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June 10, 2013 Summary
MARION CITY COUNCIL MEETING
City Hall – Council Chambers on June 10, 2013, 7:30 PM
ROLL CALL – 7 members answered – Mr. Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Osborn, Mr. Daniels, Mrs. Gustin, Mr. Schaber; Mr. Cumston moved to excuse Mrs. Blevins, Mr. Smith and Mr. Edwards; Mr. Ratliff 2nd. Roll call: ayes all, motion carried. All 3 council persons are excused.
THE LORDS PRAYER
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Summary of Proceedings for May 28, 2013, Mr. Cumston moved, Mr. Osborn 2nd. Roll call: Ayes all, motion carried. Summary is approved.
ORDINANCE TO VACATE A CERTAIN 16.52’ WIDE NORTH/SOUTH ALLEY BETWEEN 436, 442 N. MAIN ST. & 443 N. STATE ST. (LOTS 545, 546, 553 & 554) PURSUANT TO ORC 723.041 RETAINING PERMANENT EASEMENT RIGHTS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY (Applicant, BEC Realty)
Mr. Thomas noted that this came out of Streets & Sewers with a 3-0 recommendation for approval, this will be the 2nd reading this evening and will have a Public Hearing on June 24, 2013. ORDINANCE 2013-26 HAS HAD ITS 2ND READING
ORDINANCE BY THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF MARION, OHIO DECLARING A MORATORIUM PROHIBITING THE INTRODUCTION OF CHLORAMINES TO THE WATER SYSTEM WITHIN THE CITY OF MARION, OHIO CREATING A PENALTY RELATED THERETO AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Thomas noted that this was not in a committee. Mr. Cumston moved to open this for public discussion.
Mr. Ratliff spoke: Council and the audience are still in an informative stage. Will you wait 30 days so as we can continue to look at this. Mr. Scott Ballinger, manager for the water company. I’d like to introduce Ed Kolodziej.
Mr. Kolodziej spoke: 2 weeks have already passed; we are almost at 30 days now. We need to answer those questions that were posed. We also met with the County Commissioners and some constituents in their meetings as well. One compelling question, where are we with, complying with the EPA regulations vs. the local ordinance. Our attorneys have looked at it and have had discussions with your Law Director. Short answer is we are in a difficult position to comply with the Federal regulations. Aqua’s manner in which we conduct business as compared with Ohio American; when we bought Ohio American the first of May, the process for this change was under way. 3rd quarter in 2011 was when the process started. There are many pieces to the process. March 29th of this year, was the final date the EPA had rendered that all that was going on before.
Mr. Ratliff asked what is your projected date to start. And are you willing to hold off for more study of this.
Mr. Kolodziej said after we got approval from the EPA on March 29th, as of 2 weeks ago, the equipment was delivered. Nothing has started up as of yet. If we do not start very soon, it is likely that across the 4 sites that are measured, 3 of the 4 are likely not to comply this summer with the disinfection products. If we don’t comply, we will get a violation from the EPA and have to face the consequences of not complying with Federal law. We would like to start in the next week or so.
Mr. Cumston asked about atrazine, are you aware of it? Mr. Kolodziej said he knows of an insurance issue of that settlement, I don’t know of that pot of money that Mr. Bowcock refers to.
Mr. Daniels said chloramines are a word that is unfamiliar to us. Atrazine does inspire fear. I spoke with a pathologist on this, he was neutral on chloramines. Pesticides in the water. If have little information, I have gone through the internet, and a lot of it is pure bunk. Atrazine, how do you remove that from the water? Mr. Kolodziej said that Mr. Schwing would have to answer that. He went on to say, the fear of chloramines, the smell of cleanliness, a cup of ammonia in the water. 2 drops in 13 gallons of water. The fear becomes lack of prospective. If there were 3 alternatives, and the EPA approved all 3, then we look at the impact that will be done on Marion. 13 months ago, 22.9% increase they wanted. We cut that in half. I don’t’ have a direct response to Mr. Bowcock’s $13.00. We went to the consulting firm that did the estimates of chlorination to give us numbers. The .80 cents a month is solid. The other alternatives are more capital intensive. Even if my estimate could be cut in half, it’s still 5 X more than the chlorination.
Mrs. Gustin asked about the aeration system? In Tiffin the by-products are forming at the plant. Here at the plant, the by-products are forming outside the plant. You’d be past the aeration process.
Mr. Tom Schwing said they form out of the distribution system. We would have to gather all the water again in a huge tank and do the aeration process.
Mrs. Gustin asked about using the chlorine along with the aeration. Mr. Schwing said that is what we use over in Tiffin. Capital cost over at the GAC plant, look at pilings, flood way – everything impacts on the capital cost.
