The Ottumwa Courier

December 10, 2013

Blakesburg sewer project almost completed

Courier correspondent

---- — BLAKESBURG — Blakesburg City Council learned Monday that the first phase of the sewer improvement project is finished.

Kent Rice, project manger for Visu-Sewer, explained that the two-year guarantee began from the date of formal acceptance, which the council unanimously approved.

In related business, the council approved project payments to VisuSewer of $69,895 to finish everything but the retainer wall, $26,236 for the retainer wall to complete the project and a $16,126 change order fee.

In other business, the council approved a $30,000 project to straighten the ditch running through the west end of the cemetery and to grade and seed the banks to prevent erosion into graves. The project is entirely funded with grant money.

The council approved contracting Anderson Larkin to perform a city audit as requested by a late summer petition from city residents. Councilman Larry Howe said he preferred a state audit, as requested by the petition, but Myers explained that, according to information from the state attorney’s office, the city had the option of choosing the auditor. Requests for a bid were mailed to three area auditors, Myers said. Anderson Larkin responded with a bid not to exceed $7,500, which was the only reply to bid request sent. Cost of a state audit starts at $7,500 and would likely be much higher, while $7,500 is the most Anderson Larkin will charge, and the cost could be less said the mayor. The completed audit will be sent to the state anyway for review and approval Myers concluded.

In other business, the council:

• Approved doing the housing assessment as part of the requirements to applying for a Community Development Block Grant to fund the second phase of the sewer improvement project.

• Approved installation of storm windows in the museum.

• Set Jan. 13, 2014, for public hearing on installation of museum attic insulation.

• Set hearing on installation of security bars on the museum windows to immediately follow the museum insulation hearing. Expense and completion of both projects to be the responsibility of Blakesburg Historic Preservation Society.

• The council heard another dog complaint. No action will be taken until follow-up investigation is completed.