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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council last Thursday heard a short update on progress on the next phase of upgrading the city’s sewer system.
The council took no official action during the meeting but discussed numerous topics and updates on ongoing projects and issues.
Brent Abell, BPW superintendent, informed the council the sewer system upgrade project is expected to take two years upon the issuing of bonds to help fund it.
Abell said engineers will have plans prepared so the project can get started as soon as funding is put in place.
“When the bonds are issued, the project will be bid on and ready to move forward,” said Deena Parsons, city clerk.
The next phase will be to replace all four-inch sewer line with six inch or larger and to line existing six-inch sewer lines.
However, Abell noted that while the original plans called overhauling the city’s entire sewage collection system, for it will be cost prohibitive.
Instead, he said, the project will focus on the most important needs.
Palmyra voters in April approved a $15 million no tax bond issue to fund water and sewage system improvements.
Already completed was needed upgrading of the aeration system at the sewage treatment plant.
The new aeration system, plus the collection system upgrades are anticipated to significantly improve the treatment plant’s usage, going from an estimated 95 percent to as much as 60 percent.
Abell also updated the council on progress toward getting funding to eliminate the old power plant which border’s Big Spring Park to the north.
He said a recent environmental study indicated there is no asbestos at the site, but there is lead that will have to be removed.
He said more testing will be needed before an application can be made for funding.
Police Chief Eddie Bogue told the council of a need to determine if there is a need to upgrade department procedures in maintaining the police station’s property, or evidence room.
Bogue said evidence rooms have been an issue for police departments, such as the one in Canton, as well as nationwide, resulting in lost criminal cases and lawsuits.
While he felt the station’s evidence room is well tended, he told the council he hopes to have the evidence room and procedures examined by experts to learn what more can be done to improve it.
Bogue also reported his department was awarded grant funding to pay for new traffic safety vests and rain coats for officers.
Bogue also informed the council of the need for updating a written agreement with the Palmyra School District concerning the student resource officer.
Abell informed the council the proposed Greystone Haven South subdivision has been recommended for approval by the council pending the inclusion of a storm water drainage plan.
The council is expected to take up the issue at its next meeting, Nov. 2.
Street Commissioner Austen Dornberger said his crew was preparing to reconfigure Main Street parking downtown.
In a related matter, Bogue asked for an Ordinance Committee meeting for the purpose of discussing possible changes to the city’s parking laws in order to provide consistency.
The council discussed renewal of a use permit involving use of land in the Warren Head Business Park by Charles Bross and Greg Bross.
Council member Earl Meyer said he found a company out of Quincy, Ill. that could possibly fix a leaking downspout at city hall. The company was to check the downspout in the near future.
Council member Brock Fahy said he received input from council members and department heads about possible changes to the city’s hiring procedures.
Mayor Rusty Adrian reported he expected the Palmyra Fire Protection District to soon approve a lease agreement with the city for use of the Palmyra fire station.