VILLAGE OF UNION MEETING MINUTES December 14, 2011

The Union Village Board met in regular session on December 14, 2011 and was called to order at 7:00pm.  The Open Meeting Laws were displayed for public reference.  On roll call:  Hardbarger – Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak – Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown delayed – Arrived 7:03pm.

Minutes of the November 9th Board Meeting were reviewed. Chipman motioned to approve the November 9, 2011 Meeting Minutes.  2nd by Keene.  By Roll, Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

Claims and Accounts were presented.  Vidlak motioned to approve December Claims and Accounts.  2nd by Brown.  Trustee votes are as follows: By Roll, Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

CLAIMS & ACCOUNTS DECEMBER 2011 NPPD           FIREBARN*  $       78.55  WATER PUMP  $     345.59   FIREBARN (TOWN BLDG)  $       20.00   TOWER  (WATER)  $       20.16  TRAFFIC LIGHT  $       20.00  AREA LIGHT RENTAL  $       12.24   STREETLIGHTS  $     539.43   SEWER PUMP  $       55.65   BALLFIELD  $       44.74  ALA HALL  $       35.72  MEESKE ACE HARDWARE  $       14.97   MAINTENANCE TOOLS/STREET  WINDSTREAM  OFFICE  $       70.22  WINDSTREAM  FIRE  $       87.58  MELISSA HANSEN   $      724.60    NOV PAY  CARRAWAY COMP  $      500.00   SOFTWARE MAINT CONTRACT  LOAN  $      265.64   RESCUE SQUAD  LOAN  $      618.44   STREET/SEWER    STEVE HEYEN  $    1010.33   NOV PAY  JOHNSON’S GAS N GO  $      245.20   MAINT TRUCK  EMS BILLING  $         8.31    RESCUE FEES  CASS CTY ELECTION  $   2208.47    RECALL ELECTION FEES  NPHEL  $       22.00    WATER TESTS  DHHS  $     115.00    WATER OP LICENSE RENEWAL  KAREN KAHLAND  $       25.00    TRUSTEE DUES  DWAIN HARDBARGER  $     520.00   TRUSTEE DUES  PAUL VIDLAK  $     375.00   TRUSTEE DUES  GAILLE BROWN  $     200.00   TRUSTEE DUES  CALEB KEENE  $     175.00   TRUSTEE DUES  DEPOSITORY TRUST  $   1507.50   STREET BOND INTEREST  

$  9,974.18        DECEMBER CLAIMS AND ACCOUNTS $63,173.54        GENERAL FUND BALANCE, AS OF DECEMBER 13, 2011 $  1,959.72        12/14/11 DEPOSITS MADE

Correspondence: The Village received US Census annexation survey.  There are no boundary changes to report.  Survey completed and sent.  NDED announced grant money for community and civic center buildings.  Received Recall Election Certification and DHHS return to compliance notice.  The Chairman would like to extend his thanks to all who came to vote in support of their elected officials during the recall election.

Clerk Report:  The Bescheinen lawsuit is in appeal.  Union’s Christmas lights are in disrepair and will not be put up this year.  The estimated replacement cost is $3000.  Due to the $2200 cost of the recall election, replacing the Christmas lights will be looked at for next year. The water meter committee needs to meet in January to determine the next steps in our replacement project.  A budget committee needs to be put together to look at our financial picture over the next few years. The yearly USDA reports have been filed.  Financial documentation has been sent to Ortmeier in preparation for the village’s audit waiver.  Street budget documents are being prepared to send to Olsson Associates so they can prepare the NDOR budget forms.

The Village Maintenance report: was given by Heyen.  The village pumped 1,038,000 gallons of water and the lift station ran for about 3.4 hours per day, 104 hours for the month.

Heyen installed the 1971 mercury switches and timers in the well house as a remedy to pump surging and causing low pressure periodically to the water tower. So far he has had no problems.

The village’s salt spreader has bad tires.  The Board is in favor of replacing the tires.

Fire and Rescue report given by Louise Stewart.

Sirens tested OK.  There was 2 Rescue and 0 Fire calls reported for the month.  Ms. Stewart will forward a letter the department received from CCEMA for public officials. There is no grant available for radio upgrades.  They must be upgraded by October 2012 with a cost of approximately $400 to be shared 3 ways.

Cori Knapp is officially licensed as and EMT.  DHHS reimburses part of this training cost when completed.

The Fire and Rescue will elect their officials at their January meeting.

Union United Inc. report was given by Debbie Vidlak.  This Sunday, the group will be holding a wrapping event and nativity display at the ALA Hall from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.  Anyone needing their gifts wrapped is welcome to bring them by. The tree planting project is complete and the group will be focusing on signs for the village.

NEW BUSINESS

Chipman motioned to file an audit waiver with the State for FY 2010-2011. 2nd by Brown.  Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

Mr. Clark was given the floor.  He explained that he lives in the property next door to 108 Main Street and has a couple of issues.

