Video: 7/19 Goldendale City Council Meeting

Video courtesy of Nancy Kusky of Goldendale TV. Be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel.

The Goldendale City Council met last night. Much of the meeting was taken up with a report on mounting problems at the city’s wastewater treatment facility. Eric Smith of the engineering firm RH2 presented the result his firm’s study:

“The primary issue was large bubbles that developed underneath the liner of one of your lagoons, the sludge-holding lagoon. If there’s a significant buildup of gas under the lagoon you’d get a closer risk of those bubbles rupturing, the liner rupturing at some point. And then you would have an unmitigated discharge if that water cap out of your sludge to the ground, and that would be, that would be a problem.” 
Smith also mentioned a problem with grit build-up in the aeration basins, and a need to update the design of the basins and their operation.

These problems have been mounting for years, he said, and the cost to fix them would run an estimated $4 million. Washington State’s Department of Ecology has offered to loan the city the funds at  1.5 percent interest for 20 years. To service that debt, Goldendale city sewer rates would have to increase, perhaps as much as an additional $10 per month for the 20 years.

The council did vote to order staff to draw up a resolution to accept the loan, which could be voted on at the next meeting. The vote was not unanimous. Councilor Loren Meagher was the lone no vote. Filbert Ontoveros, who made the motion, said that didn’t mean councilors would automatically pass that ordinance, but by having it ready, they could vote on it before the deadline set by Ecology.