Nokomis Authorizes Water System Work 

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The Nokomis City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 8, with Mayor Russ Foster, Commissioners Ann Brookshire, Mike Holliday, and Jocko Nash, along with City Clerk Rachel Hill present in the room.  Commissioner Derek Durbin was absent.  

Visitors attended the meeting via Zoom internet connection.

Tim Ferguson of Woodard and Curran, also in attendance via Zoom, presented   information pertaining to two items related to water and sewer operations placed on the agenda by Commissioner Brookshire. 

First, with regard to repairs to #2 water softener, Ferguson stated that he did not yet have an accurate picture of the full extent of the problem.  The components that control the regeneration process are not operating properly, so at present time they are bypassing the regeneration process where salt is added to the process at the softener.  Initial thoughts were that backwash valves may need rebuilt, which had been recommended earlier when the softeners had been evaluated around first of the year, although resin had been the primary focus of that evaluation. 

With that in mind, Ferguson asked the council to authorize repairs in the amount of $7,500 to $10,000 to avoid delays moving forward, and stating the council would be advised immediately if expenses were to run higher than the authorization amount.

Nash asked Ferguson about the rebuild cost versus the replacement costs and Ferguson said there was too much unknown about the current problem to give an accurate rebuild or repair cost.  He added that the replacement would be well above $60,000 and that there were many factors that must be considered when developing that true cost.

Nash also asked Ferguson if that would resolve the complaints of salty tasting water he had received from a couple citizens.  Brookshire acknowledged she had heard a couple comments about a salty taste as well.  Ferguson said that should no longer be an issue and they had begun testing for that at the plant as soon as it was brought to their attention.

Brookshire made a motion to authorize repairs up to $10,000 for the #2 water softener.  Nash seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Ferguson then addressed the issue of authorizing the repair or replacement of the sludge pump out at the wastewater plant that moves sewage sludge from one structure to the other.  The only pump there–now 40 years old–is worn out.  In attempting to do some basic repairs, a bolt was broken, compounding the issue.  Ferguson said estimate to replace the pump with the same brand was considerably higher–by about $30,000–than repairing and rebuilding the current pump.  He added the pump was a very good one and pretty expensive when new, but now is in need of a complete rebuild including bearing and seals, etc.  He advocated using Illinois Electric Works to rebuild the pump as they often use parts above the minimum specifications required and offer warranty on those parts.  He added that they had also found another brand of pump that might work that was considerably less expensive.  The pump, from Municipal Equipment, would cost a little over $19,000.  Ferguson said he had not had the opportunity to research if this Municipal Equipment substitute pump would actually work, but felt it probably would.  

Ferguson clarified that the new substitute brand pump would cost roughly $6,000 more than the rebuild of the old pump and the new pump would come with a two-year warranty, but there would a five to six-week delay in installation of the new pump.  He recommended the complete rebuild, given the cost savings, the initial quality of the pump involved, warranty on the repair parts, and an estimated two-week installation period.

Brookshire made a motion to authorize the rebuild of the existing sludge pump.  The motion was seconded by Nash and approved unanimously by the board.

Commissioner Nash made a motion to appoint Moran Economic Development to audit the business district fund and develop a business district relief plan.  The audit will take approximately ten hours at $100 an hour.  Foster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.  

Nash made motions to approve the following business permits:  a covered deck at 721 Water Street, a pool deck at 421 N Cedar, a privacy fence at 121 W South Street, a 24’x36’ metal shed at 527 Singer, and a fence at 521 School Street.  Each permit was made as an individual motion by Nash and each motion was seconded by Holliday and approved unanimously by the board.

Nash asked that a review of the grant approved for Frank Steele at the previous meeting be added to the agenda of the next meeting, as an old application with incorrect amounts had been used.

Nash made a motion to go ahead with the LED replacement at city hall at a cost of $1,300.  Brookshire seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Nash made a motion to amend section 35-5-1 of the revised code of ordinances for the city to allow for a three-way stop sign at Sanford and Benlap and a four-way stop sign at Franklin and Albert.  The residents had approached Nash about the signs, given the large number of children now in those areas.  Holliday seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Holliday then made a motion to amend section 35-5-1 of the revised code of ordinances for the city to allow for a stop sign at North Walnut and West Front streets.  The local residents asked that this action be taken due to building construction obstructing visibility at the intersection.  Nash seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

Holliday also informed the council of his intention to repair a ditch at 803 Young Street due to a complaint made by the owner.  Riprap previously placed there was damaging the yard.  Holliday said they would be replacing it with a culvert.

Nash made a motion to hire Rocci Romano of Taylorville as the new city attorney.  Holliday seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

With no executive session required, the meeting was adjourned at 7:34 p.m. on a motion by Nash, second by Brookshire.

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