MW tries to deal with smelly issue near plant

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By Mary Barczak

 It’s a stinky situation. One the city of Mount Washington is taking more steps to solve.

At Monday night’s city council meeting, City Sewer Superintendent Tim Johson gave an update on combating odor. He said he did some research and has isolated hydrosulfide as the problem.

“It releases the gases that they’re smelling and eats at the concrete,” Johnson said.

He said he thinks removing that element at the pump stations could be the key to getting rid of the smell before it even reaches the treatment plant.

Johnson said the to get rid of the hydrosulfide would cost about $17,000 a year, but he thinks he could build the machine that is needed so it would cost about $10,000 a year to treat the Pleasant Grove pump station for odor.

He said he visited several places in Indiana who are using the same system and the staff told him it worked well.

Council member Barry Armstrong asked Johnson if these chemicals would have to be continuously applied and Johnson told him he has an air meter which would help him to determine when to apply it. Twenty-five thousand dollars was alotted for odor control in the budget this year.

City Engineer Dave Derrick said he thinks they would be able to monitor the ebbs and flows at the treament plant and learn when to add chemicals, for example when the temperature increases and there’s not a lot of water flow to help push the waste through the pipes.

“Hopefully in about a year we can have it leveled out,” he said.

Council member Greg Gentry, in his report, said he was glad to see the council moving quickly on this issue.

Mayor Joetta Calhoun responded, “We’re trying, but it’s just not simple.”

The council was in agreement to let the mayor take care of the odor problem.

Other items of business:


  • The council had the second reading of an ordinance to annex 1.0003 acres on Barbara Sue Lane to the city. It passed unanimously. City Attorney Matthew Lemme said the owners of the land, James and Barbara Vincent, had requested the annexation.
  • The council also passed an ordinance to keep the motor vehicle tax the same, at 15 cents on each $100, for 2013.
  • MW Police Chief Roy Daugherty gave his August report to the council, mentioned some notable cases which were recently solved and mentioned the BBQ festival on Sept. 28.
  • The council had a first reading of a proposed ordinance to keep the real and personal property tax rate the same, at 11.4 cents on each $100, for 2013.
  • The council had another first reading for an ordinance which would annex 5.486 acres on Primrose Drive to the city. The ordinance states, “[T]he Kentucky Secretary of State recently required prior annexations to be restated and new surveys required dating back approximately 30 years …”
  •  Derrick updated the council on different projects in the city. He said the water main project on Fisher Lane and Wales Run are close to being complete and asked if the council had come up with saome way to notify the residents on these streets that they are all within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant now and are eligible for lower fire insurance rates. Also, Derrick said work is continuing on the widening of the Hwy 44 and Armstrong Lane intersection. “We’re getting a late start and going to have to move at an accelerated basis,” he said.
  • Lemme informed the council that they need to take action on the “Hall property” located at 8804 Highway 44 E right across from Armstrong Lane. He advised they should no longer count on representation reaching an agreement anymore. Lemme said the home owner said that negotiations with the state have failed while state officals have said there has been no breach in the agreement to remove the house. But the bottom line is, “We still have a house and we’re still mad,” Lemme said. He said the home owner offered to donate the house to local fire department to be used for training purposes. The council agreed to send the code enforcement officer to the house with an asbestos expert to assess what kind of condition the house is in. Council member Sandra Hockenbury asked for Lemme to create a list of steps that they are taking to resolve this issue so they can show people when they are asked about it. Calhoun asked Lemme if their actions would interfere with that of the state and he said he did not think they would.

The next city council meeting will be Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the City Annex. The public is invited to attend.