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"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
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Chatfield to forgo billing for extra water and sewer costs


Fri, Feb 28th, 2014
Posted in Chatfield Government

Chatfield encourages residents with drinking water temperature of 40 degrees or lower to run their water continuously to prevent freezing of lateral water lines, a water main freezing, or a broken water main. Councilors approved the averaging of each resident’s bill over the last 12 months to determine the amount to be billed until the frost is out of the ground. The city would be essentially absorbing the cost of the continuous running of water. Councilors Ken Jacobson and Robert Pederson were absent at the February 24 meeting.

City Clerk Joel Young said that with the frost so deep there have been a number of freeze ups and one water main is frozen. One-hundred and ninety residents have notified the city staff that they are running water continuously to prevent freeze ups. Young noted that the sewer bill is tied to water usage.

Young reported that many people that have called in are concerned about the cost of running water continuously. He noted that property owners are responsible for their service line to their home if it were to freeze.

Councilors agreed that residents who run their water are protecting their own service line as well as the city’s system. It will help keep the water mains from freezing, as the water is continuously moving in the mains. Frost is six feet or more in depth where there is no snow cover. The cost associated with continuous running of water for the city is probably considerably less than costs the city would incur to repair frozen mains.

2014 Street Project

City Engineer Dillon Dombrovski reviewed the feasibility report for the 2014 street and utility project which includes St. Albans Place (mill and overlay and utility improvements), Twiford Street (roadway and utility improvements), Bench Street (roadway and utility improvements), and West Chatfield improvements.

The total cost of the four projects is estimated to be $1,889,130. There will be several sources of funding including special assessments to benefiting property owners, general obligation bonds, DEED grant funds, and other city funding. Construction is expected to begin in the spring and be completed by November, 2014.

Mike Bubany, David Drown and Associates, said the 2014 improvements should be viewed as four separate, physical projects, but as three projects for the legal authority process. There will be no public hearing necessary for the sewer and water utility portion. The special assessment authority has its own legal process (special assessment authority for at least 20 percent of related cost). Bubany said the Twiford developer assessment will exceed 20 percent. A five year plan will have to be adopted for the street construction authority.

Grants in the amount of $323,750 will be used for the Twiford and St. Albans portions. The total bond issue is estimated to be $1,565,000 which is to be financed over 10 years.

Seventeen percent of the project cost is for sewer improvements and fourteen percent for water improvements. Bubany said without the improvements sewer rates are projected to increase 4.5 percent per year, but with the improvements they will increase at the rate of about 6 percent per year. Water rates are projected to increase at a rate of 2 percent per year without the improvements, but with improvements rates will increase about 3 percent per year. Total costs for a typical home owner including sewer and water costs and property taxes would go up 2 to 3 percent per year more than what they would have without the improvements.

Councilors adopted a resolution calling for a public hearing on the proposal to adopt a street reconstruction plan and the intent to issue general obligation street reconstruction bonds. The hearing will be held on March 24 at 7 p.m. A resolution to receive the feasibility report and call a hearing was not voted on because it legally required a super majority and there were only three voting members present. It will be acted on at the next meeting.

Other Business In Brief

•Approval was given for the Chatfield Saddle Club to install aluminum bleachers at the Mill Creek Arena. The city recommended that the bleachers be installed on a concrete slab.

•Joel Young and Tony Lammers praised the city workers for the long hours they put in dealing with freeze ups, a 6 inch water main that is froze up, and the recent snow event. Steve Horsman came out of retirement to help. The council approved payment for his 15 hours of work. They authorized Tony Lammers to call on Horsman over the next three months when additional help is needed.

•Jenny Bradt, secretary/treasurer of the Bluff Country Hiking Club, reported on the club’s activities over the last year. She requested additional funding from the city. The city provided $2,000 to the club in 2013 and approved the same for 2014. The funds help with advertisement, liability insurance, and brochure printing expenses. The club has received grants to help with improvements for the trail from the Minnesota Conservation Corps, Operation Round-Up, and a Minnesota 4H Helping Hands Grant.

Upcoming scheduled events include a competitive Spring Trail Run on May 17, participation in National Trail Days on June 7 and a Halloween Trail Run and Hike on November 1.

•The Olmsted County Board of Review will meet by appointment at the Olmsted County Government Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on April 24. The Fillmore County Board of Review will be at the Fillmore County Assessor’s Office on April 21 through April 24 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for the assessment year, 2015 payable year.

•Chosen Valley Care Center, Inc. will host the “Running for the Aging 5K/1 mile run as a fundraiser for the senior living community. The event is scheduled for June 21 at 9 a.m. The council approved the use of the streets that will be used for the event.

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