Issue one, he stated that he is frequently picking up brick and mortar debris that has fallen from the top of 108 Main St.  At one point there was a fire on the second floor that was not repaired correctly causing the integrity of the building to be in question.  Recently the roof was spray foamed to repair storm damage.  The State Health Board will no longer issue a license to this establishment.  He has tried contacting the owners, Greg and Marcia Thumann, with no reponse.

The second issue Mr. Clark has with the property is the exhaust fan.  He states that it leaking grease and is in violation of 1996 fire code because it is attached to a combustible material (plywood).  He wants the Board to pursue this property as a nuisance.

The Board asked the clerk to send a letter to the Thumann’s requesting that they attend the next Board meeting to discuss the building safety issues and trespass onto Clark’s property.

Mr. Fox and Mr. Gansemer from the Nehawka Baseball League were given the floor to request the use The Union Ballfield for Nehawka Baseball practices.  They have 4 – 6 teams sharing the fields in Nehawka and would love to have another field to practice on.  The clerk advised them that they would have to coordinate with the Conestoga Softball program to develop a fair practice schedule since they used the field for practice last year and store their field equipment in the concession stand. 

Mr. Fox also asked about the condition of the field lights.  The clerk responded that the lights do not work and are too expensive for the village to replace right now.  Fox said that it would be good for the future to look into having them fixed or replaced.  The league has the potential to host up to 20 tournament games if they can come up with another field. This would bring revenue in the form of concession sales.

Chipman motioned to allow Nehawka Baseball the use of the Union Ballpark. 2nd by Brown. Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

Chipman presented his view of the Volunteer Fire Department leadership requesting that Bill Bescheinen be removed as chief under the grounds of misconduct.  He has refused to support the Village events and encouraged his department to refuse as well.  Bescheinen uses the department in his vendetta against the village’s public officials and Union United.  Many residents have zero faith in his abilities as a leader and that fact that his properties are in violation of a number of village ordinance does not make him example worthy.

Chipman motioned to remove Bill Bescheinen as Fire Chief of the Union Volunteer Fire Department because of misconduct.

Fire and Rescue personnel present argued that Bescheinen is a competent fire chief.  Ms. Stewart asked the Board to separate the person from the professional position.  Mr. Kennedy stated that the department is loyal to Bescheinen and that his removal would force the whole department to quit, leaving no leadership or volunteers.  The members of this department all want to help the village.  They make themselves available 24/7.

Brown voiced her concern for Bescheinen’s leadership.  When the lawsuit was filed for his nuisances, Bescheinen came by her house and threatened to not respond to board members in event of an emergency.   Hardly a week went by, when her husband’s medical equipment malfunctioned and he was bleeding out onto the floor and there was little response from the volunteers.  Mr. Smith, a volunteer firefighter showed up but couldn’t help with the situation. Mrs. Brown feared that Bescheinen’s threat was being carried out.

Because no one seconded his motion, Chipman withdrew his motion to be tabled indefinitely.

The chairman recommended that the volunteers elect a new fire chief. Mr. Keene said that when Bescheinen was elected after the last chief left, Bescheinen requested that Keene leave the department after 25 years because the roster was full and  Bescheinen wanted to put his own people on the roster.  Keene said that after he left, all the other volunteers opted to leave because Bescheinen was in charge.

Chipman motioned to remove Steve Bescheinen from the Fire Department because of misconduct, assault on an elected public official.

Brown stated that she had never seen Steve Bescheinen act in this manner before.  She believes he reacted to Bill Bescheinen’s account of the outcome of a board meeting.

Motion tabled indefinitely.

Chipman motioned to remove Willie Bescheinen from the Union Volunteer Fire Department because of misconduct.  2nd by Brown.  Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – abstained, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

Chipman stated that it is plain to see that he has no puppets on the Board.  The Village wants a great department and the Board will be looking for ways to show appreciation for the thankless work that they do.

Chipman motioned to appoint Steve Heyen as Village Maintenance at a rate of $13.00 per hour with a maximum of 40 hours per week.  2nd by Brown.  Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

Chipman motioned to appoint Melissa Hansen as Village Clerk/Treasurer at a rate of $9.00 per hour with a maximum of 40 hours per week and100 hours per month.  2nd by Brown.  Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

Chipman motioned to appoint Olsson Associates as Street Superintendent. 2nd by Brown.  Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

The chairman appointed the following trustees as commissioners:  Vidlak - Street Commissioner, Brown – Water Commissioner, Chipman – Sewer Commissioner.

Vidlak motioned to adjourn at 8:47pm.  2nd by Brown.  Trustee votes are as follows:  Hardbarger– Aye, Chipman – Aye, Vidlak- Aye, Keene – Aye, Brown – Aye.  Motion approved. 

The next regular meeting is scheduled for January 11, 2012, 7pm at the ALA Hall.  The Meeting Notice and Agenda will be posted for the public at the Village Office, the Union Branch of the Nehawka Bank, and the Union Post Office.

Dwain Hardbarger, Jr. Chairman

These minutes have been prepared by the village clerk and are certified to be true and accurate.

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