City discusses wastewater facilityEngineers from Ulteig Engineering presented Dickinson City Commissioners with a portion of information from its wastewater treatment facility master plan Tuesday during a commission meeting.
By: Beth Wischmeyer, The Dickinson Press
Engineers from Ulteig Engineering presented Dickinson City Commissioners with a portion of information from its wastewater treatment facility master plan Tuesday during a commission meeting.
Karla Olson, an engineer with Ulteig, suggested to continually control odor in the wastewater ponds, additional aeration systems would have to be installed.
“There’s no redundancy in that aeration system right now, if there’s a failure in the equipment, which would lead to odors and an overloading of the facility,” Olson said.
More aeration of the ponds would help to eliminate odors, she added. Aerating year-round would also keep the ponds from freezing over.
Olson said the master plan is intended to give the commission an idea of what may be needed to update the facility in the future.
Mike Berg, also an engineer with the company, said overall the equipment in the facility is in good shape.
“This is a severe environment, but you can tell it’s been well maintained over time,” Berg said.
The complete master plan is expected to be presented to the commission in October.
Also during the meeting, Dickinson resident Jackie Miller discussed her opinions on ways the city can incent property owners affected by the July 8 tornado to repair or rebuild their homes.
Milller proposes that residents who experienced significant, but not total losses and who choose to repair their properties, be allowed a two-year exemption to abatements.
“We don’t see the immediate impact of new construction, it takes roughly two years, maybe a little longer depending on when the tax exemption application is filed,” Miller said. “Basically in Dickinson, the new construction enjoys a two year partial if not complete hiatus as far as property taxes go. So when those come back on the rolls, you increase the assessed value and now the City of Dickinson to get to that budgeted amount, doesn’t have to levy any more mills to get additional funding.”
Miller said things were looking extremely good for the property owners and tax payers in the city prior to the July 8 tornado.
“As the city takes a look at the damages that were done and abate all or a portion of the assessed values of the properties that were affected, the city now has fewer dollars that are attributed to the assessed value,” Miller said. “My suggestion is the abatements for the property owners that did not suffer complete losses be extended for another two years, the same as they are for the people that are rebuilding.”
City Commission President Dennis Johnson said the matter should be looked into.
“Your suggestion is a very noble suggestion, especially for the people that have suffered from the tornado,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it would hurt to do a little research at this point and find out what is possible and what is not possible.”
In other matters:
r City Administrator Shawn Kessel gave an update on both the baler building, which was recently damanged by fire, and the Dickinson Museum Center/Joachim Regional Museum building, which has been closed due to water in the air ducts. Kessel said the baler building has been estimated to have about $125,000 worth of damage but the building remains open and in use. A sump pump has been installed in the museum and air quality tests are expected to be completed shortly.
r The commission heard a first reading of an ordinance which would set out a method for the city to reacquire unused cemetery plots after 80 years and make them available for purchase.