September 10, 2007

Darwin waits for grant approval

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Engineer John Graupman from Bolton & Menk stopped by Tuesday evening to discuss the waste water ponds with the Darwin City Council.

Although the council is waiting to verify eligibility for a rural development grant, Graupman believes Darwin is a “perfect candidate for this type of funding,” he said.

Potential work to be done on the ponds if the funding is provided would be drudging, sewer lining, a new lift station, building of another two-acre pond, and water meters.

“If you have a need, you want to make sure it’s on the list,” Graupman suggested.

Rural Development, in order to receive a grant, requires the city to purchase water meters and to increase sewer rates to $35 or 1.5 percent of the median income. Currently, rates for sewer sits at $23 a month.

Graupman explained Rural Development’s requirement is in comparison to cable. If a person can pay that much for cable, they can pay that for sewer and water as well, Graupman said.

Depending on the Rural Development grant and acquiring land, work on a new pond could begin as soon as mid-spring or early summer, according to Graupman.

In other business

The council discussed the following items.

• Carmen Buhr, city clerk, informed the board that a special election would be required with a two-thirds vote in order for the electrical lines to be sold to another source.

Although this is in the distant future, Buhr will look into the cost for a special election to take place.

• The council approved the 2008 budget and five-year plan for road improvements.

In order to balance the preliminary budget without any transfers the council had to either downgrade expenses or upgrade revenue.

The council decided to increase garbage collection rates a dollar from the current rate of $12.25 to $13.25 effective for October billing, take $10,000 out of the “public works” fund, and increase taxes $102 from $31,632 to $31,734.

The five year plan including the following road maitenance/projects. For 2008, Williams Street; 2009, Second Avenue; 2010, Pacific Street; 2011, alley maintenance, 2012, Eugene Street.

• In regards to the ongoing alley vacation research, Council Member Larry Huhn found no record of the land being deeded to the city. As far as he could see, the residents from 1917 still own the property.

• The board was informed of the “Cold Weather Rule” that will be in effect this winter. This is a state law with guidelines for public utilities for shutting off delinquent customers between Oct. 15 and April 15.

• The board approved the purchase of a DML magnetic locator to find water and sewer lines in the estimated cost of $660 and 12 flag brackets at $60.

• The council approved a $250 donation to the Meeker County posse for help during Twine Ball Day.

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