St. Albans has bolstered its emergency procedures plan following a Sept. 28 incident at the city water plant that resulted in a four-day, citywide boil-water advisory.
Mayor Dick Callaway said the city also has contacted a company that will develop a system so messages can be recorded and phoned to the appropriate city department heads and other community leaders when a situation requires the community be alerted.
He said the city also has created a place on its website where notices can be posted and the city has started a Facebook page for the Municipal Utility Commission.
Fire Chief Steve Parsons said the city also will have a low-power radio station soon. It will be capable to continuously broadcasting alerts, warnings and public service announcements.
Robert Belcher of Chapman Technical Group said the water plant problem occurred when the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system quit working and the plant made too much treated water.
"The treated water came out onto the floor of the plant," he said. "It was a very nominal occurrence. It was completely treated water that came out on the floor and went back into the clear well. Out of an abundance of caution, they contacted the (state) Health Department and they (the department) placed the system under a boil-water advisory."
J.D. Douglas of the state Bureau for Public Health, who was at Monday evening's council meeting, said, "They (the city) consulted with us and followed everything. We have no issues with what was done. St. Albans followed our procedures properly as far as we're concerned."
Also at the council meeting Monday evening, council gave final approval to auctioning two city-owned lots in the 500 block of Washington Street, across from the Hansford Center, and one city-owned lot on Monmouth Street, near the corner of Monmouth Street and Monmouth Drive.
City Clerk Barbara Cunningham said the lots on Washington Street will be offered together with a minimum bid of $5,000 and the lot on Monmouth Street will have a minimum bid of $2,500.
Dave Rucker of 2311 Monmouth St. asked what would happen if a minimum bid was not achieved. City Attorney Charles Riffee said the city would continue to own the property. Rucker asked when the auctions would occur. Cunningham said they would be advertised.
Rucker also asked if a mobile home or a doublewide trailer could be placed on a lot. He was told any structure must meet all of the requirements of a regular house.
In other action:
* Karen Kincaid and Gary Hagar, residents of Monmouth Street, expressed frustration that more isn't being done to correct drainage issues in their neighborhood.
Hagar has appeared regularly at council meetings since a flood incident in early July. He asked Mayor Dick Callaway if the city has heard from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which had promised to send the city a report outlining its findings about the early July flooding.
Callaway said he called and got a recording that said the offices are closed because of the partial federal government shutdown.
Also at the meeting, council gave final approval to make Edgehill Drive one-way from its intersection with Elm Street to its intersection with Northway Drive, in a northerly direction.
Brandon Totten of 612 Edgehill Drive, who spoke against the action several months ago, said the one-way designation makes it nearly impossible to use his driveway. He said neighbors were not adequately informed of the change before it was finalized.
Other action at the meeting included approval of a payment of $3,127 to Chapman Technical Group for engineering services and $4,564 to Cellebrite USA Inc. of Glen Rock, N.J., for a cellphone downloader for the Police Department.
A cellphone downloader is a device that extracts the phone book, photos, videos, call history, deleted call histories and other information from cellphones. The Police Seizure Fund will be used to pay for the downloader. Police Chief Mike Matthews said the downloader will be bought under a sole-source contract.
Council also approved a motion by Councilman John Boles Jr. to pay outstanding invoices, which total $32,543. Boles is Finance Committee chairman.
Mayor Dick Callaway noted that city offices would be closed on Monday, Oct. 14, in observance of Columbus Day.
Councilwoman Loretta Griffith said the Ward 6 Neighborhood Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Hansford Senior Center with entrance on the Lincoln Avenue side of the building. She said the "Bark in the Park" scheduled for Sept. 21 at the city park was canceled because of wet weather.
The next council meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 on the second floor of the municipal building on Sixth Avenue.