The most prevalent topic at Wednesday night’s Chinook City Council meeting was water.
The first aquatic news came from Chinook Water Superintendent Cory Fox, who explained that the “byproducts” problem he reported at the last meeting was over.
While only halfway through a cleansing and restoration project, the levels of these problem substances are now back below what the Department of Environmental Quality’s acceptable level.
Aside from new hoses and other water treating equipment, the building the water is treated in is being overhauled as well.
Pam Lemer, from Bear Paw Development Corp., gave a presentation about the recently approved Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant project to increase the efficiency of the Chinook water treatment facility.
The grant gives up to $200,000, with no required match. The water facility upgrade is estimated to cost about $265,000. Chinook will have to cover the rest.
That money will go toward replacing the building’s siding, windows, doors and heaters with more energy efficient options.
Lemer said that sending pictures of snow melting on the ground around the building, from the heat escaping from the inefficient walls, doors and windows, really helped secure this grant.
She also explained the many requirements of this project to keep this funding.
First, being funded through the American Restoration and Recovery Act, all of the materials and equipment put into this building have to be made in the United States. Lemer said this was taken very seriously.
“Letters won’t work. E-mails won’t work,” Lemer said. “They want the product manual and for it to say ‘Made in the U.S.A.’”
Another unique requirement of this grant is that the contractor hired has to complete monthly waste management reports, to identify what was thrown away and how. The report requirement is meant to enforce a policy promoting re-use or recycling.
A similar requirement demands all paperwork be done on recycled paper.
The new energy efficiency may make the city eligible for some rebates from NorthWestern Energy, which Bear Paw Development will help them look into.
Now that the grant has been approved, the process of setting up bidding and contract documents begins.
Construction should begin in a few months, and will “ideally be done by Dec. 31, 2011.”