Lind struggles to keep city staff on board
Last updated 5/10/2021 at 3:08pm
LIND – Mayor Paula Bell reported David Christian resigned April 13, and advertisements for his replacement had no response as yet, at the April 27 council meeting. She reported Chris Miller has also submitted a two-week notice, with his employment to end May 7.
Council approved hiring Cagney Wills for full-time employment at $15 per hour, with retro-pay beginning April 24. Bell reported Wills had performed the rounds at the treatment plant Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24.
Bell reported ongoing problems at the lift station, including only one pump working at the time. Bell said a public hearing will be held May 11 to apply for a USDA grant/loan to purchase two new pumps. Bell said the estimated cost of $60,000 includes wiring, installation and possibly a new collection basket. She said Joe Pessutti is meeting with a pump representative to see about possibly renting a pump and evaluating it for purchase at an estimated $7,500. Bell said Pessutti reported presenting the previous council with the need to replace the pumps in 2012.
“He gave strong warning to the then-council about problems needing addressed, and they never were,” Bell said, adding both pumps were part of an original project in 1998-2000. “If the existing pump goes out, and now we are only using one, we are up a creek. The next step would be no pumps, and we ask for some outhouses.”
“I don't suppose people on the south side will take kindly to using a sani-can,” a councilman pointed said.
The meeting began with a public hearing on the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Plan, facilitated by Steve Nelson of Century West Engineering. No members from the public were present, and council accepted the transportation plan, with the addition of Sprague Street between Main and First Street South.
Nelson reported traffic sensors were being installed throughout various parts of town.
“If you see something in the road, please don't drive around it. Drive over it so we can count you,” Nelson said.
Bell said lady pilots from the 99's painted the letters LIND on the airport apron Saturday, April 17. The 99's are an international organization of licensed women pilots headquartered out of Oklahoma with a local chapter in Northeast Washington and North Idaho. Bell said Marjy Leggett, Executive Director of the Washington Airport Management Association was one of the pilots in attendance, who suggested the town sign up to join the group. Bell said member airports are eligible for funds to upgrade airports. The cost is $85 per year for a community service airport, and $55 per year for a local service airport. Council tabled the decision for a future date.
Mayor reported an appointment for herself, Pessutti and Casey Monge to meet with a representative from Barr Tech at the wastewater treatment plant was cancelled when he didn't show up. The meeting was to address getting rid of biosolids. Bell reported due to staffing issues the town is having, there is no one trained or available to run the wastewater treatment plant. Monge offered to hire an employee herself to take care of the treatment plant, then she would bill the city for reimbursement of the wages. The town would still be responsible for day-to-day duties.
“Harrington is having the same problems as us,” Bell said. “They can't get people to stay working after being trained, so she is working with that plant, too.”
After discussion, Bell said she would get more details from Monge.
Bell asked about future council meetings, and the majority of council members agreed they would like to meet in person, with phone conferencing available as needed. In a discussion about opening City Hall to the public, Bell said she wasn't sure what Phase the county is in, and they still don't have a protective shield installed. Council will discuss it at a later date, after the shield is installed.
In other news, council:
– Heard there is a signed contract with HLT Construction to use Well No. 9 for completion of the Lind-Hatton intersection, a county road project.
– Approved a motion to purchase a “Welcome to Lind” glossy page for $725 in the Adams County 2022 Visitors Guide produced by Free Press Publishing.
– Were reminded May 17-21 is the filing period for the upcoming election, with council members Richard Baldwin, Kathy Vedder, Rose Elkington and Mayor Bell up for re-election in November.