01-0481R

RESOLUTION ADOPTING AMENDED GUIDELINES FOR THE INFLOW AND INFILTRATION GRANT PROGRAM.

BY COUNCILOR ECKENBERG:

        WHEREAS, the legislature of the state of Minnesota has enacted legislation allowing the city to establish a program that provides assistance to property owners in financing the costs of abating inflow and infiltration on their property; and

        WHEREAS, the legislation requires the city to establish guidelines to govern the grant program; and

        WHEREAS, the city established initial program guidelines in 1997 that were approved by the city council in Resolution No. 97-0333; and

        WHEREAS, time deadlines and compliance standards imposed by the Western Lake Superior sanitary district and Minnesota pollution control agency make it necessary to accelerate the I&I program in certain basins and to complete home inspection programs in these basins on an expedited basis; and

        WHEREAS, the amended guidelines for the I&I grant program will facilitate an acceleration of the program.

        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council hereby adopts the amended inflow and infiltration grant program guidelines filed as Public Document No. _________.



STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  In the Laws of Minnesota 1996, Chapter 317, the Minnesota legislature authorized Home Rule Charter and statutory cities to provide grants and loans to property owners to assist the owners in financing the cost of abating inflow and infiltration on their property. The statute also provides that any city having such a program must establish standards and compliance standards for its program. In 1997, the city council approved the initial program guidelines, which have worked reasonably well. Recently, however, the city has come under greater scrutiny from the WLSSD and has had to enter into an agreement to get Basin No. 2 90 percent completed by March 1, 2002, or build a sewage holding tank for the proposed Woodlawn residential development. In order to meet this and other anticipated future time deadlines, changes need to be made in the grant program guidelines. First, these guidelines state that the city will prioritize basins (neighborhoods) for compliance efforts. The prioritization will be based on need where city and WLSSD data shows we have the most pressing problems. Secondly, the new guidelines state that the city will initiate home inspections on an area wide basis. Under the present guidelines, the homeowners are left to call in for inspections if and when they want to. This type of inspection system will not achieve the high percentage of compliance the WLSSD is looking for. Finally, the city is providing an alternative way of completing the work. Under the present guidelines, the homeowner was required to get three bids for the work and present them to the city for approval. The work would go to the lowest approved bidder. This was time consuming and troublesome for the owner. Under the amended guidelines, the city will still allow the homeowner to get bids but the city will also have prepared bid standard unit specifications for typical I&I operations such as installing sumps, sump pumps, running pipes, etc. The city will accept the low responsible bid to do any houses that request the service. This will allow the successful bidder to "lump" jobs in an area together and get a good deal of work done in a short time at a reasonable price.