Council to consider establishing a sewer commission for 2020

Council to consider establishing a sewer commission for 2020

In an October 17th memo to the City Council, mayor Mike Bawden, provided some initial thoughts on setting up a City Sewer Commission for 2020. The item is one of several slated for the COMMITTEE REPORTS section of next Tuesday’s City Council Meeting (to be held at 10/22/19).

Mike Bawden, Mayor of Riverdale

In the memo, Mayor Bawden, said the time was right to consider such a proposal, given the fact that the City of Riverdale is “fast approaching a point where we’ll have a good handle on the anticipated costs of infrastructure upgrades that will need to be made at the Waste Water Treatment Plant in West Davenport. That is the plant that services all of Riverdale’s sewage, which is conveyed to the plant through an extensive network of pipes running from Panorama Park through Riverdale and Bettendorf to Davenport.

The expected increase in costs to the City and the fact that rates have not been adjusted for quite some time mean sewer rates in Riverdale are likely to rise quickly and dramatically. The purpose of a City Sewer Commission, then, is to provide residents with an opportunity to participate in the conversations and decision-making process when it comes to building, maintaining and paying for the system.

Sewer Rates are Expected to Rise in 2020

With the memo specifically mentioning rates, Mayor Bawden provides the following information:

The City of Riverdale’s rates have not been adjusted in many years, resulting in on-going losses in the City’s Sewer Fund. Infrastructure repairs need to be paid from this fund, as well, and this past year, the Council had to move money from our General Fund to the Sewer Fund to cover that expense. While this is allowable (and we had the cash to do it), in the future, we may need to issue bonds to cover infrastructure repairs/enhancements deemed necessary by the Council.

Commission Structure and Responsibilities

According to Mayor Bawden, the Sewer Commission would be designed to operate in a manner very similar to the City’s Planning & Zoning Commission:

Much like the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Sewer Commission would meet once a quarter in a public meeting (with a posted agenda and minutes) to hear presentations, conduct their deliberations, and vote on their recommendations. Official “actions” (e.g. authorizing expenditures, setting rates, etc.) would be taken by the City Council using the research and recommendations of the commission as an important source of information.

 

Every meeting held by the Sewer Commission would include, at a minimum, a financial report on the fiscal health of the sewer fund, a collections report identifying who is delinquent in paying their sewer fees, a projection of sewer fund viability at current/proposed rates, and appropriate monitoring reports on flow and other quality metrics deemed necessary by the commission.

 

The commission would be managed by a Sewer Commission Administrator (most likely the City Administrator) to make sure notices are posted and information is made available according to the State of Iowa’s Sunshine Laws. The chair of the commission would be expected to attend meetings of the Joint Sewerage Commission – the 28E that’s being formed by Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park to oversee the operation of the 1973 Trunk Line, the Waste Water Treatment Plant and the Compost Facility.

So, what do you think of this idea? Let us know in the comments section, below …

Cleaning up your yard? Don’t leave it in the street!

Cleaning up your yard? Don’t leave it in the street!

As homeowners all over Riverdale start to get ready for falling leaves and the final weekends in the yard before the snow flies, we’d like to offer a friendly reminder: please don’t leave your yard waste in the city’s streets this fall or you could be fined for violated Chapter 135.05 of the Riverdale City Code.

In past years, the City hasn’t said much to residents who rake their grass clippings, sticks and dead leaves into the street. But now that Riverdale doesn’t have its own street sweeper and is paying an outside contractor to clean our streets, we’re mindful of the additional expense created when too much debris is in the streets to give them a good cleaning. 

We don’t sweep the streets just to make them look pretty

Leaves and grass clippings on Circle Drive sometime last fall. Please make sure your yard clippings and leaves are either burned or bagged this season.

In fact, quarterly street sweeping and drain cleaning is part of the City’s obligation to retain its storm water management certification, required for metropolitan cities of all sizes – including Riverdale. By keeping our streets and gutters free of debris, stormwater (like rain or melted snow) has a place to go and won’t pool up and freeze at night. That can save the City loads of money down the road by reducing maintenance costs and reducing risks and damage from pooling water.

