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Council takes aim at Parkway stench

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The odor that can sometimes plague Mark Twain Elementary is in the process of being fixed after City Council passed a new ordinance Monday.

Ryan Hennessy | News-Press Now

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Council takes aim at Parkway stench

By Ryan Hennessy News-Press Now

Sep 24, 2018

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The odor that can sometimes plague Mark Twain Elementary is in the process of being fixed after City Council passed a new ordinance Monday.

Ryan Hennessy | News-Press Now

The St. Joseph City Council put $565,000 toward cleaning up the smell that surrounds Mark Twain Elementary, which is brought from the Parkway A combined sewer area.

The fix from contractor Herner Construction uses super-oxygenation, and it’s anticipated to control two-thirds of the odor according to St. Joseph’s Public Works & Transportation.

“What we’re going to do is going to be injecting oxygen into the system to slow that process of that sewage going septic, causing that hydrogen sulfide gas to be created,” said Brady McKinley, assistant director. “This is one of probably two or three projects we’re going to do, but this is a good start right here.”

The project has the added benefit of saving money in the long run. The city was spending $250,000 per year on bioxide, the chemical used to control odor in sewer systems. The new super-oxygenating system will be around $70,000 per year.

The council also postponed the Riverbend Biodiesel project until Oct. 22. The project would convert fast-food restaurants byproducts into fuel. The plant would need to close Monterey Street so it can fully utilize over 100 railroad cars. There also will be a second work session on Oct. 15 at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

The out-of-court settlement with HPI also was postponed until Oct. 8, because of the public listening session with the Environmental Protection Agency at emPowerU this Wednesday. The listening session will discuss the chemical clean at HPI and will take place at emPowerU on Sixth Street between 6 and 7 p.m.

The renewal of the Human Resources Director, a position that hasn’t existed for a number of years, passed 6-2, with Gary Roach from District 4 and P.J. Kovac from District 3 voting no. Kent “Spanky” O’Dell, At-Large, was not present.

The minimum fine to the code of ordinances regarding animals was increased to $50. This change comes as two ordinances regarding tethering and animal burial were introduced to City Council. Both proposed ordinances will be voted on Oct. 8.

The tethering ordinance prevents pets from being chained outside between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Animals also must have food, shelter and water to be chained up longer than 30 minutes at a time, and the temperature has to be between 32 and 85 degrees. Animals, such as puppies under the age of 6 months cannot be tethered.

The proposed animal burial ordinance states animals must be buried at least 20 feet from a residence, four feet deep, within 24 hours of their decease, and be under 100 pounds.

Ryan Hennessy can be reached

at ryan.hennessy@newspressnow.com.

Follow him at @NPNowHennessy

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