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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Rich Sparks Named Outstanding Operator

Issue Date: February 23, 2022

Tuesday, Feb. 22 was the last time George Cowell as Peshtigo City Engineer, Public Works Director, walked through the doors of the City of Peshtigo Council Chambers to attend his final Water and Sewer Committee meeting due to his retirement.

Cowell advised the committee of several tasks that need to be accomplished to meet all the guidelines of the DNR and to be in compliant.

First on the agenda was a suggestion to obtain proposals for a water tower inspection. The city will have to do a drawdown which is required every 10 years. The last time it was completed was in 2009. You will have to put out a request for proposal. The towers will also need cleaning and spot repair. There was a robotic done five years ago.

Cowell advised of some projects that have been done or need to be done again. Televising of the sewer at Ellis Ave. by the Zion Lutheran Church was completed due to roots causing a problem and suggested to do a proposal on doing a small slip line in that area. Cowell indicated he will reach out for a proposal to get that done.

Cowell mentioned "In the March/April timeline, cleaning of sewers should be done. I suggest to review what has been completed recently and then start cleaning the next round of sewers. Industrial park was mostly cleared last year. Another item that needs attention is replacement of valves at the treatment plant. I did get a quote for replacement, but the City will need to advertise for a proposal to get the work done".

Rich Sparks added, "The Sub Temp System for phosphorus removal was completed early last week and we are seeing good results from that with the effluent going out, we are heading in the right direction". Cowell interjected stating, "Robert E Lee will be submitting a permanent solution to the DNR".

Cowell then added, "The plant inspection went well and we are very close of being in compliance. We are down to one clarifier and there is follow up needed for that. Also, someone needs to contact Marinette County Emergency Management Coordinator Kathy Frank to get that up to speed. There are also two water main projects that need to be completed and a proposal will be need to get that done. The DNR does check to make sure that the system plan is up to date so you will want to have that done".

At present the emails are going to Cowell's email address and he advised to setup city emails for Jeff Thompson and Mark Madden so they can start getting their own emails rather than maintaining my previous email.

Cowell added, I would like to acknowledge Rich Sparks for a really nice accomplishment he received from the DNR. Sparks was nominated Operator of the Year by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Cowell shared a letter from Amy Garbe, DNR Wastewater Engineer, Bureau of Water Quality that stated: "On behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, It is my pleasure to notify you that the Wastewater Program reviewed operators around the state and Rich Sparks was nominated and selected as a winner of the Outstanding Performance of an Operator 2020 award. The DNR announced the award winners at the Government Affairs Seminar on Feb. 17, 2022.

BPM General Manager Jim Koronkiewicz was present and made the comment, "Three weeks from now will be one year since BPM requested the City to remove or abandon the sanitary sewer line that crosses BPM property. As of yet, we have not received a response and it hasn't been on any agenda to be discussed. We have a conference call set up with our attorney and we will be determining what BPM's next steps are".

Before moving into closed session, Water and Sewer Committee Member Dan Seymour ended the meeting saying, "I would like to congratulate George on his retirement on behalf of the department . We appreciate all you have done for us, you have been a tremendous help".

The meeting then went into closed session for deliberation or negotiating the purchasing of public properties, the investing of public funds or conducting other specified public business and conferring with legal counsel who is rendering oral or written advise concerning strategy with respect to litigation which is likely to become involved in reference to the Town of Peshtigo Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment/ Sewer/ River Crossing.

After reconvening into open session, a motion was approved to move into closed session to be discussed further at the next joint Water and Sewer Committee/ Council meeting on Tuesday, March 1 with a recommendation to Council to approve the motion that was made in closed session of the Water and Sewer Committee meeting of Feb. 22. Council will then convene into closed session at the joint meeting on March 1 to discuss further.


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