This fall, City personnel will be checking our streets regularly to make sure yard waste is being handled correctly. Residents who don’t seem to have a handle on their wayward leaves and grass clippings will get a reminder notice in the mail, first. Continued failings/code violations will result in fines.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comment area, below.

Don’t forget to get your bulky waste out to the street on Friday!

Don’t forget to get your bulky waste out to the street on Friday!

Don’t forget – the citywide clean-up starts Saturday morning at 7am. If you want to make sure your bulky waste gets picked up, have it to the curb Friday night!

You can learn more about what to do with your bulky waste on Friday by going here.

How to get rid of hazardous and electronic waste

Some items shouldn’t find their way to your bulky waste pile on Friday. Hazardous items, like household cleaners, oil-based paints, solvents and the rest should be handled by people who know how to recycle and dispose of unwanted materials like that. Fortunately, the Waste Commission of Scott County has those capabilities.

The same is true for electronic waste like TVs, stereos, computers and other devices that run on electricity. In many cases, those items can be refurbished, resold and re-used. If not the Waste Commission is able to take them a part (de-manufacture) and resell the components and metals used to make them.

If you have electronic waste or hazardous materials, you can take those items directly to the Waste Commission of Scott County’s recycling center (click here for a map) in Davenport anytime during the year.

Sewer rates expected to rise in 2020.

Sewer rates expected to rise in 2020.

City officials have been telling Riverdale residents their sewer rates are unrealistically low for over two years. And now, after years of discussion and planning, costs for the shared sewer line running from Panorama Park to West Davenport have been determined by a joint body representing all of those communities.

That means the City of Riverdale can now re-set its sewer rates for residents to reflect the actual costs of belonging to this common utility.

While rates are expected to be re-set significantly higher than they have been in Riverdale, it’s expected that the rates will still be at or below rates for homeowners in Bettendorf or Davenport. Rates in Riverdale are currently as much as 80% lower than costs experienced by some Davenport homeowners.

So why has it taken Riverdale so long to re-set its rates?

There are two big factors that affect Riverdale residents’ sewer rates: determining how much of Riverdale’s “flow” is the result of commercial activity from Arconic and finalizing the cost of improvements to the jointly-owned waste water treatment plant required by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). That information now appears to be at-hand and negotiations with the IDNR to extend performance deadlines have also helped reduce costs to a degree.

The City’s plan, as it currently stands, is to start re-working calculations for sewer rates to reflect the current flow rates, planned improvements/upgrades to the City’s sewer lines (to reduce “inflow & infiltration” and, thereby decreasing flow to lower costs), and projected capital improvements at the waste water treatment plant in West Davenport. Ideally, that work will involve the new City Treasurer (assuming a satisfactory candidate can be found expeditiously).

Once preliminary calculations are done, the City will host an open meeting with the public to walk through the issues, process used to calculate the new sewer rates, projected effects of adding homes in the Woods Estates development and to solicit feedback.

There is no delay expected in first-quarter billing for 2020 at this time.

City Parks Planning Project

City Parks Planning Project

Kelly Krell, City Council Member

The City’s consulting engineer, MSA Professional Services, provided a draft of a parks planning proposal for City Council consideration. The initial draft had been reviewed with Council Member Kely Krell (who has helped drive the City’s parks and recreation projects for the past 18 month or so).

The current draft is under consideration by the Council who will discuss it in more detail at their 10/22 meeting. The cost for the consulting services is $12,600.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The proposal from MSA consists of three parts:

PART 1: Project kickoff and analysis of existing conditions; work will include development of maps of the existing parks and recreational facilities in the City of Riverdale; development of a map of the existing park service areas and the creation of a map showing existing trail and pedestrian systems.

PART II: Community engagement; work will include both face-to-face and online engagement of members of the community to gain their input and insights into what should be done with Riverdale’s natural assets.

PART III: Needs Assessment and Plan Development. 

Budget:

Consulting Services Budget = $12,600

Project Bid Date:

October 22, 2019

Project Start Date:

TBD

Project Completion Date:

TBD

 

 

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Havens Acres – MRT Boundary Fence Project

Havens Acres – MRT Boundary Fence Project

MSA Professional Services reports the survey crews are expected to finish mapping and staking the border between the MRT and Havens Acres residents before the next City Council meeting.

