Monette Council talks waste water options
Wayne Menley, of Miller Newell Engineers, brought before the Monette City Council Monday, Nov. 24, four possible solutions to the city's wastewater problems.
Menley explained the city's total suspended solids in the drainage water is in violation with ADEQ partly because the permitted limit was lowered from 30 to 15 due to lack of water flow in the ditch the city's wastewater drains into. Menley said even at a 30 permitted limit the city would be out of compliance.
He then presented aldermen with four possible solutions. The first, which is the cheapest at almost $200,000, is changing the discharge point to where there is more water flow. Menley said he is hoping to hear back from ADEQ next week as to what the permitted limits would be if the city did that and if it would bring them into compliance. That information has to come from ADEQ, which took several weeks to respond and still has the city answer. Menley said adding a second clarifier to the sewer plant would bring the city into compliance and would cost $293,000.
Menley then presented the board with scenario number two, replacing the entire plant with an oxidation ditch plant with two clarifiers. The new plant would cost the city $2.3 million but would have a better screening system and would be a new system.
Menley then went on to explain scenario number three, which is different type of new sewer treatment plant called a SBR plant that is a two chamber plant with aerators and does not use clarifiers. The SBR plant is $30,000 more in cost than the oxidation style plant.Scenario number four was a combination of adding a clarifier and building a new plant later.
The council looked at funding options, which could be a grant/loan combination. Menley recommended the council wait until ADEQ lets them know about changing the drainage point before making a definite decision as to what option the city wants to proceed with. He did say changing the drainage point would not be a waste of money because regardless of what option the city chooses the drainage point will have to be changed.
The council looked at water and sewer rates, which are set to automatically increase each year. Last year the council voted to postpone the yearly increase but really could not do that this year given the problems. The Monette water and sewer rates will go up 7.5 percent Jan. 1 as scheduled. Aldermen were then presented with the proposed 2015 budget and were given a copy of this year's budget to compare it to. The council members will look at the budget this month and bring any recommended changes to next month's meeting.
In other business Mayor Chub Qualls said the Arkansas Highway Department still has not been back to finish the paving on Edna Mae Way and South Reeves Street but are supposed to be back soon.
The city's annual Christmas Parade will be Dec. 1 and the city employee Christmas party at 6 p.m. Dec. 18 at city hall. The Council will hold its December meeting at 5:30 p.m. December 18 at the museum building.
The council voted unanimously to give city employees a $500 bonus for a job well done this year. Shawn Nance, Johnny Dunigan and others from the Monette Planning Commission presented the council with its Comprehensive Plan for review as well as a zoning code ordinance and subdivision development code. Nance explained that these codes are what is required by the state and not anything more stringent. The council also looked at proposed zone maps for the city. The information given will be taken under review by aldermen and discussed at next month's meeting.
Before the council adjourned Mayor Qualls said the city has several things to fill out and return as part of Craighead County updating its disaster mitigation plan.