Sheldon, Iowa — The City of Sheldon’s new wastewater permit gives the city four and a half years to bring their wastewater treatment system into compliance with the latest regulatory requirements. The original facility was constructed in 1946 and then upgraded in 1976 and 2000. At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Ryan Norman, representing DGR Engineering of Rock Rapids, reported that the latest Iowa Department of Natural Resources Permit, issued in November of 2015, includes more stringent effluent limits for ammonia as well as new limits for E. coli, total nitrogen and phosphorus that the current facility is unable to meet. These standards must be met by March 1, 2020. Norman reviewed three possible alternative methods for the City to choose from to meet these new requirements. The method which seemed to be the best for the city also has the lowest projected cost. That figure is estimated at $10.8 million. Details of how to proceed will be worked out between the City and DGR.
Discussion about the new Water Tower project was postponed until a later date. City Manager Scott Wynja explained that the City plans to apply for a block grant to help fund the water tower and associated pipeline, but he has learned that the requirements for making a block grant application have just been changed, and he wanted to hold off on any council action until these requirements can be met.
The Council also voted to participate in the Northwest Iowa Regional Trust Fund that provides housing rehabilitation funds, based on income. Wynja told the Council that seven homes in Sheldon have been rehabilitated in past years. Funds available to cities in O’Brien County are based on population. Sheldon’s share this year is $2,404.00.