The St. Clair Board of Aldermen approved three ordinances last week that center on the city’s wastewater system that is in need of repairs.
One of the ordinances allows for a major adjustment in the budget by placing $320,000 in the city’s water and sewer fund.
City Administrator Rick Childers told the aldermen that as much of the money as possible will come from cash on hand.
“This ordinance simply increases the line item in the budget,” he said, adding that he estimates about $210,000 will come from reserves.
The other two ordinances authorize Mayor Ron Blum and the city to enter into a master agreement for engineering services with CM Archer Group and to approve a task order with Archer for $14,000.
The first ordinance inks the overall contract with Archer while the second targets engineering services for the west trunk sewer line.
City leaders have spent a lot of time discussing St. Clair’s wastewater system in recent months, including at 2014 budget workshops.
The aging system is in need of major repairs.
During the most recent budget workshop in September, Blum presented an “engineer’s opinion” of probable project costs prepared by Archer that target the city’s “wastewater short-term priorities” to be considered in the coming year’s budget.
In a nutshell, the report outlined four projects as well as a sanitary sewer master plan.
The estimated cost to prepare the sanitary sewer master plan is $98,000. The estimated cost of the four priority items is $480,000.
The four items are stabilization of the west trunk main stream bank ($10,000), a redirect of the pump station 5 forced main ($25,000), Oak Street sewer replacement ($25,000) and an upgrade to pump station 4 ($420,000).
Both Blum and Childers have said they believe the west trunk main, the pump station 5 redirect and the Oak Street sewer replacement can be accomplished this year. Any additional money needed for these items would come out of the city’s reserves, they said.
The majority of the pump station 4 upgrade would be done in 2014, again with money coming out of city reserves to help pay for it.
“The key piece in this is doing upgrades and repairs on the system that will not need to be redone,” Childers said.
As far as the master plan, Blum and Childers said putting it together will save the city money in the long run.
During the Oct. 21 meeting, the aldermen also approved an ordinance that authorizes Blum to execute an amendment to the intergovernmental cooperation agreement with the Interstate 44 and Highway 47 Triangle Transportation Development District.
“The ordinance approves an amendment to the agreement between the city and the TDD, which clarifies funds that are reimbursable to the city, which have been spent by the city on behalf of the TDD,” Childers said in explaining the intent of the ordinance. “It also more clearly defines the process for initiating additional projects.”
Childers said both items were brought to the city’s attention by the state auditor’s office.