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City of Davis to start $16 million waste water treatment project

By Alisha Thompson
A jam packed agenda including the 2021-22 budget, code enforcement and the new waste water treatment plant was tackled in two hours at Monday night’s 2 hour meeting.
All Davis councilmen voted to start the process on a new $16 million waste water treatment plant Monday night. This okay from the council gives the city, engineering firm and DEQ the green light to start the engineering and looking for grants to pay for this project. While the price tag is scary, the new plant will bring equipment at the plant up to date.
The new plant will add modern technology for the entire facility, eliminate the need for standalone clarification and digestion facilities, produce a smaller footprint and come with complete training, operational support and emergency response services from the Aeromod.
With the new plant is in it’s infancy stages, City Manager Andy Holland said that this project could take up to a year with the final payment for the plant being in the next fiscal year. With 1.2 million dollars already budgeted for the project and other funds in the City budget earmarked for water and sewer infrastructure, its important to realize that Turner Falls Park is what essentially funds projects in Davis.
City Treasurer/Clerk Susie Suther said that money spent at Turner Falls Park means that is an opportunity to serve different guests and bring more revenue to the park, in turn helping the City accomplish more with needed projects, like the waste water treatment plant.
In May the park made $144,000 in sales tax revenue. One third of that goes to water and sewer. Lodging tax? That goes to water and sewer infrastructure. The capitol outlay projects that were put into this year’s budget for Turner Falls Park are another reason that the City can move toward the new waste water treatment plant.
Grants are a must in this process and are already being looked at by the City and the team helping with the waste water treatment plant. The City is in contact with the a municipal financing agency to help finalize the plans for the facility. At this time, it is unclear what will be the cost passed on to Davis residents until the City exhausts all efforts to find money for the plant through additional revenue or grant writing.
Holland was given a $20,000 merit raise and a cost of living adjustment to his salary with Mayor Brian Davis and Councilmen Stan Jones and Clint Grinstead voting yes and Jeremy Bumgarner and Josh Oakley voting no. In April, councilmen went into executive session to discuss Holland’s job performance. It was said, in that executive session he was given the $20,000 raise and wasn’t awarded the cost of living adjustment.
However, that pay raise was never voted until Monday night, two months later with the cost of living adjustment included. In an effort to make payroll easier, both adjustments to Holland’s salary where implemented on Monday, the beginning of a new pay period.
Suther was awarded vacation accrual at tier three, 4.62 hours per pay period effective May 17 and the date of her annual performance review will now coincide with the fiscal year June/July.
Davis City Council
Properties located at 406 N. D Street and 406 N. B Street have been declared dilapidated and will be demolished and maintained by the City of Davis. The property located on 12th and Main was issued a six month summary abatement.
The question was asked during the discussion of code enforcement about how the new McGirt and Bossey rulings will affect code enforcement procedures in the City of Davis. While, it was suggested to proceed enforcing the rules as normal, it was also suggested that the City Attorney Mark Melton look into the new laws on the City’s behalf. Melton agreed that the City should proceed as they normally would until they get more direction from the court.
The 2021-22 budget was passed by councilmen with questions about potentially $2 million in salaries for city employees. Bumgarner asked if salaries were broken down in the budget and they weren’t. While some didn’t seem shocked that there was said to be salaries totaling that amount for all city employees others were shocked that that information wasn’t readily available.
A Fee Schedule Resolution for the City of Davis was adopted by all councilmen. The City of Davis has been actively working on updating all city codes and ordinances. In an effort to simplify and streamline codes and ordinances, Suther and officials at Municode have gone through over 400 pages of city ordinances to find all fees/fines and transfer them to one fee schedule.
When a fee/fine is mentioned in an ordinance now, it will send the reader to the fee schedule. This process is more effective in introducing the fee schedule in a resolution than going back and changing every ordinance when a fee or fine is updated.
Some fees on the fee schedule haven’t been looked at or enforced in years. The City is the process of updating the fee schedule and should you have questions about those fees, you’re asked to contact City Hall.
The insurance bond previously required by the City of Davis for food trucks/peddlers is no longer required. Suther said that after a year of working with these vendors there hasn’t been a need to file on their insurance for anything. She said that the insurance carried by the food trucks/peddlers is sufficient to protect their customers.
General contractors do not have to register with the City of Davis as of Monday night and plumbers and electricians do not have to hold a bond with the City.
In the Davis Municipal Authority Meeting, Holland told councilmen that he has asked to SORD to give the City a one year renewal agreement instead of the traditional five year agreement so the City could explore their options regarding waste removal services. This comes after SORD proposed higher rates for trash removal services.
The next City Council meeting is Monday, July 12 at 6 p.m.
(Editor’s note: Livestreaming on Facebook was an issue at Monday night’s meeting. Prior to the start of the meeting the council chambers had no internet. During the livestream it was determined there was no sound on Facebook. Every effort was made to restore sound during the meeting before the livestream ended. The public is invited to attend council meetings.)

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