City Council Approves Ordinance Increasing Digging Permit Fees

By Crystal Howerton

The Edina Board of Alderman met on Monday evening, September 8, 2008 where they approved an ordinance to increase digging permit fees.

Ordinance #671 amends prior Ordinance # 559, providing for an increase in permit fees and deposits in connection with digging or disruption of the public streets and alleys of the City of Edina. The permit fee of $50 was raised to $100 and the deposit fee, formerly $500 was increased to $1,000. The permit and deposit fees had not been increased since the prior ordinance was approved on January 14, 1985. After reviewing and considering the of the terms and conditions of Ordinance #559 and after taking into account the substantial increase in costs, fees and expenses, associated with the matters governed by said ordinance as well as the general cost inflation, the Board of Alderman unanimously voted to amend and adjust the permit fees and deposit requirements set forth as they are reasonable and appropriate to protect the public interest.

At the request of Knox County Promotional Council chairman Monica Zahn, Council members approved the yearly donation of $1,000 to assist with Cornfest activities. Councilmen applauded Zahn for another successful Cornfest.

Prior to approving the payment of bills, Council members questioned Edina Police Chief Roger Waibel regarding the bills associated with the retrieval of a truck driven into “Kennedy Bottom” during a police chase on July 26, 2008, which was stuck for a period of time. Waibel assured Council members that all fees would be recouped before the truck would be released. The 1997 Ford F150 is currently impounded by the Edina Police Department.

Wastewater Superintendent Brad Eitel presented his monthly report. The average daily flow for August was 99,000 gallons per day at the Wastewater Treatment Facility, which is designed for 220,000 gallons per day. This calculates out to 45% of the design flow and a total of 3,068,000 gallons treated. The actual population equivalent for August was 559.

Eitel stated that he had replaced sheer pins on #2 and #3 pump check valves and has hauled 15 loads (30,000 gallons) of sludge. He said there are still several loads needing to hauled. Eitel announced that the probe is going bad on the dissolved oxygen meter, which is used daily for BOD and DO testing. He requested that Council members allow him to upgrade to a Hach LBOD system, which is EPA recommended and DNR labs have switched to it. The cost of the new system is $1605.00 plus shipping. The other option would be to replace the probe on the existing meter, in addition to purchasing a new membrane kit and new stirring kit at a total cost of $520.00. Eitel stated that $2,000 had been budgeted for supplies. It was the consensus of the Board that they would prefer to invest $500 in a new system rather than replacing the probe in the old system, which will soon be obsolete.

During Waibel’s report he discussed stray dogs and their disposal. The police department has picked up numerous dogs believed to be strays or that have been “dumped”. According to Waibel, it costs between $12-$15 for the City to have an animal euthanized. He said that he would prefer to take dogs to the Kirksville Humane Society at $15 per animal, where they have a 90% adoption rate. He took four dogs there recently. City Council members agreed with Waibel’s plan of action.

Progress was discussed regarding derelict structures and other property issues. Jo Fortney, with Deveny, Brown and Fortney, was present at the meeting to answer questions for council members. The issue of unlicensed semi trailers parked indefinitely was discussed. It was decided that Council members would review the ordinance regarding unlicensed vehicles and determine whether the ordinance should be modified.

Superintendent of Utilities Mike Wriedt did not attend the meeting, however, City Clerk Margaret Gibson announced that Wriedt had recently submitted an ad to The Edina Sentinel to take bids for various equipment. Alderman Albert Hagerla commented on the street improvements made at the post office.

It was the consensus of the Council to proceed with arrangements for the annual Children’s Halloween Party.

Council members discussed a street light request at 903 E. Cottey. It was decided that Ameren UE would be contacted to evaluate the need of an additional streetlight.

During Citizen Comments, Mayor Davey Strickler read a letter from Robert C. Russell of Andover, CT concerning the cleanliness of the rooms at the Bon-Air Motel. Russell stayed at the Bon-Air Motel from August 8 to August 14, 2008. The reason for the stay is unknown.

City employee Travis Proctor recently tendered his resignation to the Council. There are no plans for his replacement at this time.