The Lake Mills City Council accepted a grant of $300,000 from the Department of Natural Resources Safe Drinking Water Loan Program for replacement of lead service lines in the city.
“We applied for 75 replacements and the DNR granted us $300,000 to make sure we had enough,” said Paul Hermanson, director of public works. “If we don’t use that we are not penalized, and that money goes back to the fund.”
The city can continue to apply for the funding until the money from the fund is gone.
“Costs the city about $5,000 per lead lateral replacement,” he said.
In the first round of funding for lead service lateral replacement, the city reimbursed homeowners for 75% of their replacement costs to a maximum payment of $3,750. This resulted in an average reimbursement of $2,596, paid to the 108 residents in the program. The average total cost of replacement was about $3,460, but this cost varied widely based on the length of the line replaced and the contractor doing the work.
“Accepting this money is the right thing to do to get rid of as many lead services lines as possible,” he said.
The funds reimburse homeowners for their portion of the cost.
“We calculated the cost to reimburse 75 homeowners to be about $210,000 to $250,000 based on our past experience,” Hermanson said in a memo to the council.
There are about 180 lead service lines left in the city and Hermanson said they plan to have all the known lines replaced within three years. The city started with about 300. All of the homeowners in the city who have lead service lines have been notified, Hermanson said.
“We have the inventory list and if someone decides this year, they want to change out their lead service lines and with have funds left we will work with them.”
The council approved awarding a bid to MP Systems for Lake Mills Light and Water multi-year underground electric facility installation unit pricing contract.
“In this case what we have is a need in the city to keep up with the electric infostructure with some of the growth in the city,” Hermanson said. “This is a backup plan for us so that if our crews are not able to get underground work in fast enough to meet demand, we can go with this company and they can help us out.”
There is no cost to the city if they don’t use the contractors for work.
The council voted to disallow a claim against the city by the estate of Thomas C. Reynolds for damage to a boat lift at Sandy Beach.
“The insurance company recommends disallowance,” said City Attorney Dan Drescher.
Council member Michelle Quednow mentioned the addition of a library story walk at Wallace Park discussed recently at a Parks Board meeting.
“There will be stands with pieces of a book, you walk through the woods to read the book and end at the playground,” said Quednow.
In other business the council:
— Approved county highway aid.
— Approved a reduction of $458,710.40, leaving $547,578.13 in escrow
to the financial guarantee for the Tyranena Point subdivision after installing public improvements in phase 2. The city will retain $547,578.13 of the $1,006,288.53 financial guarantee.