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Durham council discusses recycling

Contributing writer

Two Durham citizens, Harry Wedel and Gary Gerringer, attended the Aug. 7 city council meeting. Wedel addressed the council concerning city recycling bins.

“I’ve been taking care of the recycling bins behind the cafe and G & R,” he said. “I want to retire from that.”

Mayor Mike Sorenson asked Wedel if the businesses’ owners, Wendell Wedel and Harry Rhodes, would be willing to take care of the recycling if the bins were open. Wedel said he thought they would. The two businesses are the largest generators of cardboard in town for recycling.

The council discussed if the bins should be left open.

“Why couldn’t we just give them each a key and let them take care of it?” Tom Harmon asked.

Verlin Sommerfeld moved to furnish the keys and Harmon seconded the motion, which carried.

Gerringer attended the meeting to ask for clarification on the city’s water report. He had received a letter from Sorenson and wondered if there were problems with chlorophorm in the last year and a half.

“I’ve never had a failed water sample,” Sorenson said. “The only violation was that one month I forgot to send in one of the two required samples. If the sample does not get in by the end of the month, a violation is noted, even if it is sent on the first day of the month.”

Gerringer was satisied with the clarification on the consumer confidence report.

Sorenson said he had prepared a letter to be sent to owners of junk cars and other eyesores in city limits. The council discussed who should receieve the letters. Arnold Sommerfeld said he thought posts put up by Gerringer in the right-of-way by his house were unsightly and unappealing.

“I put them up because I keep that area mowed and encourage grass there,” Gerringer said. “I don’t appreciate people driving through the ditch. Sometimes they drive through there when it is muddy, and I don’t like to mow over ruts.”

Although council members had heard complaints about the posts, most agreed with Gerringer’s reasoning for their placement.

As for the initial letter about junk removal, the council agreed that it should be sent to everyone. If problems persist, then specific offenders could be sinlged out.

Wedel questioned the recent increase of sewer fees for city residents.

“That seems pretty steep to me,” he said.

Sorenson explained that the sewer pond did not pass recent inspection because of erosion on the pond banks. One of the ponds had been used only for overflow. The council decided a temporary solution would be to transferr water into it from the other pond. However, the banks will have to be prepared within the next few years. As that will be an expensive project, sewer fees were raised to build up reserve funds to cover the needed repairs.

Wedel commented about the use of city streets by large trucks.

“I live right where I see a lot of trucks drive in and out of town,” he said. “Many of them use the city streets instead of the county road.”

Council members discussed erecting truck route signs, but took no action.

Last modified Aug. 15, 2012

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