The Omaha village board looked at its options last Monday night as President Lambert reported that Village Supervisor Andy Pritchett will be taking leave from his position on April 18 to have knee surgery, and is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks. The President stated that keeping the reservoir mowed will be the biggest problem while he is gone, as mowing season is in full swing. Lambert passed out estimates for the costs of hiring a local company to do the village’s mowing, a task that requires much time during the months of April through October. Lambert said that he calculated it would be cheaper to hire it out rather than hiring someone full time to do it. Even when Pritchett returns, with the other village work of cleaning septic tanks, maintaining the sand filter, and other summer maintenance, there is not enough time to do all that and mow the reservoir at the same time. “Andy cannot do all of this and stay on top of all of it,” Lambert maintained. One trustee suggested hiring the teenager who worked for the village last summer, but Lambert said the teen would be unsupervised in the short term until Pritchett returns. He suggested looking into hiring an adult, Richard Frohm, part time to mow, weed whack, read water meters, etc. as he has expressed some interest and may be available to work 25 hours per week. Lambert said he would talk to him with the board’s approval. The board voted to offer Frohm 25 hours per week at $12 hour. If he were to decline the offer, they approved putting an ad in the paper for a part time adult helper.
Richard Frohm arrived much later during the meeting and President Lambert offered him the part time job to mow, read meters, etc. which he accepted.
The April 8, 2019 meeting was called to order. at 7 p.m. All trustees were in attendance except for Scott Sauls and Jim Doyle. Doyle arrived a short time later. Others in attendance were Treasurer Jane Schultz, Clerk Patti Chittenden, and President Bob Lambert. The Clerk read the minutes, which were approved. The bills were approved for payment.
Jim Doyle arrived and was welcomed by the board. He signed the oath of office to sit as a trustee.
Treasure Schultz reported the dumpsters for clean up day will cost $332.00 each from Bulldog. The board voted to retain two. Jane wants to put a trailer for scrap metal out.
It is time again to order chemicals for chlorination and neutralizer. The cost will be $1293.28 for eight buckets at $140 each, including shipping. The neutralizer costs are $129.88 per bucket, totaling $1152.17. The chemicals will last through October and are much cheaper to order in arge quantities of eight buckets each, which saves on shipping. The total for the chemicals is $2445.40. The board voted to go ahead with that purchase.
Fire Chief Richard Noel reported that there were no calls last month. Routine maintenance is being performed on all the vehicles. The plumbing is finished on the the tank of new brush truck and the graphics are done. The allotted gear is on order.
Jane gave the Parks and Recreation report: The Easter egg hunt is coming on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. She will have a game or two.
The board opened two bids on the brush truck and one on the snowplow. A bid of $918.00 by Levi Marsh for the truck was accepted. The board voted to refuse the snowplow bid of $50 and just keep the snowplow.
On the agenda was a discussion of the taxes on the Vaultier property. Jane will fill out the paperwork to try for an exemption for another year. This is the property with grain bins on it that belongs to the village, which has been trying to sell the bins. The state says the grain bins are functional and therefore make the property taxable. Last year, the property taxes were $600. The grain bins are actually not functional per se, as they have no augurs, which is why they are not being used as such. Jane suggested making storage buildings out of them, rent them, and make the money to pay the taxes if the state does not agree to make the property exempt.
Another water leak has occurred and was fixed, but the fix initially failed and an additional 552,800 gallons were leaked. Water ill on this customer’s usage is now $5740. The charge from the last leak was submitted to the village’s insurance company. Out of the $3500 cost to the village, the insurance company, after subtracting the deductible, agreed to pay $2900. The board voted to spread out payments to the customer at cost for 17 months.
Omaha’s water tower is in need of repairs. The village was given a proposal from the Suez company to take over maintenance and repairs for the next 10 years. The ten year plan would cost $66,000 per year for the next three years; the cost for the 7 years after would be $18,000 per year. If anything breaks down, Suez takes care of it. That total would be $324,000.
To repair the tower without purchasing a plan would cost $250,400 for exterior and interior work, with one year warranty. The company says there are issues that need addressing such as more ventilation. Chlorine eats away at the inside coatings. The manhole openings need to be enlarged and an additional way up the tower needs to be added for emergencies. President Lamber said a grant might be available, but it would be 80% grant and the village would pay 20% costing the village about $50,000.
New trustee Jim Doyle asked about the general fund and was told there is $18,000 in it, with more money invested in CDs. He asked where it had been spent and was told the new sewer system took a lot of it. It was stated there was enough in CDs to cover the first three years of a maintenance plan for the water tower.
A discussion ensued concerning overdue utility bills. There was another leak found, and that bill was over $1000.00. The leak is now fixed.
Trustee Doyle reported he observed a ditch in the village with too much water and sewage in it and wondered if residents were bypassing the new village sewer system.
The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
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