Friday, April 16, 2021

Exeter Village Board Discusses Water Rates


Exeter Village Board opened their meeting with board member Bob Mueller absent.  The board quickly approved minutes and invoices before delving into the agenda.

First up Chairman Alan Michl announced the police contract with Friend “has been withdrawn. . .we didn’t make a decision last month and they wanted to know by then so they withdrew the offer.”

Tyler Salmon who is the marshal in Fairmont spoke was invited to speak to the board.  He asked the board what areas most concerned them.

“The main thing is to enforce the ordinances,” replied board member Justin Harre.

The board had a sample copy of an agreement the village of Fairmont has with the village of Grafton which Salmon explained would be similar to what could be contracted for Exeter.

Michl summarized, “the proposal is so much an hour.  Whenever we need Tyler he would come over and deal with our nuisances and ordinances.  He would be on call.”

The package would include the officer and the Fairmont vehicle.

Salmon reported that in a brief survey of the town he found 43 unlicensed vehicles not counting two lots that have multiple cars on them.  He also noted 10 homes that need to be inspected.  The board noted that three of the homes have been inspected and are in process of condemnation.

The board asked Salmon to have a contract drawn up so that both boards can review and approved a motion to work on a contract with the Fairmont police department.

The board tabled a decision on selling a gun the village owns.

Prior to the meeting the board got a preview of a video that Librarian Lynette Trauger found in the library of the 1978 Exeter Centennial celebration.  Trauger asked the board for permission to sell the videos as a fundraiser.

Lynette Trauger gave notice that she will be leaving in September.  The board discussed advertising the opening. She also asked the board about using part of the technology grant for a theatre projector package.  The board responded positively.

The board received a safety dividend check from Generations Insurance and approved the summer pool and maintenance staff wages.

Jamey Pankoke and Lisa Jacobsen from Perennial visited with Michl and Clerk Becky Erdkamp about a change in the power bills. They will soon be itemized and show the percentage of the bill that goes to the Village of Exeter.

Previously the village was receiving around 13% for the lease payment on the lines but once Perennial itemizes on the bills it will be 12%.  The village does have the option to negotiate a new contract as the village will lose around $10,000 a year.

“The bill isn’t going to change it’s just going to show on there with them itemizing,” explained Michl.

The Nebraska rural water rate study was reviewed by the board.  The board held a discussion on increasing water rates as all water and sewer repairs for the village are required to come from the funds generated by water and sewer bills.

Michl shared his concern, “When DEQ comes to us and says we need another lagoon how are we going to pay for it?”

The board noted that the average rate for a similar size town is $23 and Exeter is currently charging $11.

After looking at the recommendations in the report the board’s consensus was to raise the water rates from $1.50 to $1.75 per thousand gallons, raise the sewer from $11 to $15 a month and slightly increase the water flat fee based on the size of the meter. 

“I know that’s really not where we need to be,” noted board member Jim Anderson.

Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller encouraged the board to continue to review the rates every three years. Clerk Erdkamp reminded the board that the rates had not been changed since 2017.

Erdkamp reported that sales tax for January was $9134.51 and Keno for February was $221.74.  She noted that the first half of the lien was paid on the 122 N. Burlington property.

The next meeting was set for May 4.


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