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Planned power outage Sunday while village changes transformer PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 18 September 2014 20:18

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze


Wauneta residents should make plans to be without electricity for three to four hours Sunday, Sept. 21. The Village will shut off power at 1 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT to all electric customers in Wauneta.

The outage is planned to last three to four hours. During the outage village residents are also asked to restrict their water use, as only one well will be in operation during the outage. Residents are asked to refrain from watering lawns, gardens, taking showers, washing vehicles and doing laundry during the planned outage.

Residents who have questions about the planned power outage are asked to call the village office at 308-394-5390.

Village Superintendent Bill Bischoff told village board members of the planned outage at the board’s regular September meeting last week.

The planned outage has been in the works for the past several months. During the outage village staff will work with outside contractors to switch out a transformer at the village’s sub station. The transformer has been performing below the needed level for some time and Bischoff said now is the time to have it rebuilt. He estimates the rebuild will cost around $23,000.


Water compliance project

Bischoff provided board members with an update on the village’s water compliance project, a plan to bring the arsenic levels in the village’s water supply under the state regulated amount.

The Village has been approved to join a University of Nebraska-Lincoln/Department of Health and Human Services study to rehabilitate the well. Although the village has been told verbally that it has been approved for the study, the contracts to make participation in the study official have not yet arrived.

The contracts, which are the first step in the well rehabilitation project, are expected to arrive any time. Wauneta is one of three towns chosen to participate in the study.

In case the well rehabilitation project is unsuccessful, the village is also moving forward on another avenue to bring the village’s water into compliance. Board members have approved purchase of two Point of Use (POU) Reverse Osmosis systems that will be installed in one private home and one business in town.

Once installed, the village will sample water that has been sent through the POU system for arsenic levels.

If the well rehab is unsuccessful and the POU trial is successful the village plans to install POU devices in all homes and businesses in Wauneta to bring down or eliminate arsenic in the water supply.

Bischoff said the Village of Haigler has similar issues with arsenic in their water and has opted to install the POU devices in homes and businesses. He noted that the POU systems have been installed in Haigler and the samples pulled from the units have zero arsenic.


Propane contracts approved

After careful consideration and comparison of village and nursing home purchases at the two local propane, fuel oil and vehicle fuel providers the village approved propane contracts for the Scout House, Fire Hall and Ambulance Barn.

The village will contract with Wauneta Co-op Oil to purchase 1,700 gallons of propane for the Fire Hall and Scout House for $1.60 per gallon. They will also contract with Wauneta Crossroads to purchase 1,200 gallons of propane for the Ambulance Barn for $1.69/gallon.

The village also purchases 4,000 to 5,000 gallons of propane each year for the swimming pool. However, they do not contract for the propane at the swimming pool, instead they fill the tanks when the market is down.


Library, Ambulance Barn updates

The board approved purchase of two computers for the library from Champa Group. The purchase, which is not to exceed $2,500 will be paid from the Library’s savings memorial account.

The board also approved a $3,489.16 estimate to replace the overhead doors at the Ambulance Barn. The estimate includes installation of energy-efficient doors in the front and the back of the Ambulance Barn.


Nursing home

Board members reviewed financials for Sunrise Heights of Wauneta for the month ending July 31, 2014. It was noted the reports are for the first month of the nursing home’s third fiscal year.

Nursing home committee chairman Page Johnston provided the report, informing board members that the facility had a good first month of their fiscal year. Census numbers at the nursing home have been strong and steady in recent months. As of early last week the census stood at 33, the facility’s maximum census is 36.

Rick Einspahr provided fellow board members with an update on the health insurance plan for nursing home employees. The facility is currently shopping for a plan that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

Although exact numbers and plans are still to be determined, preliminary information shows that costs and coverages for the new plan should remain fairly close to those currently paid for health insurance.


Liquor license for Firemen’s Ball approved

The Village Board approved a request from the Wauneta Volunteer Fire Department for a special designated liquor license for the Firemen’s Ball,

The Firemen’s Ball will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 8 p.m. MT/9 p.m. CT to 1 a.m. MT/2 a.m. CT at the Wauneta American Legion Hall.


Money set aside for police, fire vehicles

The board also voted to transfer funds into sinking funds earmarked for a police vehicle and new fire truck.

The board will transfer $5,000 from the electric fund to a sinking fund intended to purchase a new fire truck when needed by the Wauneta Volunteer Fire Department. Bischoff noted that the WVFD’s plan is to replace fire trucks every 20 years and that the newest truck is a 1987, and therefore could be replaced any time.

Board members also approved transfer of $4,000 from the electric fund into the sinking fund earmarked to pay for half of a new vehicle at the sheriff’s department. The department typically replaces the vehicles every five years.


Sheriff’s report

Chief Deputy Mike Dukes with the Chase County Sheriff’s Department warned village board members of a possible scam happening in the county at last week’s meeting. The sheriff’s office has received calls from a rural resident stating someone called to offer computer services and then proceeded to ask the resident for various information from his/her computer.

Dukes said residents should be advised not to give computer information out over the phone unless it is to a trusted and known computer technician.

During his report he also provided board members with an update on the alley usage issue that came up at the August meeting. He said the department continues to monitor the situation, but that they have had only one complaint in the past month.


Clerk’s report

Village Clerk Evelyn Skelton informed the board the village’s fiscal year will end on Sept. 30. She told board members village staff has already begun getting things ready for the annual audit. Skelton noted the auditors are scheduled to perform the audit in November.


Superintendent’s Report

Bischoff reported good news concerning electric rates paid by the village. He heard from WAPPA that the rate paid by the village for power will remain fundamentally the same in the upcoming year.

He also told board members the village’s bucket truck has had some issues after being tested. The required repairs are estimated to cost approximately $3,500.

Bischoff also reported another surge in dog complaints and issues in the village. He told board members he plans to suggest a change in the village ordinance where dogs found without collars and identification are disposed of (taken to a humane society) within a day so the village can avoid costly care and maintenance expenses for unclaimed animals.


Other business, executive session

In other business, the board approved donation of a family pass to the Wauneta swimming pool (valued at $100) to the Chase County Cancer Walk. The walk will take place in Imperial this year.

Board members entered into executive session at the end of their meeting for evaluation of a village employee on job performance. Once they returned from executive session board members approved a motion to have Skelton and Terry Galloway with the village’s auditors continue with the village’s interim audit and report back to the board.