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May Fredericktown City Council

Fredericktown City Administrator James Settle shows the city council photos of a pipe blockage.

Fredericktown City Administrator James Settle gave an update on the city's sewer blockages at the city council meeting May 28.

"Like we said, we knew there was a problem down there somewhere and there was," Settle said. "It was a lot of problems. The roots had grown through the joints of the pipes."

Settle said the pipes are original to the town and have lived there life.

"They have done what they were intended to and still continue, but the town has grown a lot since they were put in," Settle said. "As of right now, everything is flowing good but the problem is when those pipes were never meant for a town this size."

Settle said the city brought in Visu-Sewer to clean out the problem pipe as well as photograph any issues it came across. He said the photographs showed areas of roots that created essentially a solid obstruction.

"It amazed me because you would think it would have stopped up and eventually not let any water through as blocked as it was," Settle said. "I don't know how it got through. It was pretty much a solid block of wood."

Settle said during previous clean outs, crews would hit obstructions but would believe it to be broken clay pipes and would back out without further investigation. 

"The repairs have already been better during the last few rains we have seen," Settle said. "We have improved the issue many, many, many times, but it is still not 100 percent."

Settle said the plan is to perform maintenance on the pipes twice a year to prevent the roots from growing back into the pipes and to look forward at the possibility of laying a new one in the future.

"I think our plan is to put a new pipe, a bigger one, in down there," Settle said. "It won't get fixed overnight, it's a long drawn out process and it would cost millions of dollars to do."

Settle said the new pipe would probably be laid next to the old one and there is still debate on whether or not to split the line into two or make the pipe much larger.

In other work session business, the council declined a revised cost proposal from Brockmiller Phase I Contract II at the Sports Complex due to the city being capable of completing the requested items at a lower cost.

The council then sent two requests to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The first, was for changes for a special use permit for residential use in a C-1 District and for public building used by any department in the city. The second request was for additions to section 405.200D Special Use Permit including windmills and solar power systems.

City Attorney Mary Boner pointed out the current code for the central business district regulations states a building may be used for any non residential purpose allowed in R-1 or R-2. R-I allows for a public facility without a special use permit. R-II only allows a public facility with a special use permit.

Due to the inconsistency, the council sent the issue to the Planning and Zoning Commission for recommendations.

The council then approved a request for Water District Supervisor Richard Allgier to attend the annual Technical Program Aug. 1 and 2 in Jefferson City.

The next meeting of the Fredericktown City Council will be June 10, following the 5:30 p.m. work session at city hall.

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Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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