New clerk, deputy hired in LS

Wendy Miller, new deputy clerk, sits in on the October Council meeting with outgoing clerk, Carla Moser, and Mayor Barb Robinson.

Wendy Miller, new deputy clerk, sits in on the October Council meeting with outgoing clerk, Carla Moser, and Mayor Barb Robinson.

By Marcie Klomp

A special council meeting on Sept. 30, council members voted to hire Rhonda Klapperich as city clerk to replace Carla Moser. Wendy Miller was hired as deputy clerk to replace Mary Schatz. Both of the current employees had given their ending date as Oct. 4. Moser admitted at the Oct. 1 regular meeting she would probably help out for another six weeks as some parts of the job only occur monthly or quarterly.

Klapperich, who is city clerk at Ostrander, could not attend the Oct. 1 council meeting, as it was the same night as Ostrander’s. Miller observed the meeting.

Both of the new employees have already been training with Moser. Their official start date is Oct. 10. The tentative schedule will be that Klapperich works Monday through Thursday, with Miller coming in on Fridays.

• In the matter regarding removing snow from the parking area at the churches in town, Moser stated she talked to the League of Cities (a place to go to with questions). “They freaked out! They said ‘don’t let them [council] go there.’ ‘Don’t do it!’” The lawyer explained the city uses tax dollars to remove snow and if the city removes snow from private property (churches and school) then it would have to do the same for everyone.

Last month it was decided the churches and school had to have their snow removal person bring in equipment to remove snow as the snow could not be pushed across or into the street.

• Casey Mai of Upper Explorerland updated council on procuring an engineer for grant requirements. The current company, Fehr Graham, was the only bid.

A public hearing will be held at the next meeting for the CDBG grant application.

• Fire Chief Tony Roberts said 13 firefighters responded to a false alarm. It turned out the fire was a burn barrel at a farm house, which was being tended.

There were about 200 who attended the Firemen’s Soup Supper on Sept. 29, which was down a little, but proceeds were about the same.

• Doc Lyon praised the efforts of Librarian Janet DeVries during his report. He urged everyone, “If you have extra cash, send it to the library. Janet works hard and she doesn’t get the recognition she deserves.” One thing she does is visit four daycares in town to promote the library.

 

 

 

• New rope lights are being installed at the community center by Ed Hampe. Also new ashtrays were purchased and tied down by Hampe.

• The Park & Pool Board met at the pool to “get things ready for winter,” said councilman Gary Klomp. He added the board has applied for two grants—one for electrical and one to repair the filter.

Public Works Director Casey Sebastian has been working on removing the sand. He said the problem is there is one hole to use and it is 15 inches oval! He admitted it was a little tight for him. He is also going to take the CPO (Certified Pool Operator) class since current CPO Sandra Chilson is stepping down.

• It was mentioned the five entities (fire department, library, community center, pool and parks) will need to start looking at their budgets and have them ready by December 1.

• In regards to paving from the city limits to the four-way intersection of North Miller and Jackson Streets, Klomp suggested just paving from city limits to the dip by the bridge. “The part coming into town is fine after the bridge,” he explained. A definite answer will be given to county engineer Nick Rissman at the Nov. 5 council meeting.

• Sebastian reminded council the town has been running on just one well for about a year. Fixing the east well building has been slower than expected.

• The Public Works Director again spoke about accountability in the amount of water used compared with what is billed out. It is a little under 50 percent at the moment. He has said before Cresco’s accountability is much closer to 100 percent.

He has been finding leaks, but old, wore out meters are another factor in where the water is going. He is in the process of changing out several meters every month. The problem is that some of the meters are mounted vertically, when they should be horizontal. The kit (meter resetter) to change it costs around $60. Council voted to have customers pay to have the meter changed over, either by purchasing from the City or hiring their own plumber, which could cost much more.

• Council members again discussed, without making a decision, on how to charge residents for non-compliance of city ordinances. Currently those going against ordinances are threatened with a letter and nothing more. There is no dollar amount attached to the penalty.

Each ordinance will need to be looked at separately since not all violations need to be charged the full amount.

• After the last water main break on West Main, it was learned the seven homes were hooked up to a four-inch line, although an eight-inch main runs parallel to the four-inch line several feet away. Sebastian is working on getting them switched over in the future.

Another water line is the one at the top of the hill, which leads to the Travel Plaza area. City Engineer George Tekippe said the bid letting was getting closer as the engineering part was done. All that was needed is the go-ahead from DNR.

• Klapperich was elected to be on the Upper Explorerland Regional Housing Authority committee.

• Jim Smith contacted City Hall saying he will not pay for work done in his yard until it was fixed.

• Holly Kluender was granted a permit to put up a fence as a dust control/wind break for her downstairs business.

• There is a meeting with the Howard County Sheriff and Board of Supervisors on Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. for all mayors in the county to decide how to proceed with sheriff department fees.

• Moser thanked council for supporting her since she took office. The next council meeting will be Election Day in the fire station on Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.

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