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Freistatt board reviews water issues

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Freistatt Village Board of Trustees reviewed water issues during their May meeting.

Clerk Deborah Schoen reported the village has received two notices of violation from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for reports that were not filed. Corrective action will have to be taken, including the cost of publishing statements about the situation in the newspaper.

The water violation came from nitrate tests that should have been taken using sample bottles sent last summer.

Schoen said DNR waits for one year before issuing a violation. Water operator Alan Obermann contacted DNR to find out action is necessary.

Sewer operator Donald Robertson said the unfiled sewer report on inflow and infiltration requested itemization of manholes in the village and the feet of sewer pipe. Robertson said now that he knew about the report, he could provide everything required.

Schoen reviewed the Qwik Water accounting program at length over the past month, working with a support technician. She is now able to provide the first accountability report.

Almost a quarter of the water pumped in Freistatt does not show up in meters, due in part to the village's practice of flushing water lines twice a month. Board members exchanged ideas on how to estimate water flushed to gain a better calculation of how much water is used by customers and how much may be lost due to line breaks.

Schoen also provided a history of water volume pumped from village weels back to April 2010 for future reference.

Board action

The community clean-up, previously cancelled due to rain, was rescheduled for Saturday, June 2. Volunteers should gather at the Freistatt Community Building at 10 a.m. Tasks include cleaning the storage building used for utility supplies, trimming limbs and gardening around the community building. Mayor Mike Ortwein said he will tend to posting the "no parking" signs

Trustees voted to renew a certificate of deposit worth $6,349.54 for six months.

Trustee Bob Brandt said he plans to move from Freistatt later this summer. He asked board members to begin seeking a replacement. Brandt anticipated serving through the July board meeting.


Board members greeted the news that the United States Postal Service had cancelled plans to close the village post office with enthusiasm. Copies of a news release on post offices, prepared by the Postal Service and a lists of frequently asked questions, were distributed to trustees.

Kevin Davis had been scheduled to use his earthmoving equipment to dig a water and sewer main extension for the Lawrence County Youth Fair into the Lions Club's Ernte Fest grounds.

First Steps, the organization that screens pre-school children for developmental disabilities, gave the village a gift card for monthly use of the community building for its meetings for the past year. Ortwein said funds will be used to purchase cleaning supplies for the building.

Application of the village's ordinance on livestock was discussed in connection with pets. A sale of property in town had hinged on whether an aged, three-legged Shetland pony qualified as livestock or as a pet, wherein distance standards from the edges of the yard would be different. Brandt suggested trustees clarify the ordinance.

Schoen reported new sewer use averages were now in use for 2012 billing. April billing had resulted in $51.58 in late fees paid, nearly double the previous month.

The water report showed 298,100 gallons pumped in April.

Trustees reviewed pending property maintenance court cases. A jury trial with owner Randy Davidson is scheduled for June 28.

The board will meet on June 14.

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