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Delphos council approves temporary ’13 budget PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:11 PM

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DELPHOS — Delphos will operate on a temporary budget after City Council passed an ordinance Monday extending the current budget through March 31, 2013.

Councilmen would like Safety Service Director Greg Berquist to revisit the General Fund account balances to shave off nearly $90,000 to bring the 2013 appropriations to the same as 2012 at $3,320,778. The appropriations now stand at $3,410,000.
By law, council must have a budget in place by April 1.

The city is also looking at its options after a failure in membrane plates at the wastewater treatment plant in August. When the plant was in its planning stages, city officials were told the plates would last at least 10 years and perhaps longer before they would need to be replaced. The plates in one of the trains at the plant are now failing and upon inspection, tears have been found in the membranes.
“If they have tears, they aren’t filtering anything,” Berquist said. “Everything is moving right through them and this is causing problems with our discharge. The numbers are off and we have to report it to the EPA.”

Berquist said the train with the faulty plates is now offline while newly-hired workers clean the plates individually. A crane was also rented to lift the train and will be needed again to put it back and lift the next one. Someone has also been hired to retrieve data from the system, which captures a snapshot of the system every five seconds, to see when the problem started.

“That is a huge amount of data to sort through,” Berquist said. “We need to find out when the anomalies occurred and what effect they had on the system. We are also trying to see when these failed and if we have any recourse in recovering the cost of all the cleaning and the retrieval of the date. We need to know if it’s a product liability, programming error or bad design. We just don’t have enough information yet.”

There are 52,000 membranes or plates in the system. Each one costs $85 to replace.

Berquist also received notification from Bunge’s lawyer granting the city a utility right-of-way near the railroad tracks and South Cass Street to put in a water loop that will provide clean water to residents at the end of the water line on that street.

Residents have been attending city council meetings on a regular basis hoping to get the matter resolved. They have been experiencing discolored water which affects laundry and drinkability.

Police Chief Kyle Fittro spoke briefly to council outlining his department’s effort to work with local schools on lock-down drills and other ways the schools can prepare students for the event of someone entering buildings with weapons.

Fittro said the ALICE training, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, is going well with both schools done with the first phase and working on the second.

Menke Edition resident Michael Edelbrock spoke to council about a sewer line issue he experienced. His sanitary sewer backed up into his home and when a plumber he hired to assess the situation put a camera through the line, it was found the wrong pipe with the wrong guage was used and the sanitary sewer line was run through the storm sewer line.

“I just wanted to the city to be aware of the potential problems since the addition has been annexed into the city,” Edelbrock said.

Councilman Jim Knebel questioned if the city had any recourse and Berquist said the entity that built the addition was dissolved.

In other business:
• An ordinance allowing for the creation of an assistant foreman in the Maintenance Department to be hired from within was defeated on third reading Monday; and
• First Ward Councilman Rick Hanser announced he will not seek re-election. Hanser has served on council since January 2000. Candidates have until Feb. 5, 2013, to submit their petitions for the May 7 Primary Election.


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