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RATE HIKE ON SEWER FEES DELAYED 1-20-10 LMS

The Salmon City Council has voted unanimously to table the third and final reading of an ordinance which raises monthly city sewer base-rates. The initial purpose of the rate increase was to generate a cash flow that could be used to repair main sewer lines and the system’s treatment lagoons.

The tabling action came during the council’s January 20th meeting after Calvin Leman requested a work session be held to review the wetland waste water treatment systems he has researched. City Administrator George Ambrose had met with Leman prior to the City Council meeting and said that in his opinion the council needed to spend an hour hearing what Leman had to say.

After his initial meeting with Leman, Ambrose spoke with Jim Mullen of Keller Associates, the firm that drafted proposed solutions to present inflow and infiltration problems being experienced in the city’s sewer system. Ambrose asked if the company would guarantee the quality performance of their proposed design so the city could know for sure that if it spent from five to six million dollars on upgrades, all Environmental Protection Agency requirements would be met and the next permit would be issued. If not, he asked who would be responsible for the potential EPA fines.

Mullen replied that he had never been asked that question and didn’t know if the company could make such a guarantee. Ambrose commented to the council, “That creates a little bit of doubt.”

Ambrose suggested the council spend the time to look at Leman’s wetland alternative. He said, “You have the fiduciary responsibility to make the best decision.” He added, “I wouldn’t ask you to do it if I didn’t think you just ought to step back for a second.”

The council met for a work session on Monday January 25 to hear and discuss the wetland waste water treatment information.


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