The Newton City Council heard from Public Works Director Keith Laube about the Inflow/Infiltration Program that reduces the inflow of groundwater into the sanitary sewer system.
Laube informed the council that city staff inspected all 306 properties in the 1st District. Thirteen properties remained to be dye tested, but must wait for wetter ground conditions.
He noticed issues with the current program.
“There has been a couple of situations that have come up and that require some word changes in the ordinance,” Laube said to the council.
The program requires homeowners to be quoted by three contractors, and it can be difficult to get the third quote. Laube believes that reducing a quote would allow for more projects to be done quicker.
The 2nd District was also inspected. One hundred properties need to be dye tested, but must wait for wetter ground conditions.
Laube suggested that a contractor be recommended, to base cost around, for homeowners. The homeowner can find a different contractor, but will only receive reimbursement of the recommended estimates from the appointed city contractor.
Newton Mayor Michael Hansen wanted to make it clear that the city will not force homeowners to use the city’s recommended contractor.
“Just for some clarity, the homeowner and contractor relationship still stays intact,” Hansen said. “If the homeowner wishes to have someone else do the work, and it costs more then the unit prices that we have awarded in that district, they can proceed on with their contractor choice. They will just be reimbursed at that level of unit pricing.”
Laube also suggested a grace period be granted for someone who recently acquired property, and just found out about a previous compliance letter.
Staff writer Matthew Shepard may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.