Freistatt Board of Trustees members completed their financial plan for the coming year at the December board meeting.
Revenue for 2009 had finished at nearly $1,300 under projections, due to less property tax and revenue from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Spending for utilities and legal services ran over estimates significantly. The $10,075 capital improvement project to build the crosswalk by the post office was the biggest non-budgeted expense.
Trustees amended the 2009 budget to match actual expenditures.
For 2010, trustees opted to keep the same budget for income, figuring economic conditions would improve and boost revenue next year.
No capital improvements are planned for the coming year. The biggest spending increases came for a full year on the contract for Charles Stearnes, the new public works employee as well as a $2,000 pay increase for the maintenance superintendent job by $2,000 and a $700 pay increase for groundskeeper duties.
Other budgeted increases include $1,750 more for the annual audit, $575 more for lab fees, $500 more for repairs and maintenance and $500 more for the billing clerk. Year-end balance is expected to have $1,465 more in income than in spending.
Trustees worked on strengthening village ordinances and clarifying board intent on others.
Marshal Kevin Davis discovered that even though the village had a number of ordinances specifying what constituted a violation, no penalty had been defined on the books. A new ordinance was passed declaring that violations were subject to a fine from $5 to $500, possible jail time of up to 90 days, or both.
Davis found similar problems with other village regulations. A sign posted declares trucks with three axles cannot drive on side streets. Board members said streets built of asphalt or chip and seal get torn up by trucks of excessive weight. However, according to Davis, there is no ordinance backing up the signs, leaving no authority to enforce the restriction.
There are occasions, Davis said, where multi-axled vehicles need access, such as moving vans or grave diggers hauling backhoes. He suggested shaping an ordinance that outlines the exceptions. Clerk Deborah Schoen said she would research ordinances from area towns.
Board members passed a new ordinance prohibiting cars from parking on crosswalks. Davis had recently been called to deal with an offender but no ordinance had yet been passed making parking on crosswalks a violation.
Trustees agreed to buy magnetic signs for the public works employee's truck to inform residents about who was going from house to house, working on water meters.
Mayor Mike Ortwein reported the deep pit near the Trinity Luthern Church property needed to be identified with cones to keep motorists from driving into it. Trustees backed Ortwein's request to have MoDOT put up cones until an engineer for the state could recommend a proper solution.
Trustees sold the village's unused snow plow blade and frame to Roy Obermann for $100. No bids had been received on the previous try to sell surplus property.
Davis and trustees talked about a number of property clean-up problems around town. The property behind the Biermann's restaurant has been sold but still needs to have wood, pipes and railroad ties removed. Instructions were given to have the attorney write a letter to the new owner regarding the needed cleanup.
Trustees also discussed steps to take on a rundown trailer, a collapsing shed and a residence with unused vehicles, some of which are sinking into the ground.
Now that ticket books had arrived, Trustee Elmer Conway said those with dogs running loose needed to receive tickets for violating the village ordinance. Davis agreed but said he needed to issue warnings first.
While discussing maintenance needs on the community building, Ortwein suggested adding steps at the rear entrance and having an outside light.