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Freistatt board passes cross-contamination ordinance

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Freistatt Village Board of Trustees passed a comprehensive ordinance concerning management of its water system during the September board meeting.

The 16-page ordinance, with appendixes, was provided by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Water operator Alan Obermann said the main purpose was to make sure no abandoned wells were hooked into the water system. Procedures called for the capping of all wells and installation of backflow preventors.

The ordinance called for four annual reports. Reminders will be place in water bills at least once a year. Posters will be displayed one month out of each quarter at the Freistatt Community Buildings, which houses the city offices.

Personal visits will be made to commercial, industrial, institutional and agriculture customers to explain the need of cross-contamination control. Contact will also be made with contractors to explain requirements.

Obermann said property owners will be obligated to place backflow prevention systems on their property. Trustee Aaron Obermann said he knew of at least 10 wills in town, including one on his own property.

Clerk Deborah Schoen received authorization to send a questionnaire to all water customers asking about wells. Customers were required to return the surveys, which will be shown to DNR representatives who come to assess the village's cooperation.

At the board's August meeting, trustees passed the annual property tax levy, calling for $.2589 per $100 of assessed property. The tax will generate nearly $3,000 in revenue for the village.

Schoen noted the assessed valuation of Freistatt property rose by about $44,000 to a total of $1,148,590. Revenue would increase by less than 1 percent due to new construction.

Water issues

In other board action at the August meeting, trustees agreed to adjust the water bill for the Lions Club for fire prevention and irrigating. Schoen said the extra use actually helped keep water mains flushed. The Lions were to be billed at the same charge as in August 2011.

The annual water system report for DNR had been completed and cited a variety of deficiencies Schoen was asked to contact DNR representative Wally Miller and ask how the village should proceed to correcting the shortcomings.

Schoen told trustees in September that DNR wanted proof that each of the deficiencies had been addressed to the state's satisfaction.

Schoen reported a number of campaign signs had been posted at the Community Building, which is used for voting. A number of residents had complained that election officials were only authorized to remove signs if they represented a violation of electioneering laws, being located within 25 feet of the building.

Trustees agreed to have its own sign posted to discourage campaign signs. The village sign would read, "This property is city owned property and no election signs will be allowed to be posted on city property."

In September, trustees agreed to roll over a $21,689 certificate of Deposit held by First State Bank for another year.

Department reports

Water bills for August use suggested water loss of 16 percent.

Customers paid $32.22 in late fees.

Alan Obermann reported city wells pumped just under 400,000 gallons in August.

A list of reports sought by DNR on Freistatt's sewer system was detailed in a letter. Schoen said the list would enable the village to keep up with requirements for the future.

Elmer Conway reported the Hubert Kleiboeker American Legion Post had acquired 70 new cushioned chairs for use at the Community Center. The old wood chairs would be available for loan.

During the August meeting, trustees discussed concern over foxes in town. The Conservation Department agent said traps were available, but the foxes were likely to be driven back to town by their natural predators, coyotes.

Concern was expressed about a lack of patrolling by Lawrence County Sheriff's deputies. Mayor Mike Ortwein said he felt the town should be forced to pay an additional charge for law enforcement that residents already supported with their tax dollars. Speeding was again cited as a major concern.

Trustees will next meet on Oct. 11.

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