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Village discusses Housing Authority, makes plans for upgrading Wauneta Community Building PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 21 January 2016 18:55

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze

The Wauneta Village Board of Trustees worked to make the purchase of the apartment complex official at last week’s board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

The board approved a resolution, No. 2016-01, to dissolve the Wauneta Housing Authority, authorize the transfer of its property and accept receipt of property to the village.

A report on the transaction indicated the Wauneta Housing Authority will also have to meet  to resolve to transfer the assets and then dissolve with their own resolution.

The board also addressed management of the apartments. Leanne Hunt agreed to manage the apartments for the village as a contracted employee. Hunt will be paid a monthly fee of $200 plus $20 for each unit rented.

Hunt presented the board with a budget for the apartments for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Board members discussed how apartment repairs will be managed and gave Hunt permission to authorize repairs of up to $750 without prior board approval.

The committee, Hunt and Village Clerk Evelyn Skelton were instructed to work together to draft a rental agreement for the apartments.

Community building

Jeff Tidyman of Engineering International, Inc. in McCook attended the board meeting to discuss possible updates at the Wauneta Community Building (formerly known as the Legion Building).

The village board committee report was given by Tony Cribelli. Cribelli and Village Superintendent Bill Biscoff indicated Tidyman has been working with them to determine what updates could be made to the building.

At this point, the committee has decided they would like to look for grant funding to make the building handicap accessible and possibly update the kitchen.

However, they are also working on making several smaller updates to the facility prior to seeking outside grant funding.

So far the large meeting room has been painted, some ceiling tiles have been replaced, a wall partition has been constructed in front of the bathroom entrances and new door sweeps have been installed. In the near future the floors will also be refurbished. These updates were made with a $2,000 budget, not including village labor, which was approved by the board previously.

The board also approved an additional $3,500 in funding, to be taken from Keno funds, to complete some additional painting, purchase emergency lighting and install new signage on the front of the building.

Bischoff indicated the State Fire Marshall had inspected the building and recommended new exit signs be installed. He also said the fire marshal set the maximum capacity of the building at 225.

After the Fire Marshal’s report, it was also indicated that food will no longer be prepared in the kitchen until safeguards such as a new grease hood can be purchased and installed. However, renters will still be able to prepare food outside the building and use the inside kitchen to warm food.

The board also approved to pay Engineering International for professional services and mileage incurred to date.

Tidyman has been working with the committee to plan possible larger-scale upgrades for the building.

The committee is considering adding a handicap accessible family bathroom.

Water projects

David Blau with Miller and Associates attended the meeting to discuss three water projects being considered.

One project concerns a sewer main that crosses the river and may be exposed, making it at risk for freezing.

The second concerns updating water mains to provide water service to a home. It would also tie the service line with another to create a loop.

The final proposed project will eliminate a water main dead end.

Together, the projects will eliminate three dead ends in the village water mains.

After discussion, the board approved a motion to have BSB Construction complete a project to provide water service to the home for a cost not to exceed $32,000. The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of February.

Unused vacation hours

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. Two employees, Bischoff and Skelton had hours to be carried over into 2016.

Bischoff had hours in excess of the six days allowed to be carried over.

Per the policy, Bischoff and Skelton could be paid for up to six days of unused vacation time that could not be carried over, 48 and 17 hours respectably, which was approved.

Bischoff 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 him for the additional 48 hours of unused vacation time.

Owner occupied rehab project

Skelton told the board the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) owner occupied rehabilitation grant is moving forward. She said the 30-day application period is currently open and that at least one application has been received through the village office.

Clerk’s report

During her report Skelton gave board members information sheets on the sewer and water rate studies which were completed by Randy Hellbusch with the Nebraska Rural Water Association.

No action was taken on the reports, which included suggested increases to water and sewer rates.

The study recommended increasing the monthly minimum water rate to $13.50 (currently $10) and increasing the usage rate to $1.50 per thousand gallons (current rates are $1.00 per thousand gallons).

The sewer rate study included three possible suggested rates which included monthly fees of $10, $12.25 and $14.50. The current monthly fee is $8.

Board members discussed the rates and looked at water rates for similarly sized municipalities across the state. Board members discussed the need for higher rates and indicated they would like to use accurate expense figures in order to set new rates at what is needed to cover actual expenses expected.

The board will review rates again at an upcoming meeting before a decision is made.

Bulk water rates were also discussed. The board discussed raising the rate to a $20 minimum charge plus $5 per 1,000 gallons.

An electric rate study is also in process but information is not yet available.

Superintendent’s report

Bischoff told board members the Department of Environmental Quality has been in town to complete an inspection of the waste water plant. He said the village was written up for erosion and Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) compliances. He said the village will address the violations.

The village board meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. MT at the village office. Meetings are open to the public.