Archive for Thursday, April 13, 2006

Council, residents air complaints to Lan-Del officials

April 13, 2006

Mayor Ken Bernard terminated a heated discussion regarding Lan-Del Water District's installation of double check valves after an hour of debate before the Lansing City Council.

Council members, plumbers and concerned residents fired questions at both Lan-Del Chair Phil Chiles and Chief Engineer Bruce Brown regarding the need for the valves, the utility's communication to residents and the amount of safety the valves provide at the April 3 meeting.

"We are doing nothing different now than we were doing 19 years ago," Chiles said.

Chiles and Brown both agreed that Lan-Del's decision to include the valves was to ensure water safety for the residents of Lansing. But some, like Mancil King, master plumber and plumbing inspector for the City of Leavenworth, contended the decision by Lan-Del to adopt the installation of the valves was a mistake.

According to King, it is hard to tell if such valves fail mechanically, so the possibility of compromised water safety is always looming. He believes that the potential for contamination should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and that there are better and cheaper ways to protect against backflow.

Council member Don Studnicka, Ward 2, pointed out that Lansing water flows in from large municipal sources that do not require backflow valves, which means water protected from contamination by double check valves in Lansing homes could easily be contaminated by residents of these other cities before it ever reaches Lansing.

Bernard finally stopped the discussion and called for the establishment of a separate meeting to resolve the issue.

"Lan-Del is going to get with the city and do everything they can to publicize what's going on and what needs to be done by the homeowners," Bernard said.

Specifically, the city hopes Lan-Del can produce information indicating the location of currently installed valves, and a schedule for when and where valves will be installed to the remaining homes.

There was little to suggest that Lan-Del's policy would be repealed.

"If there is any more discussion that goes on, we need to have it between the city inspectors, the plumbers' board and Lan-Del and work out any bugs that they may have created in this system."

In other action, the council:

¢ Introduced Ken Miller as the Main Street project liaison.

¢ Approved an amendment to the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.

¢ Authorized the sale of land to Twin Oaks Independent Living.

¢ Approved a cereal malt beverage license for Brew, Blues & Bar-B-Q, a cook-off to be sponsored by the city May 5-6.

¢ Approved, 6-2, with council members Dee Hiniger and Don Studnicka opposed, a special-use permit for a resident requesting permission to establish a feline foster home in her home with a maximum of 12 cats.

¢ Approved, 7-1, with Studnicka opposing, the reappointments of David Anaya and Brian Schwanz to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

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