Once the boundary has been fixed, the City will meet with residents to discuss options in order to produce an accurate scope of work for fencing contractors to review and bid on. Once bids are opened, the City and residents will meet again to discuss how the project will be financed.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

A fencing contractor will be required to construct a fence between the Mississippi River Bike Trail and homes adjacent to that trail based on design and budgetary guidelines found to be mutually agreeable to both the city and residents of Havens Acres. The fence is intended to prevent automotive traffic from driving between the MRT and the neighborhood (across lawns, etc.).

Budget:

Estimated Budget = $50,000

Project Bid Date:

TBD

Project Start Date:

TBD

Project Completion Date:

TBD

 

 

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Percent Complete

Fieldcrest Road Drainage Project

Fieldcrest Road Drainage Project

The City’s engineering firm, MSA Professional Services, informed the City Council that it intended to provide a proposal on this project by October 15 so it could be discussed at the October 22 meeting.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

MSA Professional Services is currently working on a definitive scope of work based on their analysis of the scour erosion occurring at the pipe discharge from Fieldcrest Road and the creek bed that is intended to carry the water away and to Duck Creek. The problem exists in both Bettendorf and Riverdale and will probably require the cities to work together to address the situation.

Budget:

TBD

Project Bid Date:

TBD

Project Start Date:

TBD

Project Completion Date:

TBD

 

 

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Percent Complete

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project

Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project

MSA Professional Services reported to the City Council that they have applied for a project permit from the Iowa DNR so work can begin this spring. The project is currently in the cue for bidding in January of 2020.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The sub-contractor will be expected to supply all labor, equipment and materials to seal and rehabilitate identified sanitary I&I points in the southern part of Riverdale.

Budget:

TBD

Project Bid Date:

January 2020

Project Start Date:

TBD

Project Completion Date:

TBD

 

 

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Percent Complete

Havens Acres Roadway Rehabilitation Project

Havens Acres Roadway Rehabilitation Project

The City’s engineering firm, MSA Professional Services, updated the City Council that plans were 95% complete and ready for the bidding process which is expected to take place in January of 2020. Work should commence on this project later on that calendar year.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The sub-contractor will be expected to supply all labor, equipment and materials to rehabilitate roadways on Wysteria and Kennsington Drive.

Budget:

Approved Capital Budget = $300,000

Project Bid Date:

January 2020

Project Start Date:

TBD

Project Completion Date:

TBD

 

 

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Percent Complete

(Updated) Manor Drive Residential Drainage Line repair estimated – could run as high as $11,300.

(Updated) Manor Drive Residential Drainage Line repair estimated – could run as high as $11,300.

A photo of the sinkhole discovered near the malfunctioning drain line on Manor Hill.

(Updated 10-09-19) This past weekend, a sinkhole appeared next to one of the small manholes located near the original source of concern on this project. The City’s maintenance person visited the site on Monday and set out some cones to make residents aware of the anomaly.

In the meantime, the City continues its search to determine the owner of the drain line so repairs can be made. Despite claims made at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting (that no one will ever find any paperwork saying who owns the drain line), the City will look through its records and records filed with the county to see if there are any records of the conveyance of the drain line to the City.

If there are no records of a conveyance, then the drain line belongs to the residents to which it’s connected and, subsequently, their responsibility to maintain. Failure or refusal to do so may carry consequences for the owner, not to mention inconveniences to both the owner and his/her neighbors.

While it’s not entirely clear what the City’s role in remediating this problem, should the owner refuse or neglect to address things in a timely manner, action is already being taken to make a determination in that regard.

Please continue to follow this story on the City’s website for future updates.

(Updated 10-01-19) The City’s engineering firm, MSA Professional Services, has provided a letter summarizing this problem and estimated costs for repair.

