Forestville board addresses Creek Road, water issues

FORESTVILLE – Action was taken on several items dealing with water and the out-of-village water customers on Creek Road at Tuesday’s Forestville Village Board meeting.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Johnson reported for the water project subcommittee on the informational meeting with Creek Road residents.

“At the meeting Bill Boria told them the cost to form a district would be between $1,500 to $1,700 per year. I asked who would be in favor and no one raised their hand,” he said.

Johnson asked the board to absolve the Creek Road residents from the water project debt repayments and usage from the date of the meeting to June 15, 2014, when the springs will be decommissioned. This does not absolve any past due water bills.

“We are doing this to offset the cost of drill wells,” Johnson explained. “Most people on Creek Road will have to drill wells, many have started already. We looked into many ways to help offset the costs but couldn’t find any way but this.”

The board unanimously passed the measure.

The board also authorized the clerk to send out certified letters to Creek Road residents explaining that due to insufficient interest in a water district they have until June to find an alternate source of water and that they are absolved from debt and usage payments.

Johnson also recommended the board look into a call service which could notify residents about issues related to the water project.

“What prompted this was first the water leak in front of the school on Friday and also when they did the road cut on Main Street and it caused water to be discolored; it was chlorinated, but was discolored for a time,” he said.

Clerk Jim White said he would look to see if it could be a reimbursable cost with the water project. The board authorized getting quotes on the service.

Johnson also asked the board to form a water policy subcommittee.

“We need a new water policy to fit the new needs of the village. There is so much work that needs to be done and (the water project subcommittee) could use some help,” he said.

Attorney Michael Sullivan explained putting the policy into legal language is easy, but deciding what the policy will say is up to the board and the village.

Johnson added not having a water policy was one of the things mentioned in the Comptroller’s audit. He said the committee would consist of a village board member, a department of public works employee, the village clerk/treasurer and a village resident. The board approved the formation of the committee.

The board also authorized water usage bills to be sent out on or around Oct. 15. Johnson explained residents will be billed a flat rate of $180 but the actual usage will be included so that residents can plan for the next bill and ways to save water.

Resident Kim Stott said she has heard some people have not received the debt repayment bill yet and now they will have another water bill to pay. White explained there are about six bills that have been returned due to not having the correct address. The board approved an extended pay period penalty free for 30 days after they receive their postmarked bills.

The board tabled purchasing drainage materials for issues near the Legion on Cedar Street. Trustee David Bishoff said the board needs three quotes because of the price and the village’s procurement policy.

Resident Gary Balote questioned why the village needs quotes for this but not for the 60 tons of salt it purchased. It was explained two quotes were obtained over the phone and the village bought the salt on state bid.

It was also explained the drainage project would be done in the village right of way, not on private property.

The fire department said it needs repairs on a truck and needs to replace 10 pairs of bunker boots. It was also brought to the board’s attention that the insurance company recommended an electrical inspection and improvements to the fire hall, a smoke alarm system be installed and an exhaust hood be put in the kitchen.

Bishoff also pointed out one of the bathrooms in the fire hall is broken and needs to be brought up to handicap-accessible standards. Mayor Linda Aures said it was brought to her attention and she has asked Highway Supervisor Charles Brewster to address it.

The board also authorized hiring a certified public accountant to conduct an annual audit of the village’s finances. Johnson explained this is because no one on the board is an expert, but this is not about looking into the past.

The board will next meet on Oct. 22.