Mrs. Gustin said she had a call from a lady saying that she had gotten a bill and said on it you had put ammonia in the water just as a test. Mr. Schwing said he’d like to see a copy of that.
Mr. Schwing said atrazine said we monitor for atrazine, the limit allowed in water is 3. The number in the water is always below 1.3. It is well within the MCL limit.
Mr. Cumston read a letter from a woman that got in touch with the Marion Star. Many phone calls were received; 20-23 people were senior citizens with huge concerns. Awareness and questions that are being asked. That is not a single thing that we won’t talk about. This is who we are. In all due respect, how do measure of what we want. Do you want the other process? Is the Federal going to change the process? I’m much more concerned in our environment; I’m not willing to take the chance. Why not put a mailing out, “what do you want”. Ask the residents what they want. If they don’t want chloramines, then change. Rarely do you we have 60 people in this room. Rarely do we get this type of concern. Past dealings with the water company has been dismal at best. This is a huge issue for us. We are asking to help us. We are doing what we think we must do.
Mr. Daniels said with all the things we drink, things we eat, do we give it a second thought of what’s in it. I never had anybody call me up and complain what was in the pop, food. If we are going to make a decision if we are going to drink chloramines or not, it’s not up to 9 people, it comes down to a ballot issue, and they should decide. I want to pay more for my water, because I’m afraid of chloramines.
Mr. Ratliff asked again you anticipate being out of compliance in the summer, the EPA people said the 4th quarter. Mr. Kolodziej said you would average the 4 sites, now we are taking the worst sites in each site. The contributing quarters for the year 2013 would be in the summer. You won’t know the # until the 4th quarter. Mr. Ratliff said there are over 2000 public water systems, 3 of them use ammonia, and how many of those do Aqua own. Mr. Kolodziej said one of them. They said 2000, 1700 well water, water source like for the 300. I don’t know what the count is. Some of it doesn’t apply. 5300 water systems. Homeowners associations, restaurants, schools, 1700 are well systems, leaves you 300. It’s still 1% Mr. Ratliff said. Mr. Kolodziej where are they in compliance with the old method, with this new rule of measurements. 30% up to 50% - we are right in step with the compliance numbers. Mr. Ratliff said when you breathe ammonia in, eye, breath, redness – frightens me. Mr. Kolodziej said that is exactly what the pungent smell is putting fear in the older generation. It’s a memory of something else and taking advantage of that. Marion is in the top 10, we listen to you. We are interested in doing the right thing in Marion. CDC has looked into the rashes. A study was done and they came up with persons were not under the care of health professional. Mass media distribution before the CDC came. Get someone from an activist group and someone scaring people? The study could not be conclusive, the people were coached on what to say. This is not how we run things.
Mr. Ratliff said they are still in the gathering stages of collecting date on chloramines. This is the same EPA that changed the water regulations; you would have been out of compliance. 12 months ago, the water is bad; it’s the same water we drank last year. I don’t have confidence if they come back and say drinking chloramines is Ok to drink. We want more time to gather more information on this and wait 2 weeks from today to start this.
Mr. Kolodziej said my understanding the EPA is continuously researching water. It’s a six year cycle. What Ohio American did, they started well in advance. OAW came up with a short list, and this was the best science. Do I want to spend a whole lot, if I can safely do what needs to be done? As a water company, you’d want to go with a cheapest route. We advocated the least expenses route. If we went with a different method, people would have to recognize that, if you decided to go with other alternatives, we’d have to start all over again 1-2 years down the road. With the current law, what do we do for 2 years? Relating to the other comments from Council, internet searches. Searches have fragmented information. Case in point – Commission meeting – brought up the law suit in Washington DC – it was alleged that chloramines was attributing it. The article did say that chloramines were not the problem. They didn’t hear the punch line.
Mr. Ratliff said I’m asking that you give the people the time till our next Council meeting.
Mr. Osborn said we have good debate for 13 days now, but we are not the regulator agency here. The EPA is, if they said that it’s safe, then I’m OK on it. If the water is tested, let’s say, it’s in violation, what is worse, water that we drink in a violate state or a chlorinated state? Mr. Schwing said the EPA will tell you 1. It’s better to be in compliance and 60 plus million people have been using chloramines for over 90 years. What we know today, we have to take the entirety and make the best decision.
Mr. Daniels asked Roger Baldinger about an assessment of toxicity of chlorine. Mr. Baldinger has the cross bones on it. It has to be measured for disinfection. Two much of the material is toxic to the fish. EPA regulations do change. It will kill you. Mr. Daniels asked if the introduction of ammonia reduce the content of chlorine. Mr. Schwing said the primary disinfection is chlorine. The secondary disinfection is the ammonia. As it goes out it will not form those TTHM’s. This is why we are doing it. Mr. Daniels asked if the chlorine content reduced. Mr. Schwing said there are two types of chlorine. You will have less free chlorine in the water, yes. Mr. Daniels said these TTHM’s are toxic. Mr. Schwing said yes.
