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Water and sewer projects dominate March city council meeting last Tuesday

By:  Bonnie Davis Guy

Freelance Writer

The Mountain City Council met in regular session, and Mayor Keeble and all aldermen were in attendance. Following the opening invocation and pledge, the agenda was addressed. There were no presentation or public hearings scheduled. However, Ken Ray from the engineering firm that handles the city’s projects was in the audience to discuss grant information with the mayor and alderman.

A U.S. Department of Commerce and Economic Development Grant with an 80/20 share split is currently available to the city for much needed repairs. A water line down Highway 421 was previously considered as a possible use for this grant. However, the water line was not in as dire shape as others, such as sewer plant repairs. If used for sewer repairs, the $1,000,000 grant would address a screen that needs to be replaced at the sewer plant as well as a sludge digester that needs to be installed. Additionally, a monitoring system could be installed to provide feedback and history, which would help in better maintaining the sewer system. There is also older piping that is in need of replacement. After consideration of the proposal, a motion and all yes vote was made to accept the grant and use it for the sewer plant repairs. In addition to the above mentioned sewer repairs, the city is also applying for a community development block grant in the amount of $500,000. According to a discussion by council members, if all grants come to fruition it will enable the city to correct sewer issues and will help prepare for the future. As it stands, the current system has become antiquated and is undersized.

Returning to the agenda, the consent calendar was unanimously approved, including a second and final reading of budget amendment ordinances 1481-1482. All council members were given time to discuss any comments or concerns they might have. “Thanks to all the city employees who are often called to work in hard conditions to keep our town running smoothly,” Alderman Bob Morrison said. Alderman Jordan said he didn’t have any concerns but did want to say thank you for the clock at the corner of Food Country parking lot being set to the correct time.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.