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Durham City Council

Contributing writer

City water and sewer supervisor Verlin Sommerfeld submitted his resignation Nov. 2 at the council meeting. His last day in that position is Dec. 31. He will continue as a member of the council.

Mayor Mike Sorenson asked if the council needed to call a special meeting to discuss criteria for the position. The council met Tuesday to discuss options.

Two ordinances were passed — a water rate increase and flood plain management.

The council decided to increase water rates Sept. 7. After Sommerfeld talked to an attorney, it was determined an ordinance was necessary. The rates will increase the minimum rate from $20 to $25 for customers outside city limits and from $12 to $15 for city residents. When any customer uses more than the 2,000-gallon minimum, the fee will increase from $3 to $4 per 1,000 gallons.

The property owner where a large, dead tree is located is not interested in removing the tree. The council discussed options with no decisions.

A street project will begin soon by Vince Jantz. The council approved two loads of rock on the angled street north of the railroad tracks and on Third Street per a suggestion by Gary Unruh.

New flags will be ordered for the fire station and park. Anna Mae Goertz agreed to continue paying for the flag at the park, which was placed as a memorial to Ben Goertz.

There were 269,200 gallons of water pumped in October and 239,560 gallons sold for an 11 percent loss. Sommerfeld estimated there was a 9 percent loss, not counting when a fire hydrant was replaced. Another fire hydrant and a flush hydrant were not draining properly and needed to be replaced, Sommerfeld said.

Gary Unruh said the hydrants may not have been flushed often enough and should be a priority in the future.

The council approved the purchase and installation of two hydrants.

A heating and air conditioning professional had been contacted to inspect a furnace at the pump house.

Bills approved were $20 for repairs in the park, $200 for digging at the former bank building, $2,551 for replacing a water hydrant near the former bank building, and $48 for water testing.

Last modified Nov. 9, 2010

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