Mrs. Gustin asked what the chemical is you put in to save the pipes. Mr. Schwing said it is ortho phosphate. We add it now and have been adding it. Mrs. Gustin said you will increase this? Mr. Schwing said we’d have to balance the chemistry.
Mr. Ed Christian, Marion spoke: EPA doesn’t care how you clean that water up. Why is only 30% of the US using chloramines and 70% using chlorine? It’s all about money and don’t care about your health.
Beckie Parksworth spoke: you got approved in March of this year, but you knew about it 2 years ago. You should have sent out a letter and given us some options, give us a vote. 49,000 people, you’re saying you don’t have a choice. I’m looking – should I move from Marion. Let us vote.
Pastor Bill Snyder, I live in Green Camp. I’m here for my mother. Where are the dermatology studies, where are the epidermal studies, are there other reports from different places in the country. If it’s unsafe for fish and dialysis people, why is it safe for me? Mr. Kolodziej said there is one in process from the CDC. There was no study on it; there are investigations – but only one.
Ron Wilcox said when I think of ammonia, I think of refrigerant. When you combine the two, I think it’s dangerous. Lead fuel, lead paint, cigarettes, and plastic bottles, all that was fine and good, but look at them now.
Mr. Sulu Kelley, II spoke: The city has the legal standing to pass or enforce this? Chloramines both have issues, kills fish, you have to treat it. Same thing as dialyses and pipe corrosion. Muncie, Indiana has been using chloramines for over 40 years. Cheapest cost. The EPA is telling us that it’s safe, we should listen to them.
Mr. Sulu Kelley III spoke: Chapter 919 – talks about a franchise for the company that ends in September 1, 1981. Are there any current legal obstacles that would prohibit a private water company to come in? Mr. Russell said off the top of his head, I don’t know any constraints that would prohibit that.
Rosemary Waddle, have there been any studies made in the hospital? It needs more study.
Mrs. Rosa LeMaster, Marion – waiting until they were building the plant. Aqua Water went to the Commissioners and the Mayor and the Health Dept. individually, not in a forum. This concerns me. Did Aqua come before City Council in a forum? Mr. Thomas said the first was 2 weeks ago. Mayor Schertzer said we had a meeting in March with Mr. Ballenger. Mrs. LeMaster said they should have done this in a forum. They wanted to sneak this through, 2 weeks is not enough time.
Mr. Bob Bowcock said about Aqua Marion - we are talking past each other. You can’t do it with these snippets the internet is full of a lot of garbage. I’d like to conduct a forum. The alternative process study was not done. Chloramines will affect gaskets. It will affect everything. Clean water is taking the dirt out of the water. It’s important to understand that you have a local decision to make. Where the confusion of the atrazine was granular activated carbon, it also takes out pesticides. Pharmaceuticals are taken out. It takes out all of them. There is that money out there too. When you clean water – you don’t have to worry about anything else. Front page of Delaware Gazette, are really proud of their brand new surface water treatment plant. They are using platinum plated infiltration. They are taking out everything. Cincinnati said in 1974 that they have been saying they won’t use chloramines here. You hear about all the studies, everybody is doing it, why not me. EPA is nine regions. I went to region 1 – their webpage 300 systems use chloramines in region 1 – when you do the math – 17 treatment plants. Health effect complaints, unreported property complaints, brass, I here for questions. We are not talking with each other; we are talking past each other.
Susan Pickford, Campfield, PA. I wanted to be able to talk about the book that was handed out. Local running annual averages for the water company. We asked Aqua Marion, by fax, phone call, email asking for LRAA data. (She held up a chart). Questions and Answers from the EPA. They talk about the Monochlormine. It stays monochlormine for a brief moment and then changes to either bi or tri chlormine and picks up by-products. I’ve spoken to all these people in this book. They all said it’s worse than you think. This is the comparison of chlorine and chloramines. Chloramines are 100,000 more toxic than chlorine. World Health Organization – 2000 less effective to kill e-coil than chlorine. Engineer’s estimates were not made public. You need water to live – it’s used 24/7 365 – it keeps us alive. I can choose not to buy a coke, I can choose not to eat foods with additives, and you have no choice with water. She showed pictures of persons with chemical burns, and rashes. It’s not a study, but its information that starts studies. She spoke about cigarettes, asbestos. Do we have to wait until people are dying? In a water main break – that water goes into the stream and killed fish for 9 miles. Can’t boil it out. Filters can reduce it, but no eliminate it. Filter is not an answer. Skin absorption, 10 minute shower – it absorbs toxins. I can back every single word in this booklet. Thank you.
