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Cheyenne Street phase of water main project comes to a close PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 16:10

Representatives from Interstate Irrigation have been in town the past week to complete the second phase of the Wauneta water main project, most commonly referred to as the Cheyenne Street water main project. Here, the last part of the Cheyenne Street phase is being completed on Falls Drive in east Wauneta. (Sheri Hink-Wagner | The Wauneta Breeze)

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze


The water main work on the Cheyenne Street water main project is nearly complete. Interstate Irrigation has been in Wauneta for the past week or so working on the project, which entailed installation of six-inch water mains in east Wauneta.

The Interstate Irrigation bid of $56,130 was accepted at the Nov. 12, 2013 village board meeting where it was the lowest of the bids received.

Work is expected to be completed on the Cheyenne Street project this week.

It was mentioned at the November meeting that the Cheyenne Street project will complete the current water structure projects currently underway in the village.

Village Superintendent Bill Bischoff explained after the meeting that the Cheyenne Street project is part of an ongoing three-phase water structure project for the village of Wauneta.

The first phase was to put in new river crossings. The second phase, the Cheyenne Street project, was to install six inch mains in east Wauneta.

The final phase, which will take place sometime in the future when time and funds allow, will be to increase the four-inch water mains on Wichita with six-inch water mains. Bischoff stated phase three of the project is not a pressing issue at this time.


Turkey problem

Page Johnston informed the board he heard back from Mike Sherman, USDA Wildlife Specialist, regarding the turkey issue in the Wauneta city limits.

In his report Johnston read an email from Sherman where he stated he had been in contact with Dirk Greene with the Nebraska Game and Parks.

Sherman indicated the use of a firearm and/or pyrotechnics would be needed to help get the turkeys out of town.

However, Sherman would need permission from the Village of Wauneta to use a firearm and/or pyrotechnics within city limits.

Johnston also reported on a couple other possible solutions brought to his attention by Wauneta residents. The solutions involved using a kite that mimics an eagle to help scare away the turkeys, decoys or predators and pyrotechnics or sound to scare them off.

After discussion, board members agreed to give Sherman permission to use a firearm/pyrotechnics to help get the turkeys out of town. They stated they would consider other avenues, as presented by residents if Sherman’s attempt is not successful.


Unused vacation time

During the village board meeting it was explained that the village’s policy is to carry over up to six days of vacation time per employee at the end of the calendar year. In addition, the policy provides for payment of hours in excess of those carried over to be paid to the employee, up to six days.

Village board members reviewed unused vacation time of village employees at the January meeting. Four employees, Bill Bischoff, Shane Lawless, Evelyn Skelton and Ruth Hohl, had hours to be carried over into 2014.

Two of the four employees had hours in excess of the six days allowed to be carried over–Bischoff and Hohl.

Per the policy, Bischoff and Hohl could be paid for up to six days of unused vacation time that could not be paid over, 48 and 12 hours respectably, which was approved.

Both Bischoff and Hohl had additional vacation hours remaining after the carry over of up to six days and payment of up to six days. The board voted to pay both staff members for the additional unused vacation time remaining, 48 hours for Bischoff and 9 hours for Hohl.

Board members noted they encourage staff members to use vacation time, as they feel it is good for staff to have time away from work. It was also noted that although Bischoff had a large amount of unused vacation time he does take time off work. Due to his salaried position he also accrues comp time for hours worked over 40 and he used some of those hours during 2013.


Zoning ordinance

Bill Bischoff reported to the board that the Planning Commission met last week to discuss amendments to the village’s zoning ordinances. However, he said the Planning Commission has decided to review their plans further before making a presentation to the village board for their approval. The possible zoning ordinances amendments were tabled until a future meeting.


Land purchase

Board members revisited the issue of the purchase of roughly 584 square feet of land from Glen Yoder to straighten the road in relationship to the Cheyenne Street water project.

Previously, board members were advised by the village attorney that the purchase would have to be done under eminent domain due to a title issue on the property.

After village attorney Arlan Wine conducted additional research he felt the purchase would not require an eminent domain action.

Board members decided to pursue the purchase without eminent domain action.


Nursing home

The village board’s monthly review of nursing home happenings consisted of updating two nursing home policies–the mileage rate and check signing authority–as well as contracting for an emergency preparedness plan.

Board members approved hiring Heidi Wheeler of Imperial as a contractor to help Sunrise Heights of Wauneta prepare an Emergency Preparedness Plan which will cover plans for how to react in the case of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event.

The contract spelled out when services would be provided, over a six-week period, with a total payment of $968.

Nursing home committee chairperson Johnston stated, “This is something we can handle cost-wise and would have real utility. Also, it’s something that has been bothersome to the administration.”


Sheriff’s report

Deputy Mike Dukes attended the January village board meeting to review the December 2013 Sheriff’s report.

Dukes stated the month was fairly typical for a holiday month. The report included one possible charge of terroristic threats against Stacy Layman, which he stated the next court date is anticipated to take place on Jan. 22.

The report included a total of four disturbances for the month, which Dukes states was typical for a holiday month.

Dukes informed the board that a new deputy, Spencer Rowley, was set to start at the Sheriff’s department on Jan. 20. Rowley most recently worked for the Imperial Police Department.


Clerk’s report

Evelyn Skelton informed the board that there has been a release of funds for the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation grant and that there have been a few inquiries into the grant funds. She said Southwest Nebraska Community Betterment Corporation, the grant administrator, has been contacting interested parties and giving them the application. Skelton was hopeful that the village will have six qualified applicants, which is the number allowed by the grant.

She also informed the board of a couple special editions regarding economic development in the McCook Gazette that Wauneta will participate in. She said the paper sent the village a questionnaire to complete, which board member Tony Cribelli completed on the board’s behalf.


Superintendent’s report

Bischoff told the board that board chairman Lloyd Sinner recently toured the village shop and looked at village equipment. During Sinner’s visit they discussed numbering the village’s equipment to make it easier to match equipment for billing purposes.

As a result of the visit, they are also going to look into getting bids to finish the one bay of the shop that isn’t finished.

He also reported that village employees Shane Lawless and Ryan McCrumb will be attending a water conference at the end of the month to contribute toward their continuing education hours and to get updates on regulatory issues.