MINSTER – Input from concerned citizens resulted in the Minster Village Council putting the brakes on a request for emergency approval of a resolution to allow yogurt giant Dannon Company to increase their daily wasterwater output from 880,000 to 1.1 million gallons. Instead the group opted for a second reading of the resolution at Tuesday night’s meeting. Council members felt this action would allow extra time for questions to be answered and possible visits to the facility by concerned residents. It is expected that a third and final reading of the resolution will occur at the May 15 council meeting.
Several Minster residents, concerned about whether odor issues are being considered in this agreement between Dannon and the Village, wondered whether there was enough preparation for this increase in wastewater volume. Resident Craig Sherman said Dannon had a poor track record in dealing with foul odors. He felt that before a wasterwater increase was approved, time was needed to see how the recently installed odor treatment methods worked at the current daily limit of 880,000 gallons.
Village Administrator Donald Harrod said Dannon’s current wastewater permit expired May 1. It is expected the company will wait to resubmit a permit application to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will allow the desired increase to 1.1 million gallons daily. The EPA requires that Minster approve the company’s increase before the state agency can approve the application.
As part of the permit negotiations with Minster, Dannon had committed to paying for costs associated with the increased wastewater output, including $25,000 files for each time the company went over the 1.1 million gallon limit and up to $9 million to expand the wastewater treatment plant if the plant cannot handle the load. At last night’s meeting, Harrod said Dannon had called recently, taking the $9 million dollar cap off their obligation should there be a need to expand the wastewater treatment plant the company uses now.
In other business, the council approved a second reading of an ordinance to protect the village water supply by ensuring that there is no cross -contamination from sources such as cisterns and lawn watering system. Within five years, the EPA will require each home and business in the village to have a back flow regulator. Compliance would be ensured by yearly inspections of each property.
Also approved was payment of a $226,435.48 invoice from Paulus Excavating for work at the new industrial park. Village Administrator Don Harrod said the project is almost 65% completed, with costs coming in well below original estimates. He said this invoice, added to a previous bill of around $193,500 totaled approximately $420,000 so far. This amount is less than the previous estimate of $1.6 million to complete the project. Harrod said they had saved money by having village employees doing much of the work. Paulus has already installed curbs and gutters and pavement is expected to be installed next Wednesday. Final work will be on the installation of sanitary sewer and lift station within the next week.
Council decided that Second Street will be the site for the Northeast Sewer project that will deal with two issues; current water backup problems along Lincoln and Hanover streets and also to accommodate extra sanitary sewer output that will come from two new residential project being built northeast of town north of 5th and 7th streets. It is anticipated that the project will start in October 2018. No amount was named for the project at this time, with the cost to be added to the 2019 village budget.
In his report to council Administrator Harrod said:
• Paving on the Fifth Street project is drawing to a close with a final coating of asphalt expected next week. Once the contractor completes back-filling of curb lawns, a nursery company will come in and seed the disturbed areas.
• Buehler Asphalt is expected to start patching in various areas in town as well and laying new asphalt on Seventh Street.
• The village electric department has begun installing the armed forces banners along South Main Street. Harrod said their crews also had added 12 new LED lights in street lamps.
• In honor of Arbor Day on April 27, the village invited the fourth-grade class to help plant a new tree at Four Seasons park. Each student received a sycamore tree to take home.
In other business, council approved:
• Purchase of a $36,319 Kohler Diesel Generator for the industrial park life station. The successful bidder was Buschor Electric.
• Hiring of additional seasonal pool lifeguards.
• Payment of invoices over $3,000.
• Invoices totaling $1,182,758.87.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.