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By Sue Curry Jones
The Ava Board of Aldermen, city administrators and city engineer John Forrester made an attempt to solve a sewer waste problem that has been an on-going challenge since November or December of 2010.
During the meeting, residents asked the city for assistance with the sewer leak problem on the north east side of town. Unfortunately, specific details on the sewer lines at NE 15th and NE 14th Streets are vague as the area was developed approximately 40 years ago, and prior to city code specifications.
However, the problem is a public safety issue and the city is making an effort to find an effective solution to accommodate everyone involved.
The problem first began last year when sewer waste was noticeable at residential property on NE 14th Street, and at the time, the leak appeared to affect two landowners.
But after releasing dye in the system on two separate occasions, the city was able to determine sewage was also coming from another residence, and it too was depositing debris on the same property at the bottom of the hill.
One of the offending property owners took the initiative and paid out of pocket to have the sewer hook-up on their land re-routed to the main line.
The second residence which was discovered at a later date, hasn’t taken any action. The landowner, who is on a fixed income, does not have the money or discretionary funds to absorb the cost of re-routing the line for $1300.
Consequently, city officials are looking for a quick solution to facilitate a temporary fix to help the couple, as well as provide a timeline that will allow the city to re-do the sewer line correctly and budget the expense. Right now the money is not available or in the budget.
One of the options being considered is to disconnect the leaking line and re-attach it into a neighbor’s line (with permission). This temporary resolve would allow the city to make plans for re-routing the line permanently, and most importantly, permit the couple to use their home.
At present, council continues to search for a solution; however, it was noted that a project of this magnitude requires a plan. Budget funds will have to be earmarked, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and city engineers will have to oversee and approve the project, and that may take 1-2 years.
No resolve was reached during the meeting, however according to city officials, a solution is still being pursued.
Judy Shields, executive director of the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce, provided an update on her activities, and upcoming Chamber plans. Shields said the Christmas parade theme for this year is “Let Freedom Ring with the Bells of Christmas”. The parade is on the calendar for December 10.
At present the Chamber has 156 members.
Council approved the court docket as presented, and payment of monthly bills.
Members present were Burrely Loftin, Ric Engelhardt, Judy Lovan and Billy Long.
The next meeting will be held Tuesday, Aug. 9, 5:00 p.m. at Ava City Hall in council chambers.