City inspections focused on two problems: drain tile lines illegally tied into the sewer system and individual sewer service lines that were allowing water leaks.
To help residents foot the bill when repairs to property service lines were required, the city set up a special assessment fund to help residents finance repairs, utilizing money from the city’s water fund. Amounts of up to $1,500 could be financed at 3% interest for one year and as much as $5,000 for three years.
The city conducted a total of 502 inspections, with 459 of that number passing, 31 failing and 10 took advantage of the special assessment fund in 2011 with three more coming in 2012.
The city also instituted a hardship waiver in cases where digging into city streets would be required, allowing temporary fixes and then moving forward with permanent solutions during future street reconstruction. Twelve property
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owners were granted a waiver.
Sewer plant issues An issue in front of the
Annandale-Maple Lake-Howard Lake Joint Wastewater Commission during the past year also became a topic of discussion for the Maple Lake City Council.
Although the plant is running smoothly, meeting and beating state quality control guidelines, problems about odors from the plant were first brought to the attention of the commission in the fall of 2010. In December of 2010, resident Floyd Sawatzke and his son, Maple Lake Public Works Director Jerry Sawatzke, came before the commission to discuss the odors and possible remedies.
Early in 2011, the plant changed the place and amount of chemical application to address the rotten-egg smell that Floyd Sawatzke, who lives across County Road 7 from the plant, has reported.
However, the problem continued and in April, the commission was asked to buy Sawatzke’s farmsite and three acres for
$225,000 so that he could move elsewhere.
Maple Lake City Council member Deb Geyen attended the April commission meeting on Sawatzke’s behalf, noting she has visited the residence and calling the odor “horrible.” She said that the plant’s engineering firm of Bolton & Menk promised there would be no odor from the plant and should be held accountable if the commission purchases Sawatzke’s property.
In the fall of 2011, the commission installed a filtration system known as a scrubber from the City of Howard Lake, which had used the unit when the city had its own wastewater treatment plant. Although no complaints about odor were reported at the most recent commission meetings, Sawatzke, in a
January letter to the Maple Lake Messenger, said that he had not noticed any reduction in the odor from the plant at his home.
New liquor store At the end of 2010, the
city moved its municipal liquor store into a new