City project manager Dave Treadwell recommended the contract, with an amount not to exceed $4,500. The United States Department of Agriculture will handle destruction of the dams and control of the population, as well as obtaining right of entry forms onto private property.
“The city’s only involvement in the thing is paying for it,” Treadwell said. “(The USDA) will be getting right of entry forms signed by the property owners that are affected.”
Treadwell said the city is under a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency to maintain free-flowing stormwater systems in the city. The presence of beaver dams around the city has hampered their efforts to do that.
“We have an area by Carl Jones Rd., a tributary that runs along the back of the park, to the main channel, which goes along 411, that is infested with beavers,” he said. “As is the section from the park down to what everybody loosely terms the Atkins Property, here in town.
“We even found a new beaver dam in the ditch we dug last year, that’s got to be taken out. We’re also going to have to look to the west, along Black Creek, to make sure there are no beavers out there.”
The initial contract with USDA — estimated at around $3,500 — will clear “phase one,” or the phase from Carl Jones Road to the main intersection, behind the former Burton’s supermarket.
“This will reduce some flooding in areas,” Treadwell said. “It will also, when we have a rain, allow the water to get out of the area.”
Treadwell said the personnel from the USDA will “eradicate the beaver population, destroy their dams and get the streams back into the normal channel.” He said that workers will destroy them either by use of hand tools or “small explosives.” Like the contractors removing storm debris from the city waterways, federal workers will not be allowed to place any equipment in the waterways.
“All the people involved are trained and documented by the federal government,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell added that the city has been making strides in clearing the waterways since the storms that caused so much damage in the city on April 27, 2011.
“To be honest, in the past, we’ve not done a real good job of it,” he said. “Since the storm of last year, we have done some significant things – and there’s work still going on – to clean up the area in Hundred Oaks, Spring Valley, behind Kensington subdivision; we’ve done some work on the storm drainage ditches there.
“We’re in the process of completing Kelly Creek, where all the trees blew down in it. Right here, from Park Avenue going up to the Arbors, they’re completing that project, getting all the debris out of it. There are other areas that need to be addressed.”
The council voted unanimously to approve the contract.
In other business, the council:
• Approved purchase of three Dodge Chargers for the police department, at a cost of $70,794.
• Approved $600 for an active shooter training course, hosted by the police department and open to all law enforcement agencies in St. Clair County. The course will be at Moody Middle School beginning July 31.
• Approved $600 to repair the bay doors at the fire station.
• Approved $572 to purchase material to rebuild a storage shed behind the fire station.
• Approved $1,500 to purchase two new tires for the public works department’s John Deere backhoe.
• Approved $600 for Tammy Jackson and Ruth Newton to attend class in Hoover, to learn enforcement of the state’s new bond and court laws.
• Approved $780 to allow Jackson to attend the court clerk conference in September.
• Approved an ordinance to surplus a 1995 F-150 pickup and a 1991 Ford Ranger, for salvage price.
• Approved the minutes of the June 11 regular meeting.
Contact Will Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.