Letter to the Editor: Pete Allen

Some thoughts on city progress from the minutes of commission meeting on July 5th.

  1. “City Manager Comments: City Manager gave the Commission an update on his discussion with K.D.H.E. and issues that the City needs to correct. The first item is A.D.M. and the wastewater the city receives from them. A.D.M. has reduced their frequency of loads by 30%”.
  2. The City is improving its lagoon system with better aeration and testing of A.D.M. waste to determine the best treatment measures.
  3. Also, the Davis Lift Station bypass into Buck Run Creek is to be eliminated or reduced at the very least.
  4. A.D.M. is working on a lagoon to be a healthy aerobic system. A.D.M. is working with the Missouri Department of Health on a long-term management on a healthy lagoon system, up to and including the possibility of a redundant lagoon.

These are issues of non-compliance (or possible non-compliance) within our sanitary sewer system.  For several years we have been dumping loads of untested waste from the ADM plant directly into our treatment facility.  Hopefully this practice will end with the proposed lagoon system by ADM.  Elimination of the bypass (overflow) at the Davis pump station is a monumental task, one that will not be achieved until the I & I (inflow and infiltration) of our aged collection system is addressed.  That is a project that may never be completed, and we will continue dumping raw, untreated sewage into Buck Run.  The pumps at Davis simply will not handle the quantity of flow during a rain event.  But glad to see positive action being taken. We are years behind on replacement/repair of our sewer distribution system.

  1. “City Manager said that he has been in contact with Frank Young of AG Engineering regarding the dam at Lake Fort Scott. City Manager updated the Commission that there are currently bids out for the buildup for the top of the Lake Fort Scott dam per permit requirements”.

The issue I have here is a question and a comment.  Per the governing body direction, we hired the firm of Earls Engineering and Inspection to handle engineering for Fort Scott.

Question…. Why were they not utilized for the proposed work at the dam?

Comment…Per state requirements, any work on our dam is to be permitted by the state with engineering drawings and specifications completed by a licensed, professional engineer.  The project put out for bids include no specifications and there is only a sketch to show the scope of the work.  That sketch carries no PE stamp and was not made available to all the bidders until minutes prior to the bid opening.  There were 2 bidders, and a 3rd bidder declined to bid the project due to lack of specifications and scope of work.

  1. The last item is the lake valve restoration as an auxiliary source of water for the City of Fort Scott. Under “new business” “Consideration of engineering firm for Lake Fort Scott valve – Michael Mix, Water Utilities Director, informed the Commission that RFP’s were taken for the lake valve at Fort Scott Lake engineering. Michael said that there were two RFP’s received: Midwest Engineering Group, LLC and Allgeier, Martin & Associates, Inc. He said that he is familiar with both firms, and they would both do a great job. His recommendation is for Midwest Engineering Group, L.L.C.
  2. Van Hoecke moved to approve the engineering firm of Midwest Engineering Group, L.L.C. for the Lake Fort Scott valve. M. Wells seconded. All voted aye.

My question is again, “Why are we not utilizing Earls for this work”?

Final Comment:  I am proud our work over the past 2 ½ years has contributed to the awareness of problems with our infrastructure and steps are now being taken to make much needed improvements. The simple issue of using designated funds for the utility generating those funds are now making these improvements possible.  The public’s vote on the administrations misguided attempt to change the ordinance to allow the funds to be transferred to the general fund was a lifesaver for the City of Fort Scott.  This was proposed CO 32 that was defeated by a 3 to 1 margin.  I personally thank the voters.

 

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