Council approves legislation for new wetlands and water monitoring | Local News

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A legal contract for a wetland project on East River Drive was approved by Defiance City Council on Tuesday evening, along with two ordinances ensuring constant monitoring of water quality in the Maumee River.

Council also blurted out an order proposing rate increases for Riverside Cemetery (see related article) and learned that a new traffic roundabout on Cleveland and Ottawa avenues is scheduled to open this weekend (see l ‘related article).

An order approved by council on Tuesday authorizes a contract with law firm Brickler & Eckler to assist with the design phase of the proposed construction of wetlands along East River Drive, just south of the Kettenring Hills Subdivision and at north of the Maumee River.

The order notes costs of $ 24,000, not to exceed $ 30,000 “in the absence of new legislation”.

The ordinance noted that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and city staff “recommend hiring a law firm experienced in preparing the design-build request for proposals and contract documents. in order to reduce errors and conflicts during construction … “.

The land for the wetlands was approved by the council in March while a large grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was secured to cover most of the costs. However, chief legal officer Sean O’Donnell told council the aforementioned legal fees would be borne by the city.

“But it does offer more protection to the city against subsequent contract disputes which could be very costly as a result of these disputes,” O’Donnell said. “And furthermore, it allows contractors and design professionals to coordinate with each other when planning this.”

An emergency clause allows the ordinance to become law upon signature by the mayor rather than after the usual 30-day waiting period.

The land is now a soybean field. The city had agreed to give the landowner an additional growing season before construction of the wetlands could begin.

A related emergency ordinance approved Tuesday adds city code Sec. 151.06 to the codified ordinances of the city while modifying art. 151.03 (d).

According to the ordinance, the changes will provide the city with additional options on projects with a “more efficient design-build delivery method, whereby the designer-builder is responsible for both design and construction. of a particular improvement ”. This is the city’s plan for the wetlands project.

The city believes the wetland project is part of its effort to work with the Ohio EPA to address water quality issues in the Lake Erie watershed.

The same goes for two other ordinances approved by the council on Tuesday.

One of them authorizes a contract with Green Eyes, LLC, for the purchase of three nutrient monitors to measure water quality in the Maumee River, near the water intake of the plant in Baltimore Road water. The cost is $ 38,318.73.

The second ordinance authorizes a contract with LimnoTech to provide support services for these devices. The cost is $ 48,530.

City administrator Jeff Leonard said a $ 90,000 grant from the Great Lakes Observing System would help pay for the cost.

The monitoring system will allow the city to monitor the water quality of the headwaters of the Maumee River, before it receives effluent from the city’s wastewater collection and treatment system. Ammonia, nitrogen and phosphorus levels will be continuously monitored, according to city officials, information that will be publicly available online.

“There will be a very significant amount of data coming from this river all the time available, in real time …” said water plant superintendent Adam McDowell.

The information will be useful for the city to determine when it can pump raw water from the Maumee River into the city’s holding tank on Canal Road, according to water plant deputy superintendent Joe Ewers. Currently, the city is using samples to check nutrient levels.

“There are a lot of holes in our data, and it takes a long time,” McDowell said. “… we should have good real-time data all the time.”


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