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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Aaron Obermann sworn in as new Freistatt trustee

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Aaron Obermann joined the Freistatt Village Board at the July meeting by appointment of the other trustees. Obermann, at left, replaces Robert Brandt. He took the oath of office from Clerk Deborah Schoen.
Aaron Obermann was sworn in as a new member of the Freistatt Village Board of Trustees at the board's July meeting.

Obermann received the second highest number of votes in the April write-in election for a board seat. Accepting board chairman Mike Ortwein's invitation to attend the meeting, Obermann said he would be willing to fill out the remainder of Robert Brandt's term. Brandt moved out of state in June.

Following a vote to appoint Obermann, the new board member received the oath of office from Clerk Deborah Schoen.

Obermann quickly moved into discussions about village business. When Schoen reported an estimated 15 percent of water pumped from village wells does not reach meters, Obermann asked where the water was going.

Schoen said the biggest likely source was unmetered use by the Freistatt Rural Fire Department. Obermann offered to develop a system with the firefighters to track the water used and report the amount to the city the same day.

In a discussion of new concerns, information surfaced that a number of red foxes had been seen in the village, and may account for the disappearance of some cats. Elmer Conway said the foxes represented a possible source of rabies and reported the location of four dens.

Obermann suggested contacting the Department of Conservation for possibly trapping the animals. Ortwein said he would contact the agents promptly.

Attorney Bill Petrus reviewed ongoing property maintenance cases. One case involving Randy Davidson was resolved when Davidson took an Alford plea. The judge hearing the case set a fine of $10, below the city's fine schedule of $50 for the first offense. According to Petrus, the judge said setting the amount fell within his discretion.

Petrus reviewed the difference between condemnation of properties and issuing tickets for ordinance violations. Since a fine usually made the needed point, Petrus recommended pursuing the strategy. Condemnation, on the other hand, could cost the village up to $10,000, depending on the condition of the property and the materials needed to remove unwanted structures.

As a way of pinpointing more specific building maintenance issues, Petrus brought copies of ordinances used by Mt. Vernon and Stotts City that could be used as models for focusing Freistatt's regulations.

Administrative action

In other business, Ortwein reported finalizing the paperwork for inspection of the village's standpipe at a cost of $900. The work would be completed by Liquid Engineering Corporation from Billings, Mt.

Schoen said a representative from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had contacted her with questions following the annual inspection of the village's water and wastewater systems. The report, which would be received within a month, offered recommendations on improvements.

According to the inspector, the review had gone very well. The lack of positive comments should not be interpreted as an overall negative assessment, he said.

Department reports

Utility customers paid $5,704.37 in June for water and sewer service. Late fees of $39.15 were paid.

Village wells pumped 468,900 gallons in June. Water operator Alan Obermann reported water lines were flushed at the beginning and the end of the month.

Wastewater operator Donald Robertson reported checking the lagoon nine times during the month. The lift station was pumping two hours per week.

Schoen reported she learned from Monett city administrator Dennis Pyle that grant money may be available for sidewalk improvements along Highway H. The village would be required to provide a 20 percent match.

The board will next meet on Aug. 9.

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