Nokomis Council Hears From Water Operator


The Nokomis City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 11, with Mayor Russ Foster Commissioners Ann Brookshire, Derek Durbin, and Jocko Nash, and with City Clerk Rachel Hill present.  Commissioner Mike Holliday joined the meeting at 7:26 p.m. via Zoom internet connection.

Tim Ferguson of Woodard and Curran, also in attendance via Zoom, presented the second year water and sewer contract for the firm’s management of the city water and sewer utilities.  He then provided the capital report, outlining various projects Woodard & Curran would recommend the city undertake as revenue permits.  He explained that items more than $10,000 were considered capital items.

He said the report would contain such suggestions as repairs involving the resin and reduced capacity, which could see a quick payback simply in salt usage.  Other topics of discussion it could raise include a well maintenance contract or upgrades to the water pumps to reap energy savings benefits under an Ameren efficiency project.  

Other items Ferguson mentioned included North School infiltration and lift station upgrades.  

Ferguson wrapped up saying, “As operators of your system, we put together this working document of projects we think you might want to consider.  Nothing is written in stone and the city can add items it might want to look at with us.  This will help us better plan for FY21, based on revenues received.  We look to extend the useful life of what infrastructure is there or optimize what we have in place to reduce some costs overall.”

Greg Frieden, also of Woodard & Curran, spoke next via internet to make sure the council knew the firm had a funding group that is focused on looking at funding opportunities.  The group is currently concentrating on potential stimulus money available to the communities Woodard & Curran are partnered with.  He said the firm had prepared a webinar for those communities on what they need to do to prepare to apply for stimulus money and what approved projects the communities could pursue.  He said he would forward a link to any of the members at their request and offered to sit down with them in a planning session.  Mayor Foster thanked Frieden for his offer and said the council would get back to him if they were interested.

Ferguson again spoke when the council addressed the agenda item concerning the purchase of a new mower for the water and sewer plants.  He said the city had reached a point of diminishing returns with regard to constant repair of the current mower, and recommended the city purchase a new Kubota zero-turn mower for the water department like the one currently owned by the street department.  Ferguson also thanked the street department for doing the water department mowing in the interim.  

Foster was afraid a new mower would get “beat up” mowing at the sewer plant and said that another already owned mower should be considered.  Commissioner Nash added that manager Tim Chumley had told him he was planning to use the extra summer help that had been hired to do the mowing.  Ferguson said he was agreeable with whatever worked best for the city.  The council decided to take no action.

Commissioner Nash then gave brief update on the city’s COVID-19 response, adding they were in Phase 2 with Phase 3 tentatively scheduled to begin May 29.  Nash thanked everyone who had stepped up and helped out.  He said his only question was if the city was required to spray the playground equipment prior to it being made available again to the public.  He reiterated that parks are open, but no one is to be on the playground equipment as per the governor’s order.  Brookshire said they could get the answer on the spraying of the equipment from the health department.

Nash made a motion to grant two building permits for fences at 121 Sherman and 301 N Oak.  The motion was seconded by Durbin and approved unanimously by the council.

Nash then made a motion to set Nokomis community clean up days for the week of June 15-21, pending the availability of roll-off containers, and limited to Nokomis residents only.  Durbin seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Nash made a motion to raise the limit of the business district grant from $30,000 to $40,000.  The motion was again seconded by Durbin and approved unanimously by the council.

Nash then made a motion to purchase a changing station for the hall restroom at a cost of $211.67.  Durbin seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.

Upon returning from closed session, Brookshire made a motion for a raise for non-union city employees, which are the janitor, assistant city clerk, and city clerk.  The motion was seconded by Nash and approved unanimously by the council. 


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