Is sheriff patrolling enough in Lime Springs?

By Marcie Klomp

Heather Knutson wants more police protection in Lime Springs and asked council at the Oct. 7 meeting if members would consider paying more for that protection.

“The sheriff’s office patrols, but how much do they come? Is there documentation?” she asked.

Brian Johnson, who was Mayor Pro-Tem since Mayor Barb Robinson is on leave and Pro-Tem Kevin Bill was working, told her, “They have to have some sort of log.”

“Can we check that? I have questioned it severely in the last month.” She went on to say a state trooper had sat across from her house, and she asked why. He apparently told her there were a lot of complaints about speeders, and Howard County said their contract does not cover the hours of need to patrol enough to catch people.

“I think [the contract] should be re-evaluated. Somebody is going to be hit along my road or by the school.”

She plans to speak to the sheriff’s department to get an accounting of time spent patrolling.

• In other business, City Engineer George Tekippe was present to talk about the wastewater treatment plant. He said the anti-degradation report will be sent to the Department of Natural Resources. It describes how the proposed plant will discharge into the stream. Many rules regulate what can and cannot take place.

In a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario, the DNR tells cities they can use chlorine to treat the waste, but the chlorine cannot be added to the local stream. So the chlorine in the water has to be neutralized by sodium thiosulfate or UV rays. It’s a vicious circle.

The bill for Fehr Graham engineering services for the wastewater treatment plant improvements was approved. Total cost of those services will be $185,000 by the end of the project.

• Public Works Director Casey Sebastian gave his update on accountability of water usage. During the month of September 2014, accountability was down 15-20 percent from the same month in 2013 and down 60-80 percent from 2012. “It was the least amount of water loss of any month so far,” he added.

A culvert on E. Howard St. is in need of repair. The problem is that E. Howard is an unimproved road that is situated on the south side of Dave Meyer’s home on the south side of town. Tekippe will see how the city can embargo it permanently or find another solution.

Within the next couple weeks, the city was going to abandon a four-inch main on W. Main St. The main broke almost in the same spot it broke a year ago, in front of the Keith Klomp residence. “Water is running down the street,” Sebastian noted.

Six homes, along with a fire hydrant, are on the four-inch main, which the city plans to convert to eight inches; Tucke, Norton, Roethler, Walker, Wells and Mensink. The Klomp home was already converted.

To disconnect a main is maintenance explained Tekippe. Work could begin immediately without bids taken.

• Pay raises for the city employees were again postponed a month. Sebastian has not had a pay raise since his three month raise over a year ago.

Councilmember Tary Kolek asked, “We’re a year-and-a-half behind. How long can we put it off?”

Despite his question, council decided to hold off another month, until fellow councilman Bill could be present.

• Clerk Rhonda Klapperich gave several bids for a new laptop computer. She will research more and bring findings in November.

• The DNR rejected the mandatory connection ordinance for the city so members have to adopt a new private well ordinance, making it illegal to drill a new well in city limits. Tekippe suggested they amend the proposed ordinance for those who live 500 or 1,000 feet from an existing line.

• Council made motions to pay outstanding bills on W. Howard St. water main replacement. That basically constituted approval of the completed project.

• Council re-approved the Community Needs Assessment from last year. The assessment will show all the city is doing and wants to do in the future. This gives Lime Springs a foot in the door when applying for grants.

• Randall Assmus was approved for a one-car garage.

• The street Financial Report was approved.

• Hilltop Apartments has only one water meter, and the complex is billed as one unit. When/if new owners take over, council will bill the 12 apartments separately.

• Sandy and Garry Cross were present to complain about a neighbor’s dog and another neighbor’s cats, who all run loose at times. They were also concerned about some neighbors feeding deer.

Johnson advised they take pictures or videos of the animals in their yard and turn it over to the sheriff. “There’s nothing really we can do. There’s no way to enforce [the ordinance].”
• A dog complaint was received from Holly Andersen and Gloria Andersen. A letter will be sent to dog owner.

• The next council meeting will be Nov. 4 in the fire station because of the elections.

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