According to MSA’s Chris Cooper, it’s been determined the rear yard drainage line in question is plugged and only effecting one household in the neighborhood. The recommendation is to hydro-jet the line and then inspect it with a camera in an attempt to identify the cause of the problem. The estimated cost to do this is $1,200 – $1,500. According to MSA, further repairs to the line could run as much as an additional $4,500.

Ownership of the line still remains to be determined. If the line is not owned by the City, effected residents may want to only repair the line as outlined above. If the City of Riverdale owns the line, MSA recommends replacement of the line from 234 to 250 Manor Drive as the first phase of a larger program to reconstruct the line all the way to Fieldcrest Road.

It is the engineer’s assessment that much of the line is in very poor condition and will need to be replaced at some point in the future. The cost of such a project starts at around $11,300. Additional time and materials required to obtain waivers and repair, re-seed and blanket the land disturbed by the project has not been estimated at this time.

A copy of the letter from MSA to the City of Riverdale can be found by clicking here.

(Original Post 09-13-19) At its September 10th meeting, the City of Riverdale’s City Council asked MSA Professional Services to look into a drainage issue affecting the rear yards of several residents on Circle and Manor Drives.

A preliminary investigation of the problem (summarized in this memo to the City Council), led to the request.

Meanwhile, the City is currently looking into records of development in the area to determine who actually owns the line that appears to be clogged. Once ownership/responsibility for maintenance is determined, the City will sit down with residents to walk through the various options available to address the problem and repair the drain line.

Recycle your e-waste and household hazardous materials this Tuesday.

Recycle your e-waste and household hazardous materials this Tuesday.

ARCONIC and the Waste Commission of Scott County are holding an event for employees of ARCONIC and Riverdale residents, allowing you to bring e-waste and hazardous materials to the ARCONIC main parking lot for collection. Electronic waste processing costs are covered by ARCONIC.

WHERE: ARCONIC Main Parking Lot; 4879 State Street
WHEN: Tuesday, October 8, 2019 from 2pm – 6:15pm

Electronic Waste Guidelines

  • Examples of electronic waste include: computers, monitors, laptops, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, radios, video game equipment, printers, scanners and digital cameras.
  • Household or personal care appliances (e.g. hair dryers, electric razors) are not included.

All material is processed by the Waste Commission of Scott County’s Electronic Demanufacturing Facility. The facility is R2 (Responsible Recycling) Certified, ensuring environmental stewardship and data security.

 

Hazardous Material Guidelines

  • Examples of hazardous material accepted at the event include: paints, stains, varnishes, pesticides, fertilizers, weed killers, bug killers, cleaners, automotive fluids, adhesives, resins and fluorescent bulbs.
  • Containers cannot be returned.
  • Please label containers that are unmarked.
  • Glass containers should be packed to prevent breakage.
  • Please keep items in original containers and never mix materials together.

All material is processed by the Waste Commission of Scott County’s Household Hazardous Material Facility.

NOTE: Please remain in your vehicle. Smoking is not allowed. Please do not bring tires, appliances or business waste.

Bulky waste should be to your curb by Friday night, October 18th!

Bulky waste should be to your curb by Friday night, October 18th!

There’s a city-wide clean-up scheduled for Saturday, October 19th – but if you get your bulky waste to the curb that morning, you could be too late. Pick-up is scheduled to start at 7am, so we recommend you get your garbage to the street the night before!

Remember, the City’s waste contractor, Republic Services, picks up yard waste along with your garbage and recycling every Monday in the fall, so you don’t need to get that material to the curb on Friday night. Instead, the October 19th pick-up is to handle large, bulky items as described on the Republic Services website:

Some items are too large to fit in your trash container. We know you don’t always have the time or ability to dispose of your large, bulky waste items. Junk removal and bulk trash is our job … including appliance pick up, furniture removal, and mattress pick up – so you don’t have to worry about it.

Bulk waste includes items that are typically too large to be disposed of in your regular curbside trash container. To help you get rid of these large items, Republic Services offers easy bulk trash pickup for recycling or disposal, so you don’t have to haul them to a landfill. Bulk items typically include: couches, lamps, rugs, mattresses, and large appliances without Freon.

If you have any other questions, you can contact us through our website and we’ll get back to you with an answer.