The Afton Old Village Task Force held its last meeting on June 23.
Since last february, a group of residents and business owners have met periodically to discuss what issues are facing downtown Afton, and what should be done about them.
The areas of concern that the task force identified include downtown aesthetics, road maintenance, trails, sanitary sewer treatment systems, the levee, drainage, economic viability and transportation.
Over the past weeks, the task force has discussed, with some heated discussions, what possible solutions to the problems can be.
During Wednesday’s meeting, several areas were discussed in detail, namely the levee reconstruction and the sanitary sewer system options.
During the levee discussions, Afton resident Bobbi Elston stated that she learned from the Afton Historical Society that the levee, as well as Selma’s and the Calla Lily, currently sit on top of an ancient American Indian burial mound.
"That is going to impact everything we do with hte levee," Bobbi said.
Interim city administrator Ron Moorse said that fact wil be addressed during the environmental review of the project.
During the sanitary sewwage treatment system discussion, the task force discussed possible options for improving.
Currently Afton has a traditional septic and drain field sytem. Each property has a septic tank.
Currently, Afton’s septic systems downtown don’t meet county regulations and do not function properly which is why the task force has identified that something needs to be done.
"We need to do something about the current sewage system," Bill Baglio, owner of Baglio’s, said.
The task force identified three options of how to address the sanitary sewage system problem: maintain and update the traditional septic and drainage field option, the Point Source Treatment Systems option and the Local Collection and Treatment System option.
The Point Source Treatment Systems option, which would recycle water and recycle wastwater, received some considerable argument during the meeting since Afton residents Clint and Bobbi Elston currently have this system in their house and their corporation, Equaris, installs it.
Clint and Bobbi Elston expressed much frustration with the cost estimates that were provided since they said those were not the numbers that they had provided.
"The numbers keep changing," Bobbi Elston said. "if the numbers and information are correct, its an equal playing field, but it’s not right now."
Clint was very outspoken and critical of several task force members, including Afton City Council member Bill Palmquist and Chris LeClair from Washington County.
"Lets keep it respectful here," Baglio said.
The third option of the sanitary sewage treatment system is the Local Collection and Treatment System which would see an underground pipe connect the village.
The task force will present a summary packet of all of their recomendations to the Afton City Council.
The city council will identify what areas they want to address, and where the funding will come from.