Grass begins to grow at wetlands reclamation

At the regular Rico Town Board meeting held on Sept. 19, Town Maintenance Dennis Swank reported the town had no luck on a backhoe due to high costs and high hours. The loader starter went out and will be replaced with a new one. Mr. Swank stated he helped Mike England with water samples here in town and at the well. Mr. Swank worked on West Rico roads and the bridge cutting brush and trees off of it. The town cleaned the town park for Labor Day weekend. The town replaced wires and poles on some of the water meters.

Town Manager Michael England gave an update on the water project progress. The pipeline installation is moving forward, but not at the established goals presented by the contractor-BWR. The town has installed approximately 4,000 feet of new 6-inch transmission line as of Aug. 13. BWR has assembled a second crew in the last week to increase installation of the 6-inch pipeline. Franklin Blasting has completed the needed work in the rock areas to keep the crews working in a timely manner.

Karmen King/Grayling Environmental LLC has been on site reviewing the wetlands area construction and reclamation. Ms. King stated the work has been successful and the grass is beginning to grow along with the willows that were planted for replacement. Ms. King will follow up this with the Army Corps and send them a Compliance Certificate. Ms. King will also send photos for their review and approval. The Wetland’s Permit was issued under the name of the Town, which the town is held responsible for the work performed. At this time the town is presenting the need to complete the project as presented and agreed to within the time frame of Oct. 31.

Mr. England stated he enclosed the response from Judy Schaefer/Website technician regarding the board’s request of allowing town board and staff to use town assigned emails. There were comments at the last meeting if this was possible, so board members would not have to use their private emails for town work. It appears to be an easy item to complete. If the board desires, the town can have Ms. Schaefer move forward with that request.

Mr. England reported the town staff continues to try and move forward with the items regarding the VCUP. Atlantic Richfield seems slow in responding and moving forward with several items of concern. The new staff the town is working with now seems to be more receptive to most of the town’s need and requests to assist in the administration of the proposed Institutional Controls Ordinance and funding needs, however the process is complicated and slow to move forward.

Regarding the Rico Center grant, the town will submit a follow up by submitting a revised grant to the Rico Center regarding the staff support and special projects grant that was approved in 2010. One of the main special projects the town has been working on is the final plat for the River Corridor. The town will submit a new grant application for the remaining $8,251 of a $12,000 grant that was approved for the project in 2011. The Rico Center will not allow extensions on previously awarded grants, so any unspent funds will need to be re-applied for by submitting a new grant by the Oct. 1 deadline.