CENTERBURG — Centerburg village council met virtually Monday and will continue to meet virtually until a responsible strategy to meet in person is provided by the county health director.
Village Fiscal Officer Shawna Humes reported that the loan for the new sewer plant has been finalized. Previously, the zero-interest loan had been left open in case more expenses in the project came up. Since it has been closed, the loan payments have been adjusted and will be lower than the $235,000 paid previously. The loan payment for July will be even lower, down to the area of $187,000 due to overpayment from January being carried forward. A motion was necessary for continuing payment at the new rate, despite it being lower, because it is still such a large amount.
On the Ewing Street project, Village Administrator Joe Hardin reported that most of the work currently underway is moving utilities. Columbia Gas is moving its mainline out of the way for the street rebuild and has encountered some problems which they are working to fix. Century Link has relocated three poles and has started to move lines. The storm sewer in the project area has also had issues. More utility service companies will be commencing work in the weeks to come.
Under new business, Hardin explained that there is a sanitary sewer that lies partially within the Ewing Street project boundary that wasn’t included in the original scope of the project. The line is currently functional but should probably be replaced before the new street is laid. The sewer in question includes one manhole cover within the project area and one outside of it. Hardin received an engineer’s estimate at less than $40,000 for the project. Councilmember Ronda Seligman agreed that it would be a good idea to get it replaced before the new street gets laid, so long as the village has the money. Humes assured they do have the funds, due to the reduction in the sewer payment discussed earlier.
Hardin asked the council for a motion to get the work contracted out for an amount not to exceed $50,000, which was approved. Village Solicitor Kyle Stroh, when asked by Hardin if the amount could be added to the current contract or if it would require a new contract, confirmed it would require a new contract.
The second piece of new business brought forth by Hardin was initiated by a resident in applying for FEMA programs; either a flood mitigation program or a buyout which would involve the demolition of buildings on the property and transferring property ownership to the village. The property at 102 White Street has had multiple flood claims and the application process for the FEMA programs has to begin with the council. Councilmembers Dave Beck, Saundra Dove and Greg Myers gave their informal approval so Hardin will be moving forward with it.
Hardin reported that the village has received unprecedented amounts of rain in the past week: six and a half inches of rain in four hours one day and 2.1 total inches another, when one and a half inches fell within twenty minutes. There were multiple flooded areas and streets, and complete inundation of infrastructure, as well as several blowouts and edges of roads washing out. The village is working to get those fixed as best they can.
A contractor will be trimming trees around the village, the $5,000 work focusing on the high-risk inventory so that the overall risk rating of the village will be decreased.
The meeting ended in an executive session to negotiate services as part of the annexation of the Knox Community Hospital Whistlestop property.
•Heard the COJFD Fire Board report from Councilmember Tom Stewart that Chief Mark McCann has applied for several grants, is working on the budget for 2021 and says the department is settling into a normal routine.
•Held a second reading of the 2021 budget.
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