Frankville water project advances
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:03 AM
Frankville's community water project is going forward.
The boundaries for the new Frankville Water District were approved by the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors Monday.
The construction schedule calls for bid letting in April, with the project completed by October 2013, according to Supervisor John Logsdon.
The Board scheduled a public meeting about the project for Monday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. at the Frankville Fire Station. Winneshiek County Attorney Andy Van Der Maaten and project Engineer George TeKippe of TeKippe Engineering in West Union plan to attend and answer questions about project procedures and construction. The community also will establish a Frankville Water District Board with up to nine members.
State revolving loan funds of $762,449 were awarded for the project earlier this year, with 50 percent in the form of a forgivable loan. Winneshiek County is sponsoring the project for the unincorporated village of Frankville.
User fees, which will be no more than $50 per month, will pay off the remainder of the loan. All residents will be required to hook up to the system.
Frankville residents have been pursuing a community water project for the past two decades. The supervisors received a petition last month from Frankville residents calling for the incorporation and organization of a rural water district.
Households are currently served by private wells, and several have tested positive for high nitrate and iron levels, bacteria and contamination.
Before the supervisors approved the water district, Van Der Maaten responded to questions raised by Frankville resident Wayne Teslow during last week's public hearing.
On whether a bond or check should be filed with the auditor for the project, Van Der Maaten said he wasn't aware that either had been filed, but said the supervisors could waive the bond if they choose to.
Teslow had asked who appoints the water district board, and Van Der Maaten explained it's done by the property owners within the District.
Teslow asked whether the $50 a month rate is guaranteed, and Van Der Maaten said it is not.
Teslow also had asked whether there is financial assistance available to low-income residents, and Van Der Maaten said he was not aware of any.
State statue requires that it must be demonstrated the project is in the best interest of all the affected residents, the county attorney said.
"That's what the Board of Supervisors is required to decide," Van Der Maaten said.
He said the supervisors had to make a finding that the proposed water district is reasonably necessary for public health, provides fire protection or is necessary for the convenience and comfort of residents.
"If you find the petition (for the water district) doesn't meet those criteria, you can decline to approve the district," Van Der Maaten said.
The supervisors unanimously approved the district boundaries as proposed.