Forestville deals with frozen water

FORESTVILLE – Although the village of Forestville’s waterline replacement project was well underway before winter halted work, some residents whose lines were not replaced have felt it this winter.

The Forestville Village Board was informed that waterlines on Center Street, which have yet to be replaced, froze recently because they were not located deep enough under the frost line.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Johnson reported only two homes were impacted, but advised residents to take steps to maintain a source of potable water if this should happen to them.

One of the families affected attended the meeting to complain about how the situation was handled. The couple said they were without water for several days but their neighbors did not have water for three weeks. They said in that time no one from the village approached them to help with their situation.

Mayor Linda Aures said she was aware of the situation and believed Highway Supervisor Charles Brewster was handling it.

“The lines were frozen, you can’t do anything while they are like that,” she said.

Although the couple said they wished the board had been made aware, because once they knew the board members responded to help the families, they were not there to complain about how the incident was handled.

“Our concern is for the future,” the Center Street resident said. “We were able to bring water over in five-gallon buckets from a neighbor’s house, but what about the elderly and disabled residents in the village who aren’t able to do that? There should be a plan in place.”

They pointed out that Perrysburg helps residents hook a hose up to a neighbor’s water supply until the situation can be corrected.

They also asked the village make water notifications more available to residents than just posting notices in the post office.

The board also discussed changing water rate. Johnson said he met with the engineer and they determined the cost for the proposed Northside Water District customers would be a dollar under the $805 per year state limit.

Johnson said they thought spreading the cost out would make it easier for residents to pay. Johnson said they also reconsidered calculating water rates for the district “ad valorem” or based on assessment because tax exempt properties would not be charged for water.

The board passed the rates at $90 base rate charged every other month and usage at $4 per 1,000 gallons with a rate for higher volume users to be set before the next bill. Johnson explained this new base rate will include maintenance and debt payments instead of separate bills for each.

Clerk James White explained the village will also be contracting with a company to send out bills because the clerk’s office would not be able to keep up with it.

The village also approved the purchase of about 150 Sensus ALT transmitters at $79 each. White said this will get all of the transmitters on the same frequency to streamline meter reading. He said this along with cleaning regulators will take place by appointment in residents’ homes.

Fire Chief Bruce Hagmier said the fire hall/municipal building’s roof must be replaced. He said the water was leaking onto an electrical cabinet and buckets have been set up in several places to collect water. Johnson said they will try to put it in the 2014-2015 budget but will need more than the one quote they received on the work.

The board also approved the purchase of a Grasshopper zero-turn mower from Rodgers and Sons in Cherry Creek for $5,055.

The board will next meet on March 25 at 7 p.m.