Slater Water Report 2020 CCR
Emergency alert sign up to get calls or text when there is Emergency notice for Slater or Story County.
- HEY!!! In an EMERGENCY, could we reach you??? City staff has completed training so that we can send out “reverse 911” notifications. If you have a land-line listed in the phone book, you are already enrolled unless you have the telemarketer block feature through Huxley Communications. The “dial 1” feature makes those lines not work with the emergency notification system. If you have the block you will need to register another number. Residents with mobile phones only will also need to register those numbers to receive emergency notifications. THIS IS IMPORTANT!! We can’t help keep you safe, should an emergency arise, if we can’t contact you. Help us, help you!! Click HERE to sign up! Need help? Notifications will be for emergencies only at this time and could include water issues or boil orders, chemical spills, etc. We will NOT be sending severe weather information.
- Emergency alert sign up
We have had a few questions about the mosquito fogging. Last year the sparying was done with a thermal fogger. This year it is cold fog sprayer. The cold fog is the same concentration or higher of the same mosquito killing chemical as the thermal (hot) fog, but does not produce as much of a visable “cloud”. Below are details about each type of spraying.
A thermal fogger is appropriately named since it is a device that uses heat to produce a fog without degrading the active ingredient. A thermal fogger produces a range of droplet sizes including a large number of very small droplets. The large number of very small droplets produced in a thermally generated fog also make the fog highly visible. If the evening air is cool in contrast to the mist, the thermal fog also be even more visable.
Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Cold Fog
A ULV sprayer generates fog droplets by using a high volume of air at low pressure. Such a system enables droplets of a more precise size to be generated. ULV sprayers can dispense formulations in a more concentrated form since less diluent is required. Also, the ability to be able to calibrate the machine to produce droplets of the optimum size for the type of chemical being used make ULV spraying the method of choice whenever possible.
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“In the WORKS…” Public Works and other City updates!
In the works…
STREETS: The City Council is working on a list of items to include in a bond that will be issued next year. The main focus is streets! We are prioritizing a list of streets and curbs that need to be resurfaced and replaced. This bond will take the place of the current bond that will be retiring next year. The council is planning the timing of the new bond so that the bond payments will not overlap the existing bond payments. The goal is that a project can be selected, planned and financed at the same rate as the current bond so that taxes will not need to be increased.
SEWER PROJECT: The City of Slater is working with it’s engineers on a significant change to the City’s sanitary sewer system. In 2013 the EPA passed the Nutrient Reduction Act. As a result the Iowa DNR has made changes to the permit requirements for sanitary sewers across the state. Permits are renewed approximately every 5 to 10 years. Some of you may remember when the City installed the aerators in the lagoons in the early 2000’s. That upgrade was due to a change in the permit. The City funded that upgrade with a bond from the Iowa Finance Authority that is scheduled to be paid off in 2023. The DNR has issued the City of Slater a new permit. Among other items, the new permit specifically addresses ammonia levels and the limits that must be met to avoid penalty. There are a limited number of treatment processes that can remove the ammonia to meet this new standard. The City’s only viable option is to build a wastewater treatment facility. Several types of facilities would meet the limits, but a DNR regulation requires the City to choose the facility that will produce the best result if the estimated cost of the project falls within 115% of the lowest cost option. Under this stipulation, the City will be required to build a “SBR” mechanical treatment plant at an estimated cost of $6.6 million.The City Council and staff have had many meetings with our engineers and the DNR regarding this project. We have asked many, many questions and proposed all sorts of options in the hopes of finding a solution other than to build a plant of this extent and have been unable to find an alternative. In August the City was presented with acceptable options and their associated costs. In order to have a plant designed, bid, constructed and operational by the DNR deadline of September 1, 2019, we must start making plans for this facility. Not meeting the deadline can result in fines starting at $10,000 per day. The plant will be located in the same area as the current lagoon and will use 2 of the lagoon’s current cells as flow basins.
The city will apply for all available grants, but will plan for the worst case scenario until funds are awarded. Bonds for the new facility will likely start requiring some repayment in December of 2019. The City Council has discussed paying off the existing bond early so that the City would not be making payments on both at the same time. Bond payments will need to increase from approximately $96,000 per year (current) to $205,000 per year to have the existing bond paid off by June of 2019. This is still less than the expected annual payments for the new bonds. If the City receives no grants for the new project, the annual bond payments will be approximately $407,000. The City of Sheldahl, being a significant user of our sanitary system, will be responsible for a portion of this cost unless they construct their own sanitary system.
The City Council and staff has had significant discussions regarding utility rates. We understand the importance of keeping the cost of living reasonable in Slater. We have not raised the City’s portion of property taxes in 10 years and have applied for grants across a wide variety of projects. Those grants have allowed us to do projects that otherwise would not have been funded. The City Council also refinanced the City’s current General Obligation debt (not water or sewer related) several years ago to take advantage of lower interest rates. Those bonds will now pay off 2 years earlier than originally scheduled. The City currently plans to draw new bonds once those are paid off that will fund a major street resurfacing project.
As a first step the City Council will be holding readings in October and November to increase the sewer rates starting December 1, 2016. The connection charge will be increased from $10.50 to $21.00; and the charge per 100 cubic feet will increase from $3.83 to $4.50. This will help repay the existing sewer bond by the end of 2019.
This is a big project for the City of Slater and we understand that you may have questions or concerns. We invite you to stop into City Hall, give us a call, send us an email or attend a council meeting.
The City is working with a group from Iowa State University to determine if the city wants/needs a community center and if so what should be included, how much can we afford and how can it be financed. A public meeting was held on March 30th at Ballard West Elementary. Click Slater forum report for a summary from this meeting.
The City of Slater received another grant from Story County to continue the Main Street sidewalk project. This summer, the sidewalk will be replaced on the south side of Main street in the 300 block (Marshall to Tama). The east side sidewalk and curb has been completed to the alley. Work is underway on the Main St. side. Pillars have been poured for the new street lights and sidewalk replacement is underway. The sidewalk is being replaced all the way from Marshall to Tama. Curb will follow with construction happening on the east end first. Please be careful in this area as it is always busy and there is even more going on there with the construction! When finished the sidewalks will surround the street light pillars creating handicapped access for the parking spaces in between.
The Senior Center is had facelift! Public works removed the paneling and are installed new drywall. The ceiling tiles were replaced and new lights installed. The carpet was also removed and replaced with vinyl floor covering.
The City of Slater applied for a grant from Story County and was awarded funds to replace the sidewalk, curb and entry into City Hall. The new sidewalk runs from Main St south to the alley and has a new street light and handicapped accessible ramps at the crosswalk and to the building. The City hopes to continue this type of sidewalk renovation projects through all of downtown Main Street.
The City of Slater unveiled its new logo, slogan and website! “Small Town, Big Community” describes this town perfectly! The website has been redesigned and is mobile device friendly.