By Leigh Ann Rutledge
Carrollton Council can’t “flush” its sewer troubles through the village’s sewer plant this time.
Village Administrator Mark Wells updated members Monday on the process of cleaning filters on two of four tanks at the wastewater treatment plant and outlined the latest problem.
The filters process the final clean water. Council approved hiring Kubota Membrane to clean and replace damaged filters in two of the four tanks during the April 11 council meeting. Cost of the contract was to be $33,032.50 and $18,350 for 150 replacement pieces for the filters.
“We have issues with the membranes (filters)”, Wells explained. “The filters are no longer effective and we need to take immediate action.”
With a crew of 12+ Kubota employees, the crew drains the filters, vacuums and takes the filters apart and scrapes and rinses them. Then they replace any broken pieces and reinstall the filters. According to Wells, Kubota has already used 150,000 replacement pieces and is not quite half done with the two tanks.
Wells told members it could cost up to $312,500 to repair the remaining filters. He suggested council allow him to apply for a Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) loan. It would be a 10-year loan with a 2.5 percent interest rate.
The life expectancy of the filters is usually eight to 10 years. Wastewater Superintendent Roy Ford said he was told filters need to be pulled, cleaned and (if needed) replaced every three to seven years. The Carrollton sewer plant went online in April 2011.
“Since we have cleaned and repaired part of the filters, it is working better,” Ford stated. “I am trying to keep all the bad cells in one section now.”
With four different basins, Ford is able to isolate different areas during the filtration process. Ford told council the regular tanks in front of the filter system are cleaned every other year and keeping the filters running is going to require a regular maintenance schedule. The department is also going to have to have an account not only for maintenance but also replacement.
The issue may be more than just a maintenance issue. “During the process, they are seeing things in there that shouldn’t be there,” said Wells.
“We have had three qualified people look at the system and they cannot figure out the problem,” Wells stated. “It may not have been designed correctly.”
More specialists are coming in to look at the system to try to figure out the problem. “We could stop now [with the repairs] but that is not the thing to do,” Wells commented.
The plant is no longer receiving septic from outside carriers. Wells noted, “It may have brought in funds, but it may have hurt us in the end.”
With the application for the loan due by the end of April, council approved the ordinance on an emergency basis. They are also reminding residents to be careful what they flush.
In another sewer related issue, Brittany Tangler visited council regarding the sewer issue at her Courtview Dr. home.
“Last week we received a phone call from our insurance company. They raised our rates to $4,000 per year minus water and sewer coverage,” she told council.
Tangler said in prior meetings, council stated that was not possible for her insurance costs to increase but the increase is over $3,000. Since the Tanglers tured the three claims, the company, located in Minerva, said they can raise the rates or drop them as customers. “For our insurance coverage to include water and sewer would be in the $7,000 per year ballpark,” Tangler noted.
Tangler said their insurance is due in May and she is not sure what to do.
“I don’t think we should be responsible for a $3,000 increase when it wasn’t our fault,” she stated. “I don’t want to go without water and sewer coverage. With our track record, I’m really scared.”
Village Solicitor Clark Battista told Tangler he will contact their attorney regarding the issue.
On a final sewer issue, council opened bids for the Courtview Dr. Sanitary Sewer Replacement project and is in the process of checking references. Seven bids ranging from just over $51,000 to more than $84,000 were received.
In an unrelated issue, in cooperation with Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison (CCH) Solid Waste District, curbside tire collection will be held May 9-13. A limit of four car or light truck tires (off the rims) are eligible to be set at the curb for pickup by village employees.
In other business, council:
-HEARD monthly supervisor reports, including the street department who salted streets twice, plowed snow and mowed grass in the same month.
-SET a legislative/finance committee meeting May 9 at 6 p.m.
-APPROVED an emergency ordinance entering into contract with Engineering Associates, Inc. for construction observation of water and sanitary sewer lines to Centreville Village Assisted Living Facility on SR9. The village will assume ownership of the lines. The observation is billable by the hour and all costs go back to the facility. The amount is not to exceed $10,000. The facility will annex into the village at a future date.
-MET in executive session for nearly 20 minutes to discuss compensation of an employee. No action was taken.
-AWARDED Superior Paving of North Canton the 2016 contract for village street paving. Their bid was $115,938.50. The other bid was from Central Allied for $131,128.20.
-LEARNED Judi Noble, former village clerk-treasurer is not able to train current Clerk-treasurer Darla Tipton due to issues with Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) regulations.
-PAID bills totaling $103,710.14 for vendors and $39,647.18 for payroll.
-SCHEDULED the next council meeting May 9 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.