Mr. Tom Schwing, Aqua spoke: LRAA data that was requested, you can’t calculate on actual data, it has not been collected yet. It’s not available. E-coil disinfection, chloramines for secondary, if there is e-coil in the water pipe, then there is a problem with the pipe. What we don’t know is what we are talking about there. Will the science change in the future. I don’t know. EPA is looking at what we are faced with. We know that THM’s are bad, we know that it’s a requirement to comply. Best scientific material, over 70 million in the US is using it. There is a cost for speculation. What is the best process?
Mr. Sulu Kelley, 365 E. Farming, does the City have the legal right to do this, or is it reserved to the EPA. Mr. Thomas said we do have an ordinance so we feel that we have the right.
Mr. Ed Christian said Germany and France has banned it.
Mr. Cumston asked if they are intending to go ahead with the process. Mr. Kolodziej said what happens in two weeks. Opinions here are unlikely to change. I’m interested in hearing what Bob has to say about his estimates. There is a means to keep the chlorine active throughout the system. When you say you are going to increase it 6-13.00, how do we do that? Can you delay it for 2 weeks? What do we do in two weeks? Mr. Ratliff said it is our responsibility to speak for the people. Am asking you for an extra week, give me more time. I spent a lot time reading about this, I owe it the people that I serve. I don’t feel it’s too much to ask. Mr. Kolodziej said please give us some consideration, what do we do in 2 week’s I’ll give you a conditional yes. The fear has to be managed. Mr. Daniels said I don’t care to hold meetings where fear is the primary concern. Mr. Kolodziej said I’m saying yes, another week.
Bob Bowcock asked if there is a 2 year extension available for utilities engaged for a capital project under EPA. Mr. Tom Schwing said to their knowledge there is none.
Mr. Cumston called for a 2nd reading. ORDINANCE 2013-28 HAS HAD ITS 2ND READING
Mr. Schaber had to leave.
--5 minute recess
ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE AUDITOR TO CAUSE FUNDS RECEIVED AND TO BE RECEIVED RELATED TO REIMBURSABLES FROM ANOTHER GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY PAID UNDER AGREEMENT FOR PROVISION OF JANITORIAL SERVICES TO BE APPROPRIATED TO THE APPROPRIATE CITY HALL LINE ITEM
Mr. Cumston noted that this came out of Finance with a 3-0 recommendation for approval, I’ll ask for a 1st Reading tonight. ORDINANCE 2013-29 HAS HAD ITS FIRST READING.
ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE ASSUMPTION OF ALL CITY RELATED MORTGAGES WITH MARION SENIOR HOUSING LIMITED PARTNERSHIP ON THE FORMER HARDING HOTEL BUILDING BY LOIS FISHER AND ASSOCIATES AND, IF ALLOWED BY THE OHIO DEVELOPMENT SERVICES AGENCY, THE RELEASE OF THE 5TH MORTGAGE, KNOWN AS THE DISCRETIONARY GRANT TO THE CITY OF MARION FOR A LOAN TO SAID PARTNERSHIP, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Cumston noted that this came out of Finance with a 2-1 with no recommendation, I’ll ask for a 1st Reading tonight. ORDINANCE 2013-30 HAS HAD ITS FIRST READING.
Mr. Cumston moved to add Ordinance 2013-31, Mr. Ratliff 2nd, Mr. Osborn 3rd. Mr. Cumston read the title.
“ORDINANCE TO AMEND ORDINANCE NO. 1969-29 (KNOWN AS THE YARGER REPORT) AS AMENDED, BY UPDATING THE EXISTING JOB DESCRIPTION OF THE ZONING INSPECTOR”
Mr. Cumston moved to waive Rule 56, Mr. Ratliff 2nd. Roll call: YEAS: Mr. Cumston, Mr. Ratliff, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Osborn, Mr. Daniels, Mrs. Gustin. RULE 56 IS WAIVED. ORDINANCE 2013-31 HAS HAD ITS FIRST READING
Matters not on the Agenda
Mr. Cumston noted that he will be on vacation next week; I’d like to postpone the Finance meeting that’s on the 18th until the 24th before Council @ 6:30 p.m., Mr. Osborn 2nd. Roll call: ayes all, motion carried.
Finance 6/24 @ 6:30 before Council
Regional Planning 6/26 @ 7:00 County Bldg.
Streets & Sewers 6/18 @ 6:45
With no further business to come before council, Mr. Thomas adjourned the meeting.
____________________________ Dave Edwards President of Council
Clerk of Council