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September 4, 2013

DEQ sets Dec. 1 deadline for city to finish lift station

Ada — The state has given Ada a new deadline to complete its lift station off state Highway 99.

The Ada City Council unanimously approved on Tuesday a consent order with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, which sets a new deadline of Dec. 1 for the city to finish the lift station.

City officials requested an extension because the original contractor defaulted on the contract, said City Manager Cody Holcomb. He added that the current contractor, MacHill Construction Co., took over construction in January.

“The consent order gives the city until November 1, 2013, to complete the lift station,” he said. “Due to a complication with the fiberoptic line, we asked that the deadline be moved to December 1, 2013.”

The state allows the city to discharge treated wastewater effluent from the treatment plant into Little Sandy Creek.

In June 2006, the city and state approved a consent order which set up a schedule for the city to eliminate violations tied to unpermitted discharges from the wastewater collection system. The order also gave the city time to comply with the state’s design and operating standards for the system.

The city has taken several steps to comply with state standards, including beginning construction of the SH 99 lift station.

Under the original consent order, the city was supposed to finish construction of the new lift station by Feb. 1 of this year. But in January, the city sent the Department of Environmental Quality a letter asking for more time to finish the project.

The new consent order gives the city until Oct. 1 to complete a series of tasks, which does not include completion of the new lift station. That deadline is now set for Dec. 1.

The city will notify the state about the completion date in advance, giving Department of Environmental Quality officials time to inspect the facility.

State law authorizes the agency to fine the city up to $10,000 for each day the violation continues, according to the consent order. The state will defer the city’s penalty of $10,680, but that hinges on compliance with the order.

If the city fails to meet its deadlines, it will have to pay the entire penalty

In addition, the state can impose fines of $140 per day for each task except completion of the new lift station. The penalty for failing to meet that deadline is $280 per day.

The penalties will begin on deadline day, but the total amount cannot exceed $70,000. If the state finds that the city is not in compliance, the city can request a hearing to challenge that finding.

In other business, the council:

• Announced that the city encourages all businesses that sell alcohol to train their employees in responsible alcohol sales and service. New employees are encouraged to complete the training within 45 days after they start work.

The city also encourages businesses that sell alcohol to keep on hand a current driver’s license guide, including license specifications for adults and minors.

A training session will run from 2:30 t0 5 p.m. Monday in Room 117 of the Horace Mann building at East Central University. The session is a joint effort of the Pontotoc County Drug Free Coalition, the Oklahoma Prevention Policy Alliance, the Oklahoma ABLE Commission, the state Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Oklahoma Prevention Network’s Area Prevention Resource Center.

The training is free for holders of alcoholic beverage licenses and their employees.

• Learned that the city is rebuilding Scenic Drive between 18th and Stadium streets. The project is expected to last about 100 working days and may be finished in December or January,

• Approved a request to rezone 1401 N. Monte Vista from a general agricultural district to a low density multiple-family district.

Developer Jim Sanders said he is planning to put duplexes on the property, but he did not know yet how many would be built.

• Approved a request to close the easement at 303 Larsh Lane to the public.

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