The Freistatt Village Board of Trustees voted at its June meeting to settle the damages from a sewage spill in December 2009 and to take preventive steps to avoid a future recurrence.
The board received a letter from Stephen and James Schoen detailing the loss of crops in the soybean field resulting from the sewer line backup that overflowed on Dec. 17, 2009. The Schoens determined the actual damage was limited to a little over two acres.
The soybean crop produced approximately 60 bushels an acre. However, the Schoens agreed to simplify the billing by claiming a loss of 50 bushels per acre for an even total of $1,000, to be split between the two brothers. Trustees found the agreement acceptable and approved payment.
No definitive explanation has been found for why the sewer main overflowed. Wastewater Operator Charles Stearns reported the water level at meeting time seemed a little higher than it had been, suggesting a possible cumulative effect may be contributing to the problem.
Board members directed Stearns to have the sewer main in question pumped out again for safe measure. Arrangements were to be made with the City of Monett's Utilities Department to handle the pumping between bean crops.
Two other maintenance issues came before the board. Sidewalk repairs had been considered though the question of changing parking patterns by Trinity Lutheran Church, where cars often end up on the sidewalk due to a lack of curbing, has not been resolved.
Board members decided to let the fund for sidewalk repairs build for another year to allow more work to be done at once in 2011.
Board members continued their review of village property by looking again at the accumulation of around a dozen broken wood folding chairs in the community building. Thought to be around 60 years old, the unique folding chairs are still the main furniture used for community center gatherings. The chairs do not appear to be reparable if broken. Trustee Elmer Conway offered to discuss the chairs with the American Legion Post to find a suitable course of action.
City wells pumped nearly 400,000 gallons of water during May, Stearns reported. Residents are using a daily average of 12,870 gallons. Stearns continued flushing water mains twice a month to avoid accumulating stale smelly water during hot summer months.
Clerk Deborah Schoen reported the village had collected $135 in late fees for the payment of utilities for May.
Bills totaling $3,853.73 were paid.
The board will meet next at 7 p.m. on July 8.