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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Committee Refers Claim For Sewer Backup To Insurance

Issue Date: May 20, 2020

At its meeting on Tuesday, May 12 the City of Peshtigo Water and Sewer Committee moved forward with plans to expand the Peshtigo River sanitary sewer crossing, approved a request for sewer credit due to a water leak, referred a request for compensation for sewer backup to the insurance carriers involved, and were advised by BPM, Inc. General Manager Jim Koronkiewicz that he will be bringing a sewer credit request to their next meeting, which will be at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9 at the city's Municipal Building.

The committee, consisting of Fred Meintz, Dan Seymour and Chair Tom Gryzwa, also accepted a proposal from Ruekert and Mielke consulting firm to help with application for a Wisconsin DNR Clean Water Fund Loan to pay for the Sanitary Sewer River Crossing project. Cost is not to exceed $8,000. Emphasis is to be on principal forgiveness.

Improvements in the main river crossing for the sewer line are required because of overflow problems. There has been conflict between the city and BPM, Inc., mainly over sewer rate issues, and the mill has refused access to the area on which the current line is located, and needed in the initial plans for adding to the crossing.

The committee approved a motion to begin boring on the east side of the river for the new crossing, and there is a tentative plan to realign it in a way that will minimize the amount of BPM land affected by the project.

At the end of the meeting Koronkiewicz explained a request that will be coming for a sewer bill credit of approximately $1,800 for a building owned by BPM, Inc. that is leased by Tyco Fire Protection Industries of Marinette and reportedly is used for testing its fire extinguishers and/or their contents.

Koronkiewicz explained to the Peshtigo Times that the city automatically bills for sewer use based on how much water was used, but said Tyco has not been putting any wastewater into the Peshtigo sewer system since March 18, 2019, after problems with possible PFAS/PFOS content in wastewater treatment plant sludge were discovered. Koronkiewicz said since that time all wastewater from that building has been loaded into tankers and hauled to Ohio for disposal, and he is getting more information from Tyco as to how much has been hauled.

A brief report on the meeting in last week's Peshtigo Times incorrectly stated that the committee had agreed to compensate Donald Hucko for sewer backups into the basement of his home at 127 Lake Street, and to turn the $495 bill over to the city's insurance carrier. Hashimoto Sewer Service had investigated and found the backup was caused by a blockage in the city's sewer line. Gryzwa later explained the committee had not agreed to pay the bill, but had advised Hucko to turn it over to his property owner's insurance and the city's insurance carrier.

They had agreed to eliminate the sewer portion of charges to Shake A Burger that resulted from a water line break while the building was closed last winter.

Present for the meeting in addition to committee members were Director of Public Works George A. Cowell, an ex-officio member, along with Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Rebecca Barrett, Koronkiewicz, City Attorney David Spangenberg, and for the late portion of the meeting, Alderman Michael Behnke.

Cowell reported that water main flushing on the west side of the city had started on May 7.

The two main water operators are on split shift schedules because of COVID-19 precautions. Also due to COVID-19, rental procedures for water only meters have changed. Customers are sending in signed rental agreements along with the deposit amount, after which the lawn meter will be delivered directly to the customer's front porch without any in-person contact. There is sufficient personal protective equipment available for city crew workers. Cloth masks are being made for them by a local resident. Contractors have been readily available for repairs during the COIVD-19 crisis, Cowell said.

Correspondence waiving operator certificate renewal time had been received from the State. However, Peshtigo water operators are currently certified.

Cowell said a contractor would be called to repair the seal on top of the water tower on Maple Street.

The lead/copper listing was updated and sent to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Lead/copper sampling for city residents will be done this year.

There were attempts to replace the lateral at Badger Park, but the water table was only 1 1/2 feet so they will try to get in there in August. A contractor was able to turn the water valve on for Badger Park. The lateral at St. Mary's Church also needs to be replaced.

Cowell said there is a major malfunction of the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) at the main lift station, which has failed multiple times. Energenecs came out to troubleshoot, but the results were not yet available.

A blower motor needs work done. Some repairs were done on the collections system and more are scheduled. Multiple sinkholes are being repaired.

Cowell advised the committee that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request had been received for any industrial discharge records from 1981 to present. He said this will take significant time to collect.


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Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
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