Fayette village council 2012.04.04

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Everybody knows the location of some potholes in Fayette, says Paul Morningstar, because they’re everywhere.

Morningstar spoke at last week’s Fayette village council meeting about the bad state of repairs on many of the town’s streets.

Morningstar said it’s embarrassing to invite out-of-town people to his house and he figures village residents would be proud if street repairs were done—especially if the repairs were done correctly.

“I like to see things done well,” he said. “There’s a proper way to do it.”

He’s disappointed that some repairs were done using patch left over from last year, and that a truck is used to tamp the patch down instead of using a steel plate.

Morningstar said he’s even patched some holes himself on Union Street where he lives and he would consider being hired to make repairs if the help is needed.

“I’m not looking for another job,” he said, “but I’m willing to help. I came to the meeting to bring attention to the problem.”

Mayor Ruth Marlatt said that road repair is a frequent topic of conversation among council members. Some of the worst areas have been addressed, she said, and some areas have been delayed due to the impending sewer work that could begin yet this year.

Morningstar said he’s seen a street that received chip and seal before the potholes were filled—an approach that doesn’t make sense to him.

CAR WASH—Council voted to rescind the tax abatement for Eagle Car Wash because the business is no longer in compliance. Water was shut off to the business due to unpaid bills.

The abatement was granted in 2004 when the structure was built. A 10 percent discount on water rates was granted, but later eliminated by council members in 2009.

Car wash owners have asked council for permission to drill their own well rather than pay for village water. Their water does not have to be potable.

The problem with that approach, said councilor David Borer, is that the village would have to run the wash water through the sewage treatment system without any accounting of the quantity.

Councilor Mat Johnson suggested tabling the request until the water bill is paid and Dave Wheeler concurred.

ADMINISTRATOR—Council voted 5-0 to advertise for a permanent village administrator, with an application due date to be determined later. Johnson abstained from voting due to his interest in applying for the position.

TREES—Council accepted the low bid of $3,360 from Knisel Tree Service for the removal of 16 trees. Village workers will handle the clean-up and a stump grinder will be rented.

CHIPPER—Council will pay $18,700 for a brush chipper that was used by a municipality in California. The unit has been serviced and will come with a one-month warranty. Julia Ruger opposed the purchase.

ENGINEERS—Council voted to have Arcadis determine the legal descriptions for 10 properties where easements will be needed for the sewer separation project. Village solicitor Tom Thompson estimates the work will cost $250 per property.

SIDEWALKS—Council approved a sidewalk assessment for repairs made in 2011 for which property owners have not yet reimbursed the village for costs. Twenty-six properties are involved, with the highest assessment at nearly $2,600.

One property owner requested a two-year payment period, but Thompson explained that it can’t be granted for one person and not others.

The property owner could choose to pay only half and allow the remainder to go delinquent, he said, but it would be subject to a one-time 15 percent fine on the balance. Payments are due in February, Thompson said. After that, the unpaid balance will be placed on the tax bill. An interest rate of 3.5 percent will be charged.

Councilor Dave Wheeler questioned whether one year was sufficient time for someone on a fixed income. Johnson agreed, and he voted against the ordinance in the 5-1 vote.

CLEANUP—Council approved an annual village cleanup date of May 5. Fees will be paid by those residents who choose to use the service based on the volume of trash taken to the ARS trucks.

CLOSED—Council met in a closed session to discus a personnel issue.

Earlier in the meeting, village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver reminded councilors of the allowable reasons for shutting out the public in a personnel discussion: appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee.

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    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
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