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W’bago taking look at sewers

By Staff | Jul 17, 2015

With a big project in the northwest portion of town looming in Winnebago’s future, many small issues in the northern area of town continue to arise.

One of those issues is the surcharging of manholes which means the rate of water that enters the manhole is greater than what is able to exit the outlet, causing the water to rise above the top of the outlet.

“The city has dealt with this for a number of years,”?city administrator Chris Ziegler said. “We believe this is being caused by inflow and infiltration or illegal and illicit connections of stormwater getting into the sanitary sewer system.”

The council approved hiring Bolton and Menk to perform flow meter testing in that area to find out where the issues are stemming from.

“Since Bolton and Menk is working in the area, it would reduce the cost of the work,” Ziegler said.

The cost to have the testing completed would be around $3,500.

The manhole near the intersection of Fourth Street NE and First Avenue NE will be the first location where the flow testing would be completed.

“This area is collecting from four intersections,” city engineer Travis Winter explained. “If we put a meter here that may tell us where the issue is coming from.”

There are a couple other problem areas in town with similar issues. However, Winter is sure that if they can solve the first issue, it should take care of the others, as well.

“When the first area floods it drains to the lift station which discharges into Second Street NW and Jackson Road, and I believe those are related,”?Winter explained.

The council members agreed that this has been a problem in town for quite awhile now.

“I feel like we have an opportunity to identify our problem” Winter said. “And, this is just a part of the issue we are having in the northwest part of town.

The City Council also discussed a billing adjustment policy for utility billing.

“Our structure is much different than others,”?Ziegler said.

The city’s current water bill tiers includes more than seven tiers where most other cities have only two or three.

“The way our policy is now, we penalize people for any accidental or incidental event that would cause a lot of usage,”?Ziegler explained.

He added that they would like to start working on a tier system that would be more in line with other cities.

In the meantime, Ziegler proposed the use of the utility adjustment policy, which would give relief to any customers who have had some type of accidental use.

“The intent of the structure is to encourage conservation,”?he said. “So this would allow us to bill for all the water used but we could calculate it for the customer’s average rate rather than the upper tiers.”

The council voted in favor of utilizing this utility adjustment policy.

“This seems to be a much more fair option for those emergency or accidental situations,”?council member Dean Johnson said.

In other business:?

The council agreed to serve as the fiscal agent for the group formerly known as the Winnebago Parent-Teacher Organization.

Since the closing of the Winnebago Elementary School, the members of the Parent-Teacher Organization wanted to continue operating and raising money for the children in the community.

They decided to continue on with the name Winnebago Kids Fund and hoped the city would act as the fiscal agent.

The City Council accepted a donation from the First Financial Bank and Winnebago Elementary. Out of the donations received, $400 will go toward the baseball field and $500 was donated to Muir Library.

Heard an update on Genesis Classical Academy which is set to open up in Winnebago in September. Some of the council members attended the two informational meetings and were excited about the new school coming to town.