By ASHLEY FOX
Lake County Leader
The city of Ronan will have extra patrol now that that the police department is up to full staff following the swearing in of a new officer Monday evening.
Police Chief Kenneth Weaver swore in Officer Joel Diaz, bringing the department to five officers plus the chief, and three reserve officers.
Joining Diaz were his wife, Lisa, and children, Aaron, who had the honors of pinning his dad with his badge, and daughter Emmy.
Also discussed at the meeting was the water filtration project, which City Engineer Shari Johnson explained has been in the process for years.
Council unanimously voted on moving forward with contractor Outback Construction from Missoula, who entered a bid of $392,000.
Camas Creek Construction from Columbia Falls also submitted a bid for $490,000.
Johnson estimated the project to come in between $250,000 and $300,000 because the city has already purchased the equipment to go inside the building.
“We just need the building to be built, and all the pipes to be connected,” she said.
Johnson said Ronan already has clean drinking water, which comes from Crow Creek, but EPA regulations are mandating that the city’s water go through filtration, ultraviolet treatment and chlorination.
“We’ve put in the chlorination, the UV, and we’re on our last step of putting the filtration in,” Johnson said.
It doesn’t matter whether small towns such as Ronan or large like Chicago, all municipalities must comply, Johnson said.
The filtration system is located on Michel Road. Construction is expected to begin in March and should last 60 days.
Johnson said that city officials saved money by purchasing the equipment to build the facility.
Next, a bond lawyer will review numbers to help the city decide how much residents’ water bills will go up, which looks to be an estimated $2-3 a month, Johnson said.
The next City Council meeting is tentatively scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 at City Hall. The meeting is subject to change.