Amboy Considering Reverse Osmosis Water System: Special Meeting to Obtain Public Input Regarding Future Police Department is Jan. 14
After taking the oath of office from City Clerk Patty Smith, Mayor Michael Sevcik administered the oath of office for council member Tom Boeck.
By Koni Preston
The Amboy Council opened the Jan. 7, 2019, meeting with City Clerk Patty Smith administering the oath of office to Mayor Michael Sevcik, who in turn gave the oath to council member Tom Boeck. Committee appointments were then set for the year 2019—Water and Sewer Committee: Radley Sorenson and Tom Boeck, Employee Committee: K.C. Reuter and Michael Sevcik, Audit Committee: entire council, Fire Department Committee: Reuter and Busse, Tri-City Police Commission: Boeck and Sevcik, Sidewalk and Park Committee: Reuter and Busse and Acting Mayor: Boeck. The Maple River Messenger will be the official newspaper. Mileage Paid for 2018: 58 cents as set by the IRS. Official depositories are currently at US Bank and Community Bank. All accounts will be switched to Community Bank after the audit in February due to the closing of the Amboy branch of US Bank.
Public works employee Jeff Urban reported that the generator at the water plant is now up and running and has enough power to run the whole building. Smith noted that they are waiting for Royers and Luke's Electric for final bills to get reimbursed for grant money from the Department of Health.
Urban then addressed the issue with the aging filters at the water plant. He said that Karen Cavett from SEH recommended replacing the filters rather than trying to fix them. Another option for the city would be changing over to a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system. As Urban mentioned at the December meeting, the first step is to take water samples from wells 1 and 2, and from the water going into the water tower. He explained that they will use a kit to test for levels of different elements in the wells. This testing will help determine what the options are for the city. He also pointed out that the RO system would eliminate the need for water softeners in houses.
Urban said he would like to have the city engineers talk with the council about the options at a future meeting. In the end, the council approved the cost of $1,800 to get the water sampling done. Testing would provide data for the engineers “so that they will have a better idea of what we are looking at” before they come to a meeting, Boeck noted.
In other business:
• Public works employee Joe Buckholtz reported that he has attended classes and is preparing to take the exam for his MPCA Waste Water Class D license in March.
• The fire department report included six fire calls for the month of November—one fire assist, one gas leak, three medical calls and one structure fire.
• The council discussed increasing the income level for reduced sewer and garbage, which is currently $15,000. In 2018, the income level was increased from $12,000 to $15,000. There are two residents who are eligible to receive reduced sewer and garbage rates. Council member Tom Boeck questioned if other towns have a similar structure in place and council member K.C. Reuter asked City Administrator-Clerk Patty Smith if she would check with the neighboring cities of Mapleton, Good Thunder and Vernon Center to see what their policies are for reduced sewer and garbage rates to see if they are comparable. A decision will be made at the February council meeting.
• Resolution 2019-1, accepting a donation to the fire department in the amount of $500 from the John Mack Estate was approved by the council. The donation was designated for the purchase of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. Reuter asked Smith to extend an extra thank you to Gloria Mack, stating, “She served our community for a very long time.”
• The council will continue to meet on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m., with the exception of September, which falls on Labor Day. That meeting will be moved to Tuesday, Sept. 3.
• A special meeting has been set for Monday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Amboy City Hall, to hold a discussion regarding the future police department. The council would like input from residents of Amboy to help in making its decision in moving forward after the dissolution of the Tri-City Police Department takes place sometime in 2019.
• Sevcik noted that Smith is now a certified municipal clerk. Smith stated that after three years of training and meetings, she recently turned in all the paperwork showing that she has completed the 50 points of education and 25 points of experience as well as a letter from Sevcik proving that she has been working with the city.
• Upcoming meetings and miscellaneous events include: Mayor/Clerk Meeting in Mapleton at the Heather Curling Club at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, with Jeff Annis as the speaker; Tri-City Police Department Commission meeting on Monday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m. in Amboy; the annual audit with Abdo Eick and Meyers on Feb. 4 and 5; Mayor/Clerk Meeting hosted by the city of Amboy on March 14 at 6:30 p.m.; MRWA Conference for Joe Buckholtz on March 5-7 at St. Cloud; and MCFOA Conference for Patty Smith on March 19-22 in St. Cloud.
• The next Amboy Council meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.