Roland council still waiting on Samson Street sewer project easements

Todd ThorsonStaff Writertthorson@storycityherald.com

The Roland City Council was informed last Wednesday (April 6) at its regular meeting that four easements of the nine necessary before the Samson Street sewer project can commence, are still outstanding. The project is scheduled to begin this fall. Jordan Kappos of Veenstra & Kimm, the engineering firm in charge of the project, was present at the meeting to report that five easements have been turned in, but four are still waiting to be received.

One of the residents has not responded and has been, according to Kappos, difficult to work with. He has called the resident a few times, met in person more than once and has also sent a certified letter, with no response or reply. Kappos insinuated that further action by the city may be necessary in order to get the resident’s paperwork facilitated.

Council member Jerry Zamzow suggested that a formal plan and date needs to be established to move the process along, and perhaps Mayor Jerry Balmer needs to submit a letter and even have a notary go to the reluctant home owner to get the easement signed. The concensus of the council was that a personal visit may be necessary before possible condemnation of the property is instigated.

Time constraints are critical to the project progressing as scheduled. The other three residents that have not signed the easements have indicated that they will be signing and returning them to the city. Council member Larry Ford said that perhhaps Mayor Jerry Balmer and City Clerk Jodi Meredith could meet with the reluctant resident to get the necessary signed and notorized document. Council agreed with that plan, and also said that a date of April 30 should be set to have all easements turned in. Further discussion on the matter will continue at the April 20 council meeting.

Because of the delay, the Samson Street sewer project has been unable to move forward with any start dates or time frames. Kappos said he will return in two weeks for the next council meeting to see if any progress has been made.

Kappos also said that he had been working with an urban conservationist about how Roland’s wastewater project could do a sponsored project with the DNR. The Wastewater project as well as any conservation applications need to be finalized by September 1.

Harold Hovick was also present to give a Streets and Water/Wastewater report. He said that the outdoor security cameras at the wastewater plant were stolen, but no other damage was reported. A new indoor monitoring security system was recently purchased and will be installed at the entrance area to the plant. Hovick also reported that the construction at the new lift station is at a standstill, and the company is waiting on pumps and meters to arrive.

In addition, Hovick reported on a street issue, stating that a total of five trailers are being parked on the streets and have not been moved regularly. The council plans to have the Story County Sheriff’s Department issue warnings first after 48 hours before writing up tickets for the stationary trailers. According to Hovick, none of the trailers have been adequately moved in the allotted time frame.

City Clerk Jodi Meredith said the City Wide Garage Sale is scheduled for June 3 and 4. The Recycling Day will be held Saturday, June 11 at 12 noon.

In other business, the council:

—agreed not to charge the former utility clerk for the loss of the city cell phone;

—approved the amended FY 2016 budget resolution;

—thanked Jodi Meredith, Harold and Nathan Hovick for helping with the successful 5K run on Saturday, April 9;

—agreed that taking over the Community Center from the RADC is in the best interests of the city and the RADC. The city will manage, operate and maintain the facility, with city staff in charge of managing the center. The RADC is also in agreement with the new arrangement. A formal contract will now be drawn up;

—discussed the possibility of more residential housing in Roland, since all available lots have now been purchased. Additional lots are needed and any potential new development will need to be discussed with prospective landowners before any future development can be considered.