Keokuk wants to finish some sewer work within the next few weeks.
The city reached an agreement with the EPA, about two years ago, to separate its combined sanitary and storm-water sewer system by Dec. 31, 2030.
The price tag for the entire project is expected to exceed $75-million, so it is being broken down into small segments.
Public Works Director Mark Bousselot said the timeline calls for a portion of the system near Soap Creek to be separated by Dec. 31, 2012.
He said all that is left to do is to disconnect three homes from the current system and reconnect them to the separated system.
Mayor Tom Marion said there are a couple of methods to accomplish that.
“We are working with the property owners to make sure that is appropriate for them,” said Marion. “We don’t want to just say this is what we are going to do.”
The city council has authorized Bousselot to seek estimates and then bids for the project, once the city and the homeowners decide how to proceed.
Bousselot said the city will be responsible for paying for the project.
Meanwhile, the city council has agreed to spend more than $30,000 on a new vehicle and equipment.
A new 4x4 truck for the bridge department will cost nearly $28,000. It will replace a nearly 20 year old truck that was rusting out and falling apart.
At the same time, the sewer department will get a new, 20’ long trailer, which carries a price tag of just under $4,000.
Prior to those decisions, it became apparent that more research is needed when it comes to extending the length of the term in office for Keokuk’s mayor from 2 years to 4 years.
That’s because there is disagreement as to the actual process.
City Attorney Audrey Alexander says it requires a vote of the people while Mayor Tom Marion, a former city attorney, is under the impression that a vote of the city council is all it takes.
Marion says they will keep reviewing the city code to resolve the disagreement.
He says at this point, the council would prefer members of the public lead the effort to lengthen the term instead of making its own decision.
The Board of Directors for the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce brought up the idea last month and urged the city council to pass the extension on its own.
That board says extending the term would improve continuity and save the city money on runoff elections.