Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gravois Phase 3 Sewer Nears Completion, More Subdivisions Could Be Added

The Gravois Arm Sewer District (GASD) Phase 3 sewer project is in the home stretch. “All three contracts of Phase 3 are substantially complete,” said District Board Chairman Dave Taylor. But Taylor said there is still work to do: “With a project this big, there are bound to be issues that need to be addressed.”
And issues aplenty there were at Monday, Nov. 5, at the GASD board of trustees meeting.
Phase 3 customer Ron Hodges asked when the clean-up in front of his property on Lake Road 5-18 would be accomplished. “They skipped my property,” Hodges said. Customers Earl Cable and Jim Marks had the same issue. The board assured the men that crews will finish the clean-up and that district personnel will inspect properties to be sure all properties are returned to their original state.
The board approved a request by Judy Kratthi to pay $683 for damages caused to a home on Hazel Road in the Captain’s Fancy Subdivision due to a bad pump that caused a sewer back up. District employees will also assess the situation for a solution to the sewer problem.
Taylor encouraged customers to contact GASD with issues that need to be addressed. He said problem areas will be assessed, and the appropriate action taken. “We appreciate the courtesy that customers have shown to the construction crews. The crews have all expressed their thanks for the cookies and baked goods,” Taylor said. While a small number of problems cannot be solved to the satisfaction of all customers, GASD will continue to serve those people in the sewer district. Taylor also encouraged customers to attend GASD board meetings, held the first Monday of every month at the sewer plant.
Engineer Stan Schultz with Schultz Surveying and Engineering reported to the board that the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has accepted the environmental report and plan specifications for additional work with funds left over from the Phase 3 sewer project. The proposed new projects have been determined to be in the stimulus target study area. Schultz said that according to USDA, there is an excess of $300,000 of available funding to connect customers in the Gladstone Cove area first. “As soon as we get the final approval we will start on the first eight houses,” said Schultz. The district expects to pick up an additional 20 customers. If there is money left over the district might be able to pick up additional subdivisions as well. “We want the customers, and we want to keep adding the infrastructure. We will keep going until we run out of money,” Taylor said.
District Accountant Steve Thornton reported the district has been in the black for three consecutive months. They now have 807 customers. “Phase Three has made a remarkable addition to our finances,” Thornton said. The district saw a profit of $16,403 in October.
Board approvals:  
The board approved closing Contract Two with Schultz’s verification that the construction company will complete the punch list. District Inspector Kerri Metscher and a board member will also give a second opinion on the project’s completion.
The board approved a resolution amending and restating the sewer charge ordinance. “There are no changes in the rates. We just corrected misspelled words, cleaned it up, and brought it up to date,” said Sewer District Attorney Bill McCaffree.
The board approved sending a bill in the amount of $827.34 to Woods Construction for the repair of a force main on Graceland Road damaged by the construction company.
Taylor announced that he and Board Member Dennis Havel will attend a final loan closing Tuesday, Nov. 27 with USDA Rural Development. The district will also receive $5,009,000 in sewerage system revenue bonds.  
Board Member Steve Phelan has resigned as he has taken a job with Cabela’s in Kansas City. The board is seeking a replacement, and has advertised in three publications. Taylor requested that board members submit names for a replacement. Qualified candidates should be available for monthly meetings. Interested parties can contact Taylor at 573-286-2066.
The board went into executive session to discuss legal and personnel issues.
After going into open session, the board approved hiring Trinity Kincaid as a part-time contract laborer. Kincaid has a Class D sewer plant operator’s license. He will complete an internship with the sewer district in order to receive his class C license.
The next meeting of the GASD board of directors is scheduled 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3 at the district office in Gravois Mills.