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Freistatt addresses post office closing

Monday, September 19, 2011

Members of the Freistatt Village Board of Trustees discussed the proposed closing of the Freistatt Post Office during the board's September meeting.

Clerk Deborah Schoen reported the notice seeking public comment on the post office closing proposal arrived on Aug. 29 along with a half-inch thick book detailing the projected costs for running the office and switching to a Monett rural carrier system. Schoen said there are errors in the post office report, including a statement that the building was not handicapped accessible.

The standard questionnaire sent for circulation by the U.S. Postal Service did not address issues particularly relevant to the situation in Freistatt. Schoen said she had prepared a separate survey asking six key questions not otherwise addressed. Questions include customer use of the Internet, transportation access to another post office, frequency of visits to the Freistatt Post Office and possible physical disabilities limiting travel ability.

Copies of the local survey are available at the Farmers Exchange. Completed surveys should be turned in at the Freistatt Community Building. Comments can be submitted through Oct. 30.

Schoen said the public can ask specific questions with additional comments submitted with questionnaires. Under the regulations directing post office closings, postal officials must reply. Schoen added she has not billed any of her time spent on the post office issue to the village.

Water issues

Schoen reported the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants an evaluation of all 61 manholes in Freistatt. Trustees directed sewer operator Donald Robertson to inspect six per month to meet the deadline.

Schoen said the village has completed the second and third parts of the DNR settlement over the sewer spill, including distribution of the flier on grease. The final report will be filed by Sept. 24.

Robertson reported Evans Electric had fixed a problem and the lift station was now working adequately. Evaporation in the warm weather had been enough to keep the wastewater lagoon at a low level.

Water operator Alan Obermann reported city wells pumped nearly 400,000 gallons of water in August, much more than usual. The village sold 56,000 gallons to Charles Krueger as well.

Ernte Fest report

All the officers approached by Marshal Kevin Davis to serve at Ernte Fest logged their time, Schoen reported. The festival proceeded without any problems. Schoen expected all the officers would return again next year.

The old storm siren was removed by Monett Utilities Department workers in the past month, according to Mayor Mike Ortwein. Monett will use the siren for parts in its system. The remaining platform was removed by Ortwein.

Trustees agreed to seek bids for roof work to the add-on section on the Community Building that houses the city office. Ortwein said the roof had deteriorated, unlike the rest of the building. Selection of a contractor is expected at the Oct. 13 meeting.

A certificate of deposit for $21,462.90 was due to roll over. With $38,000 in the general fund and no pressing needs in sight, trustees opted to roll over the CD for another year.

Schoen distributed information on renewing the village's property insurance. Schoen was authorized to complete the information and work with Ortwein to fill in changes from last year's application.

Trustees discussed property code violations and authorized issuing a ticket if action is not taken by mid-September.

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