January 13, 2016
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof a regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Bloomer was called to order on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall, 1503 Main Street - Mayor Meinen presiding.
Roll call was taken: Mayor Meinen, Alderpersons Meinen, Hofmann, Steinmetz, Koehler, Clerk Stoik and Attorney Gustafson.
All present gave pledge to the flag.
Alderperson Koehler made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meetings (December 14, 2015, December 16, 2015 & December 28, 2015) as presented. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve all claims against the City and Utilities as presented. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye. The claims were in the amounts listed below:
Checks Numbered: 73624 - 73778
General Fund: $ 1,144,261.44
Electric Fund: $ 51,318.13
Water Fund: $ 24,709.79
Sewer Fund: $ 18,420.70
Payroll: $ 94,469.61
TOTAL $ 1,333,179.67
Mark Schwartz, Ambulance Administrator was present and discussed the need for purchase of a cardiac monitor for the ambulance service. Partial funding was approved at the semi-annual meeting in September with the remainder to be funded through grants. They have looked at grant possibilities and do not meet some of the requirements due to the large amount of money in the FAP funds. The current balance is around $40,000. He will have a breakdown for approval at the next meeting with different funding from the previous meeting.
A hearing was opened for Julie Hamm for reconsideration of the denial of her operator’s license application on December 16, 2015. Mrs. Hamm was present along with the Manager from Holiday. She had been denied because of high point levels on her record. Mrs. Hamm explained that she just wanted to work. She liked working there and did not want to lose her job. Representatives from Holiday stated she is a good responsible employee and they wished to retain her as an employee. Alderperson Koehler explained in the past when this issue arose, they have granted the license on a probationary period and if there is any future violations, her license would be immediately revoked by the Police Chief. The hearing was closed. Alderperson Koehler made a motion to approve an operator’s license for Julie Hamm for a 1 year probationary period and with no future violations. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve a Supplemental Letter Agreement with Short, Elliott & Hendrickson for professional services for pentachlorophenol drum storage area for approx. $15,000 as recommended by Michael Meindel, Street, Water & Sewer Administrator. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Discussion was held regarding the possible ordinance adoption to amend Section 5-2-9 of the City Code, Regarding Open Burning and Refuse Burning. Attorney Gustafson stated he had worked on the redraft with Police Chief Zwiefelhofer and Fire Chief Bleskacek. He explained sections that were different from the past. Police Chief Zwiefelhofer questioned if it addressed whether there was a burning ban in effect. Mr. Meindel stated Chippewa County is not governed by the DNR and does not follow burning ban rules. Chief Zwiefelhofer was not aware of this requirement. Attorney Gustafson did not receive the email concerning this. The Common Council tabled this until these issues could be resolved.
Alderperson Hofmann made a motion to approve Ordinance 16-01 to Annex Real Estate to the City of Bloomer – Wis. Stats. 66.0217(2) – Iron Horse Industrial Park. Alderperson Koehler seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve a Memorandum of Understanding between the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office and the Bloomer Police for the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (S.W.A.T.) Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
The Common Council received an update on the Phosphorus Optimization Plan to comply with section 4.1 of the City’s WPDES Permit compliance schedule presented by Mike Meindel and Paul Gont for the Wastewater Treatment Plant facility. The following memo was discussed in detail.
1) The permit contains new low phosphorus limits for the discharge to Duncan Creek, along with a compliance schedule to meet the new requirements. The new phosphorus limits are 0.075 mg/l, compared to the current limit of 1.0 mg.l.
2) The latest revisions to the Statewide Phosphorus Variance under act 378 now preclude Chippewa County municipalities from eligibility unless the compliance costs result in an average residential user charge that exceeds 2% of the median household income. Bloomer’s user charge after compliance with the new phosphorus requirements will not meet this criteria.
3) The estimated cost of adding tertiary treatment to meet the new low phosphorus limit is $1,400,000 for construction and an additional $25,000/year in operational costs.
