By Grant Boelter\Sun Newspapers
(Created: Thursday, September 22, 2005 1:23 PM CDT)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------   The city of West St. Paul has learned that those who make the rules must also follow them.

The Dakota County Environmental Management Department on Sept. 7 ordered the city of West St. Paul to stop dumping paint into its outdoor drains because it violated a county ordinance.

The department notified the city of the violation after it received photos from West St. Paul resident Noel Kalinoski. The photos showed city employees improperly disposing of paint in the city's municipal yard in early September.

The employees were cleaning a paint striper while water and paint were running into an outdoor drain, said Matt Saam, the city's Public Works director.

Barry Schade, director of the county's environmental management department, said the paint was not classified as hazardous. "But, it is one of those things that is not allowable," said Schade, adding that it was a latex-based paint.

The county is still looking into the issue and more information will be available upon completion of that process, said Schade.

He also said that he "hasn't heard of this type of thing in a long time," where the city was the subject of an investigation by the county department.

Tests on the water in holding ponds containing the runoff from the affected sewers revealed that the paint was diluted to the point where contamination wasn't an issue, said West St. Paul City Manager Arbon Hairston.

The violation was a result of miscommunication and confusion about procedure within the city's Public Works Department, Hairston said.
He attributed some of the confusion to staff turnover - Saam was hired in May and the city also has a number of temporary employees.

Saam said he was unaware of the improper disposal before the county notified him. He added that he is working to ensure that another event like this does not occur during his tenure.

Measures are being taken to prevent further problems, such as installing signs and distributing written information to city employees, said Hairston.

According to the city's fall newsletter, runoff from the sewers eventually travels into the Mississippi River. It also warns residents against washing out "paint brushes, pans or rollers in gutters."

The city will continue to work with the county to ensure similar violations do not occur in the future, Hairston said.

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West St. Paul caught breaking paint disposal rules
W.S.P. Watch Dogs
Facts Refuting Sun Newspaper Article

I emailed Arbon Hairston on this date and time:

[Email trail:]
To: "Arbon Hairston" <>
Subject: your back yard
Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:41 A
[End of email trail]

I sent him pictures of the city's municipal back yard, building, and of paint being improperly disposed. Hairston just blew me off. In fact, in a meeting I recorded right after the MPCA gave the city of West Saint Paul a "cease and desist" on 9/7/2005, I told Arbon "I gave you a chance" and his reply was to laugh and say, "You expect to hold the city to the same standards we hold you?"  Arbon Hairston, Minila, Bud Shaver, Shelly Strous, and Terry Maruska were present.  (Remember, I have a tape recorder on the table in plain sight.)
When I followed up with MPCA, Dale Storzinger said that he had only done a visual inspection. No actual test like Arbon claims was ever performed.
Arbon "slick" Hairston also says that he had no knowledge this was going on.
I had reminded him that I have proof.  I emailed him pictures and that in the meeting we had (that I recorded) I made reference to the email I sent. On the tape he had acknowledged it by referring to the first picture.
I'm sure by now you have seen the photos and Arbon has the unmitigated audacity to tell YOU (the public) that he is looking into it.
Zanmiller, Moorlehem, Lewis, Tessmer, and Wright all seem to stand behind Arbon and feel that he is doing an exemplary job. I don't see it as far as the city is concerned.  Look at all the pictures and you tell me how exemplary it is.
In a open council work session on 9/12/2005 Kori Land city attorney leaned forward in her chair. I was there so they were talking in specifics about a drain that they thought they could do for $40,000.00 The council:"we can, we can, good. Kori Lan: "We have ten days. Ten days to respond."
Council clamer: "ten days ten days." Korie Lan: "we're bringing in (and she said two names & referred to them as the "bigguns")
the council: "big guns the big guns."
I specifically remember Darleen Lewis saying "Big guns? Good." It was odd to witness that and I wasn't quite sure what that was about until the next day when I followed up with Dale Storzinger. He updated me that to the fact he gave a cease & desist of ten days for a new sight plan for the whole city municipal back yard  has an illegal water shed.
Dale also explained the MPCA hasn't yet organized a committee to see what the penalties for WSP will be. He also said that the city (Arbon) didn't know about it I told him to look at the email I sent.
Dale's demeanor suddenly changed.  Remember the only to council people I've met with that would even talk and understand the problem was Jim Englin & Nick Juarez. I first tried Arbon & second tried Zanmiller to no avail.

[Here is the forward trail:]
To: George Kinney
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 4:04 PM
Subject: Fw: Fw:WSP"s back yard

----- Original Message -----
To: Don Nelson ; Don Smith
Sent: Thursday, September 01, 2005 12:00 PM
Subject: Fw:WSP"s back yard

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 2:13 PM
Subject: Fw: your back yard

----- Original Message -----
To: Arbon Hairston
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:41 AM
Subject: your back yard
[End of forward trail.]
Noel Kalinoski
email me