Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Village Board discusses new rescue unit purchase


The Exeter Village Board met on Tuesday, April 4 in the Village office. The board approved the minutes and the invoices before hearing from T J Slezak, the owner of Twisted Wrench.

He approached the board asking to close the block of South Exeter Avenue between South Depot and E. Seneca Street on Friday, May 26th for a special event during alumni weekend.

The board debated the pros and cons of closing main street before they voted to approve closing one block of South Exeter Avenue for the event.

The next item on the agenda was the wages for summer employees. Clerk Becky Erdkamp reminded the board that minimum wage is now $10.50 per hour. The board voted to give all summer employees a $1.00 raise. 

Erdkamp reported that the lifeguards requested an hours of operation change for the pool from the current hours of 1:30 – 5:00 and 6:30 – 8:30 to 1 – 7 every day. With just one evening a week until 10:30 and just a few nights where there are midnight swims.

The board had a long discussion about changing the hours but decided to leave the hours the same so that working parents can bring their kids to the pool after work .  They also stated they would limit the midnight swims to no more than three in the summer.

The board moved on to discuss the purchase of a new rescue unit with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The fire department has the grant for $150,000 which according to Village Maintenance Supervisor John Mueller came through the state.

According to Village Board Chair Alan Michl a new unit costs around $300,000 - $325,000.  Michl reported that the fire department “will add $100,000 from the billing fund and the rest of the funds the fire department will raise over the next few years.”

Maintenance Supervisor Mueller added that if the village doesn’t use the grant it will go back to the state.

Board member Bob Mueller insisted that the rural board should contribute to the purchase price and he and Michl planned to go to the rural board meeting to present their case. “I want them to pay their fair share,” Mueller explained.

Michl added that they had someone coming out to do specs for a new unit and then they would put it out for bids.  The board gave their blessing to the rescue unit purchase process.

Continuing on the fire department the board discussed an addition of two bays to the current fire barn.    Michl estimated that the cost would be between $175,000 and $200,000 and asked for the approval of the village board.

Board member Justin Harre asked how the cost of the addition would be covered.

Michl responded, “If we sign a mutual agreement with the rural board we are allowed to have a bond outside of our levy funds. It would be a small bond basically added on to our taxes.”

Michl estimated it would be 15 years of payments of $15,000 and would be split evenly between the village and the rural board. “We can’t proceed with the addition on the building unless the rural board agrees.”

Board member Jim Anderson clarified their vote, “We aren’t saying yes tonight we are just keeping the process moving.”

The board held a brief discussion on painting the water tower with the ARPA funds the village received but tabled the discussion until the water tower paint analysis results come back.

Marshal Tyler Salmon reported that the former Slama property eviction will be complete after April 9.

Maintenance Supervisor Mueller reported he had started the installation of the batting cages and received one bag of rubber mulch on a truck with two more semi loads expected in the next few days.

The board held a lengthy discussion on the fact that there will not be any ball games played in Exeter this year as there were not enough girls to field each age group of teams. Instead the girls will play with the Friend teams in Friend.  The board plans to keep the maintenance up on the field in case it would need to be used.

Clerk Erdkamp reported that there sales tax for January was $17,774.78 and February keno intake was $183.30.  The next meeting was set for May 9.




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