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A draft agreement between the City of Baker and Fallon County over maintenance of the sewer line serving the Fairway Acres area was approved by the City Council at its April 21 meeting.

The agreement covers maintenance of the sewer line which serves the Lakeview golf course and Fallon County Fairgrounds, according to Mayor Steve Zachmann.

“What we are proposing to do is to maintain that line, clean it with our regularly scheduled process – usually in the fall. We do need to make sure that we have legal access to and a solid surface to drive on,” he explained to the council.

The mayor said that the county has built a sewer line extending from the city sewer main in a southerly direction and connects among other properties, the Fallon County Fairgrounds, private residences in the Fairway Acres subdivision and terminates at the golf course.

“The county has maintained and repaired the sewer line but wishes to enlist the city’s assistance in maintaining the line for the benefit of the public and the parties and ensuring that the sewer line functions properly,” he told the council. “The agreement is intended to affirm and clarify the parties’ rights and duties with respect to the sewer line.”

He added that the agreement was in the mutual interest of both parties.

“Fallon County is the sole owner of the sewer line between the City of Baker and the golf course... and including the Fairway Acres subdivision. The City of Baker holds no ownership interest in the line. The county will keep the sewer line in good condition and allow the city to perform its maintenance,” he said.

The mayor said that under the agreement, the city costs for routine maintenance would include flushing, maintaining and routine inspections.  All repairs and replacement, excavation and other activities other than routine maintenance would remain the county’s sole responsibility.

“Each party would have sole responsibility for any liability resulting from its action,” the mayor said, reading from the agreement.

“Fallon County shall obtain legal access to the sewer line over its entire course by easement, license or other agreement,” the mayor said, noting that it will allow the city to access each of the manholes. “The city shall not maintain any portion of the sewer line to which the county does not have legal access.”

The agreement will run from the start of 2021, until June 2026, according to the mayor.

At the next city council meeting (May 5), the agreement will return to the council for approval, the mayor said.

The motion to approve the draft agreement with the edits was made by Councilor Tracey Goerndt and seconded by Pat Ehret. The council approved it with a unanimous vote.

Watermain update

The contractor decided to hold off working on First and Second Streets until the last week of April because of local shutdowns, according to City Engineer Shannon Hewson.

“We are going to start working on Montana Avenue and working our way from Fifth Street West towards Main Street. That will start either Friday, Saturday or Monday,” Hewson explained.

The plan also was changed to not close Main Street and Montana Avenue, but to create a temporary bypass, he said.

With some additional funds, the contractor and the city are looking at overlays on other streets, according to Hewson.

The council also agreed to a special meeting for April 28, if needed.

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