MOUNT VERNON — The city of Mount Vernon is now in Phase 2 of the Clean Water Act.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis said the city received its letter from the federal Environmental Protection Agency that it was a Phase 2 community this summer. Now the clock is counting down on things that need to be done.
One of the first things is that the standard for detention ponds has increased. New properties or those with more discharge than before are now required to collect the water in a detention area and hold it for 48 hours to allow time for sediment to settle.
“Now we have to have larger detention basins and a longer time frame,” Mavis said. “If [existing businesses] do what they did when they built, they’re OK. That is, unless they are creating more runoff.”
Another part of the unfunded mandate is a provision that aims to keep people from polluting waterways. The new manhole covers on Gay Street include a picture of a fish, which lets people know that whatever is dumped into the system will go to a waterway.
The city also has to file a pollution prevention plan, which it has done. Mavis said the city is attempting to be compliant within its financial means, meaning it is following Best Management Practices.
In other news:
•The city’s final cleanup days are approaching. Residents can bring their solid waste to the transfer station on Tilden Avenue from Aug. 24 through 28, and then again on Saturday, Sept. 5. The facility will accept trash from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the weekdays, and from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 5. The city will pay half of the costs for city residents.
•The Hiawatha Water Park/Pool will remain open until Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Beginning Friday and on weekdays until the final day, the pool will be open from 4 to 7:45 p.m. On weekends, it will remain open normal hours, noon to 7:45 p.m. Mavis reported it has not been a great year revenue-wise for the pool, as temperatures have not been “pool-type” this summer. Expenses are also down, and with the hotter weather predicted this weekend and the later closing date, Mavis hopes to balance that out.
There will be several issues discussed for the pool for next year. The splash pad idea has been taken off the books, but the city is looking at adding another feature to the kiddie pool to attract toddlers and babies. Mavis said the city will also look at fencing issues, including the possibility of raising it to deter break-ins.
•Mavis will be attending the Mount Vernon Developmental Center’s 100th anniversary celebration on Wednesday.
•Mavis said the Neighborhood Stabilization Program got a late start, but is starting to take shape. Region 9, which includes Mount Vernon and Knox County, has $1.145 million to spend on rehabilitating or demolishing properties in need. He said officials have discussed giving the property to Habitat for Humanity if the house is torn down, and to Metropolitan Housing if the property is rehabilitated. Officials are geared up to get started in September or October.
•Crosswalk flashers are on order for West High Street and should be installed in the next couple of weeks.
•Workers are repainting the school zone crosswalks around the city and will restripe the resurfaced streets after that project is completed.
•Mavis said the fire department reviewed work being done by John Bechtel on the old middle school roof. Fire officials felt the roof was secured and, during a tour of the facility, felt the building doors were also secured. Bechtel is also to work on securing windows around the building.