Freistatt Village Trustees agreed to advertise for a new water and wastewater operator at their November meeting upon receiving the resignation of operator Charles Stearns from the village's only utilities position.
Stearns said he would submit his formal letter of resignation at the December meeting but wanted to give the village plenty of notice. He offered to stay available in the short term to help with problems that might arise.
"I don't feel I can keep caught up," Stearns said. "Lately, I seem to have gone backwards. I don't see how someone working 40 hours a week elsewhere can give you the job that you need."
Trustees expressed their support for Stearns, who has been active in the past month addressing a variety of water and sewer issues. The most serious problem to surface of late was several positive tests for the coliform bacteria in samples around town. Chlorination began last week but was delayed by cracks discovered in the chlorination tank.
Well samples show the water at its source has no bacteria problems. Stearns expressed confidence the chlorination would kill the bacteria in the system but voiced concern that he did not know the source of the bacteria. Coliform is not harmful but is viewed as an indicator of other potential problems.
Street weight limits
Clerk Deborah Schoen discovered the village had no ordinance to enforce the posted weight limit on residential streets. She discussed weight limits on heavy vehicles with Kevin Davis and prepared an ordinance similar to the one used in Monett.
Under the ordinance, trucks with a weight load of 40,000 pounds would be prohibited from driving or parking on city streets. Unattended or detached trailers 36 feet in length would be prohibited from parking on streets except when loading or unloading. Fines for violations would be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
In the absence of two trustees, Ortwein got the remaining board members to table the proposal for study. The matter was scheduled for discussion at the December meeting.
A community dinner hosted by the Freistatt Community Development Corporation will be held on Dec. 11 at the community building. Ortwein said the corporation would supply the meat, and residents could bring other dishes.
As a special Christmas gift, Ortwein announced a drawing will be held for all residential water customers. The corporation will pay the January water and sewer bill for the winner, who must be present to win. For residents at the senior housing complex not eligible to participate, the corporation will hold a second drawing to give away two turkeys and two hams.
Trustees tentatively scheduled a special work session to develop a budget for 2011 at 7 p.m. on Nov. 18. Approval of a new budget at the December meeting would complete preparations for the new fiscal year to start on Jan. 1, 2011.
Permission was granted to allow the First Steps organization, which screens pre-school children for developmental disabilities, free use of the community building for monthly meetings. Three other organizations have similar permission.
Stearns reported the failed pump at the lift station was pulled and could not be fixed. He estimated replacement would run less than the $3,500 budgeted. A new pump would not arrive for six to 10 weeks due to the odd size of the station.
Schoen reported The CPA Group had conducted the annual audit on Oct. 26. A report should be ready for the December board meeting.
Nominations for the Freistatt Community Service Award were due by the end of December. Recommendations could be placed in the utilities drop box at the community building. The winner would be announced in February 2011.
Schoen said an insurance review identified the need for lighted exit signs inside the community building in case of a power outage. Trustees authorized Schoen to seek prices for signs.
The next regular board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9 at the community building.