Fayette village council 2012.09.05

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette will soon lose its maintenance supervisor following the resignation of Tom Clemensen. His last day on the job will be Sept. 14.

Clemensen was hired in September 2011 to fill the vacant supervisor position to lead the village work crew, but less than two months later his job was expanded to include village administrator duties.

When former administrator Amy Metz announced her resignation in October 2011, she suggested hiring Clemensen on an interim basis to serve as administrator until the village council decided on a long-term plan.

Clemensen continued to serve both positions until Steve Blue was hired as administrator in June 2012.

Clemensen will soon start a new job as the garage foreman for the Fulton County Engineer’s Office. He said he was approached by the county and asked if he was interested in the position.

“It has been a learning experience here at the village and I have few regrets,” Clemensen said, “but I feel this is an opportunity that I cannot refuse.”

Blue expects village council members to accept Clemensen’s resignation at the Sept.12 committee-of-the-whole meeting. No action toward replacing Clemensen will be taken until then.

CSO—At the Aug. 22 council meeting, Blue told councilors that approval of a $4.8 million EPA principal-forgiveness loan to stop combined sewer overflows (CSO) might occur at an Oct. 25 meeting of the EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund committee, but it’s getting less likely. The village still has some details to complete before approval of the funding is given.

The committee will meet only one additional time this year, Blue said, but that Dec. 3 date could present a problem with the need to complete all facets of the loan application process before the end of the year.

HYDRANT—Council voted to pay the Kuhlman company for supplies needed to replace a fire hydrant. Blue said he hopes to receive some insurance payment for the $2,430 project or some money from Defiance Water Recreation since a crew from the company broke the hydrant. The company used the hydrant to fill a swimming pool.

Blue said the village has no policy about the use of a hydrant by a private firm.

He told councilors that he was advised in advance that using the hydrant might cause a water main break, but the sale of the water would have brought in $200 in revenue.

“I deemed it was worth the risk. It turned out to be a mistake,” he said. “I don’t regret trying to make some money for the village.”

Councilor Mat Johnson said the decision doesn’t make sense if Blue was advised against taking that action by three people.

The resulting hydrant replacement was complicated by the lack of shutoff valves in the area and the loss of water to several village residents. 

Clemensen said that many corners were cut when the Zeigler residential addition was constructed decades ago, such as a failure to install shut-off valves.

“If the hydrant was in that kind of shape to begin with, it needs to be replaced anyway,” said council member Dave Wheeler, noting the fire safety risk.

Johnson asked how many other hydrants in town are in bad condition, and Clemensen said there are several. In addition, many of the village’s 58 hydrants do not have shut-off values.

It was a costly lesson, said mayor Ruth Marlatt, but the hydrant did need replacing. However, she added, it’s not a good idea to allow people who aren’t on the village work crew to operate hydrants.

HARRISON LAKE—Harrison Lake State Park’s lift station and sewage line to the village will no longer be part of the village sewer project. Engineering work on the park’s end of the project is not completed, but the park could still join the village system in the future.

PAVING—The village-wide street resurfacing project is moving forward and the levy replacement requests to support the project will appear on the November ballot.

Two streets were added to the sewer project, Blue said, which will allow additional paving of other streets not part of the project. The alley on the north side of the post office might be included, as well as a paving project that was promised to TRW to help with truck traffic.

Blue said he initially thought the village-wide project would cover all streets in the village that aren’t part of the sewer project, but he learned from the village engineering firm that it isn’t the case.

TRANSFER—Council voted to transfer money from the Blues Fest account to various sports programs: $2,200 to the Pony League; $600 to Little League; $200 to Girls Softball. Blue explained later that money had been appropriated to the park board’s account for the festival, but since there will not be a festival this year, money was transferred to park programs that were running over budget.

CLOSED SESSION—Council met in a closed session to discuss a personnel  discipline issue, at the request of Clemensen.

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