By Leesa K. Bartu
Exeter Village Board members opened their meeting on Wednesday, December 7 with the reelected members, Mitch Schlegelmilch, Kathy Erdkamp and Alan Michl, reciting the oath of office.
The board once again nominated Alan Michl as Chairman and Tim Wilbeck as Vice Chair. Both were reelected to their current positions. The board also reviewed the appointments on various committees of the village. After a brief discussion the board approved the assignments with a few changes.
Next on the agenda was a presentation from Steve Parr and Nathan Boone from JEO to review the progress on the downtown revitalization and street paving agreements.
The projects were divided into two separate agreements. Parr was looking for the board to approve the design phase of the project. He emphasized that once the design is complete the board can decide when and if construction will take place.
Parr estimated that the total costs for the downtown revitalization construction would be in the $650,000 range. This would include new lighting and sidewalks downtown along with quite a bit of water main work.
LED lighting could bring a large cost savings to the village, according to Parr. He noted that Schuyler, Neb. had replaced all of their lighting with LED and were anticipating a 10 year payback in the whole town. “It was more like a four or five year payback. That is something we are not pushing it is just more efficient with better energy savings.”
Next Parr moved on to the street improvement project. The JEO estimate included some geotechnical investigation. “We will do a sample boring on each street so that we can see what the substrate is. This will limit the unknowns,” explained Parr.
JEO estimates the paving project will come in around $1.4 million but emphasized that cost estimates are very preliminary at this time.
The plans will include designs to pave current streets in town that are unpaved including the block on Union Avenue from Tecumseh Street to Seneca Street, another on Burlington Avenue from Maplewood Street to Liberty Street and also on River Avenue from Otoe Street to Kiowa Street.
Several streets are scheduled for repaving and Chairman Michl clarified the fact that homeowners would not have any costs where the village is repaving since those projects are maintenance related.
The board approved the contract to hire JEO to design the downtown revitalization project and the street improvement project.
The board discussed the current maintenance tractor used by the village which is 20 years old and has 2300 hours. Clerk Becky Erdkamp reviewed the current financial situation of the village noting that the village has retired some debt but has also purchased some recent assets.
Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller reported to the board that the price he was quoted was $49,250 with a trade in of $8000 for the current tractor. The tractor quoted included a loader bucket.
The board discussed waiting an additional year to replace the tractor but after reviewing financing opted to purchase the tractor with a loader attachment this year.
Clerk Erdkamp received a request from the cemetery board to increase the pay for the secretary/treasurer from $88.25 a month to $125 a month. The board approved this effective January 1.
The board asked Maintenance Supervisor Mueller about the progress on the ballfield project. He reported that the new infield is in place, the sprinklers are in, the fence is back up and there are just some small clumps of clay in the infield that should melt away.
Board Member Justin Harre commented, “I am happy we got it done when we did because it will pack down over the winter.”
Clerk Erdkamp reported that $15,597.20 has been spent on the ballfield update. The Exeter Community Foundation has indicated they will donate $7,500 toward the project. She also reported that sales tax for the month of September was $8542.00 and Keno for October was $378.92.
Erdkamp noted that the landline is not working in the fire hall and the police department phone is rarely used. The board opted to disconnect both the fire hall and the police line.
Erdkamp had requests recently from two different people wanting to bring trailer houses into the village which is not allowed. She notified the county zoning administrator that the village does not allow them. The next meeting was scheduled for January 4.