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City ponies up another $10,000 for asbestos removal of old hotel - Albia Newspapers: News

City ponies up another $10,000 for asbestos removal of old hotel

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Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 10:20 am

A reluctant Albia City Council on Monday voted to pay another $10,927 to Triple A Environmental for the removal of asbestos at the old hotel. The company’s original bid was $26,000, which was about half the original estimate of $55,000. Even with the additional $10,927, the cost should come about $20,000 under the original estimate.

That was small comfort to council members. Under the rules of asbestos removal, a company presents a bid for everything they can see and then the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and EPA inspect to present a “clean site.” The DNR and EPA inspectors found more asbestos following their inspection under a portion of the roof and roof flashing. Of the $10,927, $4,317 is for the removal of portions of the roof.

A re-inspection will occur and hopefully a clean site will be approved. At that point the building can be razed. In the meantime, the council will serve notice on the owner that it is his responsbility to cover windows and doors with plywood to secure the building.

A serious problem with sewer hook-up on a rental house at 517 A Avenue East came to the mayor and council’s attention. Apparently, Municipal Pipe, the company doing sewer replacement in Albia, had to replace a portion of line that had “twisted.” The work was done by a subcontractor. After the repair of the pipe and street, it was discovered that the home at 517 A Avenue East had not be hooked back up to the main line and its raw sewage was backing up into the basement.

There is apparently disagreement on whose responsibility it is to ensure the proper connection. “Why would it be our responsibility to see that the laterals come off the main sewer line are reattached?” asked Councilman Bryon Stilley. Both Stilley and Mayor Clark expressed their shock that the situation has gone on for two weeks. Mayor Clark said neither the residents or the property owners had contacted him about the problem.

As a temporary fix until spring, a line is being run from the house to a sewer main in an empty lot.

“There’s a lot of expense to the property owner that will come back to the city,” said Mayor Clark. Both the council and mayor said the mistake was the subcontractors and thus Municipal Pipe and that it would likely ended up in some sort of legal battle.

The council voted to cut ties with long-time city engineering firm Garden and Associates over lack of action on an order by the EPA and DNR on a new sewage facility plan. Five years ago the city was fined for lack of compliance in its sewage plan and lagoons and given five years to rectify the matter. Councilman Stilley said two years had passed and nothing had been done by the city’s engineering firm.

The council voted to hire Hall Engineering firm in Centerville to address the issue.

The council approved a final agreement with the Trails Committee to provide local option sales tax funding. Any language of suspending payments due to city financial problems was removed, but a two-year review of how money is being spent by the Trails Committee was included in the document.

The council approved a recommendation by the planning and zoning commission to official vacate an alley on property owned by Dr. Gerald Haas on South Eighth.

The council continued its discussion on dilapidated houses and the Chariton Valley Housing Trust. The way the Housing Trust works is that the city condemns property, the Housing Trust gets the property, pays to have them torn down, sells the property and uses the money to tear down more nuisance housing.

Councilman Tom Adler brought up a situation where a neighbor is willing to pay for the cost of demolition plus off the city money for the lot. The council agreed that they could remain selective on some of the properties being condemned, but liked the Chariton Valley Housing Trust model for removing nuisance housing.

City Clerk Linda Heller said health insurance quotes had come in and the city’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance would rise only 7.2 percent. Some health insurance plans are rising over 30 percent.

© 2017 Albia Newspapers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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