Stratford gets FEMA grant for sewers

When they met for their August session, city council members in Stratford were informed that the city has been awarded a sizable grant.

FEMA will release $377,250 in funds for Stratford’s sanitary sewer inflow and infiltration project. The non-federal match will be $50,300 from the state of Iowa and $75,450 will be provided by the city of Stratford. City manager Rachel Cahill reviewed with the council the parameters of the project, noting that major sanitary sewer arteries to the lagoon and the sanitary sewer lines in the worst condition will be done first. Priorities were analyzed by Bolton & Menk Engineering.

Sanitary sewer mains and manholes will have cured-in-place pipe installed to reduce infiltration and restore the structural condition of the existing system that is over ninety years old. An upgrade to the lift station with fixed pump and piping modification is needed to increase the lift station’s capacity for discharge of storm events to the treatment lagoons.

To pay for the city’s portion of the project, the council discussed using Local Option Sales and Service Tax dollars that are designated for infrastructure improvements.

The council discussed another grant issue, a CDBG grant for sewer improvements that was applied for last year but denied by Iowa Economic Development Authority on the basis that the project would not proceed in a timely manner.

Consensus on the council was that since the FEMA grant was received and would proceed, it would be a good time to reapply for this federal grant for $300,000.

Further discussion was that there is a need to rehabilitate the lines in the worst condition according to the Bolton & Menk Engineering analysis, and that the dollars should be maximized.

The council approved reapplying for the $300,000 CDBG for additional improvements in the sanitary sewer inflow and infiltration project efforts and allocating $350,000 as matching funds.

Other business at Monday’s meeting was approval of continued membership in the Main Street Program for Stratford. Dues for FY 2014 are $2,972.

In a personnel matter, the council approved merit increases for two city employees. Maintenance and project manager Dan Ostrem will receive an increase of $.26 per hour, while deputy city clerk Kim Leeds will receive $.58 per hour. Increases are effective on the August 30 payroll.

Also on Monday, the council:

Approved a resolution on the utility deposit policy for the city’s utility services.

Began the process to vacate the alley in block 14 of Teneyck’s Addition. There will be a hearing at the September 9 council meeting on conveying a vacated alley to the adjoining property owners.

Approved a resolution stating the utility deposit policy for the city.

Approved a support agreement from Networking Solutions for $1,150.

Approved a one-time forgiveness of the extreme electrical usage for a utility account and approved the revised bill.

Approved acceptance of Central Iowa Power Cooperative Stratford REC Tap estimate of $12,782.68 for Stratford’s portion of the joint use structures being rebuilt.