A special joint meeting of the Riggins City Council and Riggins Urban Renewal Agency was called to order by Mayor Crump. Councilors Harper, McClure and Underwood were present as well as URA Board member Larry Barnard. Councilor Anderson was absent. Also present were Brian O’Morrow of Browns Industries, Gil Bates of Ida-Lew, and Tim Haener, Paul Stevens and Brett Converse from JUB. Charlie Amell was also present.
The purpose of the special joint meeting was to meet with Browns Industries and JUB officials to review the draft of the sewer facility plan and water study.
JUB officials reviewed the preliminary draft of the sewer facility plan, which included the following:
Collection System – The report, explained by Tim Haener, indicated that the collection system line size was adequate, with good hydraulic capacity and slope, with no increase in size anticipated. The report indicated that several broken sewer pipes were identified when the lines were previously inspected, but PWD Charlie Amell reported that the repairs had been made 1999 prior to the reconstruction of US #95 through town. The importance of cleaning and camera inspection of the lines was stressed. This important monitoring and maintenance should be scheduled every 2-3 years, to protect the concrete lines from corrosion by the buildup of H2S.
Haener reported that some upgrade of the sewer lift stations would be required. Both the Well Street and South Lift Stations needed alarms and sensor phones. The mill site development would require a lift station and piping across the river to reach the Well Street Lift Station, and it would have to be modified and enlarged to handle the additional flow. The report indicated that the South and North Riggins lift stations were adequately sized to handle the projected flow.
Treatment Plant – Brett Converse gave a brief overview of the present system. He recommended that the Council consider the following immediate actions: (1) complete a rate study. He indicated that both the monthly rates and connection fees should be reviewed to assure that adequate revenue is being collected to finance the system. He stressed that connection fees should be high enough to fund future expansion and capital improvements. (2) Since the plant is operating at near capacity, and the system’s sludge removal and disposal is inadequate, he recommended that a building moratorium be implemented until this critical problem is resolved. He recommended that the Council consider a filter-press system for the sludge, which is a dewatering process, and to apply for a field application permit for disposal. He stressed that this problem should be addressed as soon as possible. (3) Aeration and ragging are a problem at the plant. The system is plugging with debris, reducing the effectiveness of the process, and should be repaired. (4) The grit removal is inadequate, abrading the impellors. An automatic cleaning system is needed for the grit chambers.
Converse reviewed the various alternatives for repair and reconstruction of the treatment plant, and recommended that the Council consider upgrading the existing facility’s headworks, dewatering system, aeration, screen and grit removal as described previously, and to convert it to a membrane plant. This would address the deficiencies of the plant, and would nearly double the capacity to accommodate the projected development. JUB estimated the cost of this alternative to be $3,124,200, if the concrete of the existing basins is good.
He explained that the biological process was the same for both the present aerobic digester and membrane. The difference is in how the liquid is separated from the bacteria. The present clarifier system allows the bacteria to settle to the bottom, and the membrane system separates the bacteria by physical barrier. The membrane system is less labor intensive, but would require a higher operator certification.
In addition to the treatment plant modifications, a cost of $400,000 was estimated for the upgrades to Well Street Lift Station, and the mill site lift station and line construction.
When questioned about a time frame for the mill site development, Brian O’Morrow indicated that the timetable was not yet defined, but he indicated that late 2008 might be estimated as an aggressive date.
Converse requested that the Council review the sewer facility study draft carefully and provide JUB with their preferred alternative for improvements.
Paul Stevens then reviewed the water study with the Council. He reported that the study indicated that the water system was adequate and good for the present use as well as the sixty-four additional hookups approved for sewer. New hookups beyond those would require construction of a new well and water storage tank. However, he indicated that the present water lines were adequately sized to handle the additional flow. He reported that the Council needed to pursue the water rights for Well #2, and to encourage alternate irrigation means when available. Costs associated with the water improvements were $247,000 for the well construction and an additional $400,000 for water storage. It was also recommended that the Mill site development be required to provide alternate irrigation water, with the potable well water not used for irrigation or fire protection. It was also questioned if additional storage would be required if alternative irrigation was provided, and JUB indicated it would depend on the type of construction and development planned.
Brian O’Morrow indicated that better development plans may be available by the end of May, and maybe could be presented at the June URA meeting.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.