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This is what I understand, know

To the Editor:
In response to the letter from Earl Dammann in last week’s Chronicle, I would be happy to comment and answer the three questions proposed to me:
1. Does she understand or is she knowledgeable about how our waste treatment plant functions?  
2. Does she understand or is she knowledgeable about knowing where, why and how our underground sewer and water lines function?
3. Does she understand or is she knowledgeable about how our water treatment plant functions?
Is the concern, Mr. Dammann, that a female city council person doesn’t know enough about water and sewer infrastructures to make sound decisions on the proposed 2015 Armstrong and Lincoln Park Street projects? If so, I believe my past record of working amicably and collaboratively for over nine years with my male counterparts on the City Council and city staff has proven otherwise.  
Being a city council person is not about who knows the most about the pipes in the ground or having an understanding of only one city department.
There are multiple departments that make up the city of Glencoe, including Administration, Finance, Parks, Streets, Airport, the Police and Fire Departments. The City Council has the responsibility of the general management of the city as a whole, for the good of the city and for the health and safety of the public.
I have over 30 years of experience in public safety (police, fire and emergency medical services), including over 12 years of experience in management and supervision of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office 9-1-1 Communications Division. I also have eight years of retail management experience.
We (as a City Council) are responsible for the health and safety of the public. Among other things, the proposed Armstrong and Lincoln Park projects include replacement of old two-, three- and four-inch water lines which no longer meet fire protection standards. It also includes replacement of old dilapidated and blocked clay sanitary sewer lines with high infiltration rates. Saying “no” to these projects is irresponsible.
I also understand the two proposed 2015 projects will have significant financial impacts on residents and businesses. We (as a City Council) will continue to work towards manageable solutions for the good of the city. Remember, final decisions have not been made on either of these projects.
*****
With regard to what I know about our water treatment plant:
• I understand it is the responsibility of the city of Glencoe’s water department to provide safe, reliable and sustainable water to the residents.  
• I understand the process the city takes to provide safe drinking water to the residents.
• I understand water comes from a well and the city has three wells it receives its water supply from (which comes from the Mt. Simon Aquifer).
• I understand the city provides its residents with softened water.
• I support a new process of re-using the brine (calcium chloride) from the water plant for de-icing roadways in the winter and for dust control in the summer. This saves on salt and sand costs.
• With regards to the well which Mr. Robeck believes we should take back from Seneca: this well has been capped and out of service since the ’80s (30-plus years). A 2012 written agreement addresses the backup emergency water supply between Seneca, the city of Glencoe and the Glencoe Fire Department.
*****
This is what I understand about the wastewater treatment plant:
• I understand it is the responsibility of the city of Glencoe’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to treat sewage for the residents.
• I understand it’s the city’s responsibility to manage the plant’s effluent (wastewater from the treatment plant) into the Buffalo Creek.
• I understand distribution of bio-solids onto farm fields.
• I understand the city has an I&I (inflow and infiltration) program to reduce clear water into the collection system. This program includes replacing old clay sanitary sewer lines with high infiltration. It also includes removing sump pump lines from the system.  
*****
Although Mr. Dammann didn’t ask about my knowledge of storm water, this is what I understand and support:
• Our current efforts to address storm water issues include working with the Buffalo Creek Watershed District and the county, focusing on needed upgrades and funding of the West Ditch project.
• I also understand we continue to focus on improvements to the overflows from the North Central ponds and outlet to the East Ditch.  
It doesn’t matter if I don’t know exactly where the pipe runs underground. I put my trust (as we all should) in those we have hired to do these jobs, and I have every confidence in Gary as our public works director, Steve Schmitt as our water supervisor and Jerome Jasken as our wastewater supervisor, to manage the city’s infrastructure and water and wastewater treatment plants.
If the proposed 2015 project involves change-orders or extensions, it will be the responsibility of the project manager/engineer to work with the contractor and city staff to navigate through those proposals before they come to the City Council for approval.  If we have questions, we ask the experts. Again, I trust those we have hired to do these jobs.
As the councilor-at-large I will continue my role and responsibilities on the City Council, which is the overall general management of the city as a whole.  
I appreciate your vote on Nov. 4.
Lori Adamietz
Glencoe
City Councilor-At-Large