at $1,500 apiece were the next items on the town’s holiday shopping list. Henry explained a blower runs around the clock to provide air to microbes breaking down sewage. He added the grinders take a beating when people flush items like baby wipes down the toilet. The wipes deceptively billed as “flushable” get wrapped around the propellers, burning the engines out, he said.
“I was in Festus recently, and noticed a sign on a men’s restroom wall that said, ‘No wipes in pipes,’” he said. “They get wrapped around the grinders, which can’t break them down. The packaging often even says not to flush them, but people do anyway. That costs taxpayers a lot of money, in the long run.
“Just because it says ‘flushable,’ doesn’t mean it can actually be broken down by the sewage treatment plant,” he said. “I mean, you could flush a Coke can down the toilet, it doesn’t mean it will break down.”
The aldermen heard a report from Henry about a meeting he, Alderman Charlie Vickers and Brooks attended with USDA Rural Development Regional Manager Mike Hartman. The city has received a grant to pursue overhauling their water and sewer system, but they’ve been hampered by the local plague of radionuclide levels being too high, according to the EPA.
“We’ve come to an impasse, stuck in a zone with radionuclides we can’t get rid of,” Henry said. “We’ve tried different treatment cycles and looked at other ways to fight it.”
Henry said they’ve gotten approval from the EPA to try magnesium hydroxide, in the form of TonkaZorb, which he said Bonne Terre seems to use with great effectiveness. Currently, Leadwood uses magnesium sulfate.
The board also approved businesses licenses for trash-hauling companies such as Torrez, Waste Management and Freedom, and approved licenses for Dollar General, Woody’s and Grab-and-Go.
Additionally, the board approved starting city court at 5 p.m. beginning in February. Henry said the judge was troubled by the increasing number of minors appearing in court for various ticket and possession charges, and many said they have parents who work and can’t escort them to their court date. Henry said he hopes the new, later time will give parents a chance to accompany their minor child when they appear before the judge.
“We’ll see if that helps parents out,” Henry said. “I hope so.”
Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at email@example.com.