Many would say it’s the most wonderful time of the year, during the regular December meeting of the Baldwin Village Board (held virtually) it looked like it is also the busiest time of the year.
During last months meeting, resident Lester Halstead questioned his extremely high water/sewer bill and suggested the meter must be malfunctioning. At that time, he asked for his bill to be reduced to an amount based on prior quarters. The board instructed Public Works Director Brad Boldt to have Halstead’s meter professionally tested. The test was completed and verified that the meter was functioning with a low flow (meaning it was recording less water than what was actually flowing through). Halstead said there was obviously a problem with the meter or the reporting of it. “It takes 16 hours to fill 4,500 gallon pool and the report says that on more than one occasion I used 4,000 gallons in the course of an hour,” said Halstead.
He said it just didn’t make sense as he has used 25,000-30,000 per quarter for the last 14 years to all of a sudden using 90,000-110,000.
After some discussion and reminders to those present that the Village Utility Department has done everything possible to confirm that all systems were working properly (water reading program, billing program, meter function), Lance Van Damme moved to remove the sewer charges of $591.36 from Halstead’s bill and to charge him $125 for the cost of testing the meter. It was seconded by Duane Russett. and passed 4-3 with Austin Van Somern and Chad Wernlund in agreement and Willy Zevenbergen, Matt Knegendorf and Doug Newton opposed.
After some concern expressed during the previous month’s meeting, Police Chief Darren Krueger reviewed ordinance 224-6 – Skateboards, Roller Blades and Roller Skis. The ordinance change would allow these toys to be used in village streets with few restrictions. Krueger said he would prefer the ordinance not be amended. Village Attorney Paul Mahler agreed with Krueger. The board tabled this item until the January meeting at which time they will review additional revisions to remove motorized scooters and play toys from the ordinance.
Sean Lentz, Ehlers, reviewed the sewer rate analysis, which was requested to determine the necessary rate increases to support the new sewer plant. The recommendation from Lentz and the Water/Sewer Committee is to increase the base fee and usage fee 30% annually until 2023 which will create enough income to make payments on the loan necessary to build the plant. The board passed this unanimously.
The board reviewed the supplemental letter agreement with SEH for construction engineering/resident project representative services for the construction of the new sewer plant. There were questions regarding what is included in the reimbursement of expenses for the resident project representative services. Van Damme moved to approve the agreement with modifications reviewed by Attorney Mahler, Engineer Katie Jo Jerzak and Administrator Carlson. The agreement amount is $487,000 for
Construction engineering and $370,000 for resident project representative including expenses and equipment. The project will take up to two years to complete.
Also passed were requests for proposals (RFP) to engineering firms for general engineering services, to create a new public works general laborer position in 2021, a contract with Paladina Health (BeWell Clinic) effective for one year beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the purchase a new van for the water department for $34,637 (as quoted by Flagship Ford), the maintenance agreement and financial agreement with WI DOT
for their Hwy 12/63 resurfacing project at a cost of $12,000 and the continuation of accepting septage when the new sewer plant is functional and to install a cement dumping pad.
The board reviewed three proposals for engineering services for the Franklin Street construction project to be completed in 2021. Proposals were submitted by Cedar Corp -$109,200; SEH - $81,200; Ayres - $89,500. Ayres won with votes from Van Someren, Van Damme, Newton and Knegendorf. Russett, Wernlund and Zevenbergen were opposed.
Tracy Carlson shared the names of the employees who have been employed with the village for milestone years. Congratulations to the following: Five years – Steve Perry, Dan Orr, Tom Boyer and Perin Dooley; Ten years – Craig Kent; Fifteen years – Ken Dykhouse and Thirty-five years – Gary Newton.