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Council still struggles to simplify sewer-plant pact

EYOTA — Eyota Mayor Wes Bussell has some advice for those drafting the new Dover, Eyota, St. Charles Area Sanitary District agreement: Keep it simple. Unfortunately, the current draft of the new agreement is several times longer and more complex than the one it is designed to replace. And most of those changes, Bussell said, are coming at the request of the city of St. Charles.

"There was a lawyer who put all this legal stuff in here," Bussell said at Thursday night’s Eyota City Council meeting, referring to the new draft. "We had to get a lawyer to understand it."

The old district sewer agreement has been in place for 30 years, but it is due to expire at the end of this year. That agreement, Bussell said, was written in plain language that could be understood by anyone. Even better, the simple document has not caused any problems among the three cities. But Bussell worried that the new agreement with its lawyerly language will inject too much room for interpretation into the deal between the cities.

"The original one is a three-page deal, and now we’re up to a 12-page document," said Eyota councilman Tony Nelson.

Councilman Ray Schuchard agreed that the document has grown in size and complexity, a troubling trend. The additions from St. Charles come because of the additional capacity at the treatment plant that became available when North Star Foods, the plants’ largest user after the cities, went out of business.


"We went 30 years with something that was very simple," Schuchard said.

The council agreed Thursday to send another round of suggestions on the document back to the sewer district board.

Bussell said he hopes this next round of edits to the document will help the district and the three cities come to an agreement before the current deal ends on Dec. 31. But if the cities don’t come to an agreement, he said, he’d suggest all three pass resolutions to work under the existing agreement into 2012 to give to give the district and cities time to find an agreement each can live with.

In other business

• The trails and bike depot that the city has worked on and that were funded by state grants have been completed, just in time for the city to begin closing the parks for winter.

• Bussell said that pet licenses for 2012, which are required for dogs and cats, are available from the city.

• The next council meeting has been moved from Nov. 22 to Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. The change was made because council members have been invited to a meeting of the Olmsted County Board on Nov. 22. Bussell said he and at least two council members would attend.

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