4) Other, non-conventional alternatives for complying with the new phosphorus limit were evaluated to assess potential lower costs compliance methods. Pollutant trading appears to be more economical than adding tertiary treatment.
5) Affordability of compliance was evaluated in accordance with EPA guidance for Economic Variances to meeting water quality standards. Based on current user charge rates and the estimated impact of compliance on user charges, Bloomer is on the lower end of the EPA “mid-range” for affordability, and may be eligible for an economic variance if other “secondary” economic indicators for the City and County meet EPA criteria. A partial assessment of secondary economic indicators indicates Bloomer is likely to be in the mid-range for the secondary economic indicators. Based on the above, granting of an economic variance would be in the “EPA judgement” range. An economic variance would be possible, but appears unlikely.
6) Based on the Phosphorus Compliance Alternatives Evaluation, the following recommendations are made:
- a) Assemble the remaining economic indicators per EPA guidance and request the economic variance. DNR will first review the variance request before concurring with or rejecting the request. If DNR concurs with the variance request, it will be forwarded to EPA for a final determination.
- b) Concurrent with the Economic Variance request, contact the Chippewa County Land Conservation Department to further assess specific pollutant trading prospects in the Duncan Creek Watershed as a phosphorus compliance option.
- c) Opportunities for installation of stream buffer strips, wetland restoration or changes in tillage practices in highly erodible areas should be assessed to identify potential pollutant trades and trading costs.
- d) Opportunities for converting highly erodible cultivated land to prairie, park or other low erosion potential uses should also be investigated as potentially economical alternative to tertiary treatment.
- e) The above items should be completed by December 31, 2016 to meet the next WPDES Permit schedule requirement for submittal of a “Final Facilities Plan”. No action was taken.
Alderperson Meinen made a motion to approve the attendance of Tony Burgess (Training Officer) to attend the 48th Annual Convention for the Wisconsin State Firefighters Association in Stevens Point on March 9-13, 2016 at firemen training pay for two days. Alderperson Hofmann seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Meinen made a motion to approve the final Eighth Amendment to Market Based Rate Full Requirement Agreement through 2024 as recommended by Peter Paulson, Electric Administrator. Alderperson Steinmetz seconded the motion and all present voted aye
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve the application for a temporary Class “B” Picnic license for St. Paul’s Catholic School on February 27, 2016. Alderperson Koehler seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to approve the applications for a license to serve fermented malt beverages & intoxicating liquors for Robert J. Gerke & Bethany J Wurzer as approved by Police Chief Zwiefelhofer and to deny Trever D. Mickelson due to high point violations. Alderperson Meinen seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Clerk Stoik reported there will be a primary election on February 16, 2016.
Michael Meindel, Street, Water & Sewer Administrator reported they would be updating the lab technology at the Wastewater Treatment Plant facility. It will save them time in the long run.
Peter Paulson, Electric Administrator reported they had attended a meeting for generation capacity and the future of the members in group. No action was taken, but they are continuing with the study.
Police Chief Jared Zwiefelhofer stated he would be seeking bids for approval of a squad car for the Police Department.
Brian Bleskacek, Fire Chief reported the skating rink would be opening on Thursday, January 14, 2016.
Alderperson Meinen stated Fall Creek recently bid out their garbage service and received better rates.
Alderperson Hofmann – no comments.
Alderperson Steinmetz stated he had attended the IDC meeting and they are requesting to come to the next meeting regarding Iron Horse Industrial park and the procedure to have the land shovel ready. He also welcomed the new city Attorney Dan Gustafson. He also gave information to Mayor Meinen regarding an upcoming event on January 28th with Chippewa County Economic Development.
Alderperson Koehler – no comments.
Mayor Meinen – no comments.
Mayor Meinen stated there was no need to meet in closed session. The issue regarding the purchase of a residential lot had been resolved.
Alderperson Steinmetz made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Alderperson Koehler seconded the motion and all present voted aye.
Sue A. Stoik