MARCH 9, 2011

The Union Village Board met in regular session on March 9, 2011.  The meeting was called to order at 7:05p.m. at the ALA Hall.  The Open Meeting Laws were displayed for public reference.  On roll call: Hardbarger, Jr.,Vidlak, Chipman and Brown. Kahland was absent.

New Business Agenda items A and B were moved to the beginning of the meeting as a courtesy to our presenters.

AT&T Representative Sam Mandolfo proposed a leasing contract of the Union Water Tower as a location to install an antenna that is approximately 6ft. by 20 ft. to improve the service to their customers in the area.  They also wish to erect an equipment building nearby.  They are pretty sure the site is suitable, but engineers will be by to do a site survey and inspection.  AT&T is offering the Village $700 each month on a 5 year lease, with 4 five year renewals.  The leasing fee will increase 10% every five years upon renewal of each contract.  Chipman proposed contract modifications to include limits of indemnification per State Law, which Mandolfo stated shouldn’t be a problem.  The Board inquired if the lease amount was negotiable and asked to raise leasing fee to $800 per month.   Mandolfo will let the Village know if AT&T doesn’t accept the terms.  The process will take about 3 – 5 weeks.

Chipman motioned to allow Chairman Hardbarger to review and execute the lease at $800 per month for five years, with 4 five year renewals with an increase of 10% for each contract period. 2nd by Vidlak.  By roll, Trustee votes are as follows: Hardbarger, Jr.,-Aye, Vidlak-Aye, and Chipman-Aye, Brown-Aye, Kahland absent.  Motion approved.

Harold Reynolds, from the Midwest Assistance Program, presented the findings of his water and sewer rate study that was suggested by the USDA.  The estimated amount of funding needed to replace the water meters in the Village is about $22,000.  The water meters priced have a 20 year warranty and will cost $115.00 each for 100 new meters.  It will cost $7500 to purchase the reading equipment and billing software.  Reynolds estimated the installation cost by village maintenance to be around $3000.  Once the meters are installed a base rate of $20 should be charged and another $1.50 for every 1000 gallons used.  He suggested raising the flat water rate to $31.82 until meters are installed to keep the Village in the black.

Reynolds briefed that with our current sewer fee our expenses are $4672 more than our income each year.  Our sewer funds will be in the red in 3 years unless our rates are adjusted.  After water meters are installed, he suggests we set a base sewer rate of $29.00 and $1.00 for each 1000 gallons used.  Until the meters are installed he suggests that we raise our flat rate to $37.40 to keep the Village in the black.

No equipment depreciation or long term replacement issues have been addressed at this time.
However; inflation and $5000 in reserves have been figured in the study for future needs. Rates should be adjusted yearly to ensure reserves are built to address long term expenses.
Mr. Reynolds said that he would be willing to attend our public hearing for water and sewer rate increase to answer the residents’ questions.

Minutes of February 9, 2011 Board Meeting were reviewed.Brown motioned to approve the February Meeting Minutes.  2nd by Chipman.  By roll, Trustee votes are as follows: Hardbarger, Jr.,-Aye, Vidlak-Aye, and Chipman-Aye, Brown-Aye, Kahland absent.  Motion approved.

Claims and Accounts were presented.  Chipman motioned to approve March Claims and Accounts.  2nd by Brown.  By roll, Trustee votes are as follows: Hardbarger, Jr.,-Aye, Vidlak-Aye, and Chipman-Aye, Brown-Aye, Kahland absent.  Motion approved.

MARCH 2011

NPPD           FIREBARN*  $        85.37 
BALLFIELD**  $        52.52  
WATER PUMP  $      387.99  
FIREBARN (TOWN BLDG)  $        39.74  
TOWER  (WATER)  $        20.00 
TRAFFIC LIGHT  $        20.00 
AREA LIGHT RENTAL  $        12.24  
STREETLIGHTS  $      539.43  
SEWER PUMP  $      133.35  
ALA HALL  $        32.60 
KECKLER’S  $      187.51   EXHAUST REPAIR TO F-250 
WINDSTREAM  OFFICE  $        61.92 
WINDSTREAM  FIRE  $        87.59 
MELISSA HANSEN   $       611.38   FEB PAY 
ALLIED RECYCLING  $     1255.23   Monthly Trash Service  
LOAN  $       265.64   RESCUE SQUAD 
LOAN  $       618.44   STREET/SEWER   
STEVE HEYEN  $       919.31   FEB PAY 
JOHNSON’S GAS N GO  $       288.22   VILLAGE 189.31/RES SQ 58.91 
US TREASURY   $       800.00   IRS PAYMENT 
EMS BIILLING  $           3.00   Rescue Billing service/PD 
NPHEL  $         10.00   WATER TESTS 
MATTHESON  $       268.55   OXYGEN & EQUIP SVCS 
OLSSON AND ASSOC           $       329.98   STATE ST BUDGET AND 1 & 6 YR


The NE Mosquito & Vector Control Association sent grant information for mosquito control for the 2011 season.

NDOR notified the Village that incentive funds have been delayed until March due to branch reorganization.

The State has requested information on our animal control procedures and facilities.  We do not run an animal control facility but we must have an agreement in place with a State certified facility.  The clerk will contact Dr. Joy in Nebraska City to find out if his facilities are certified and if he is willing to work with Union so she can file the paperwork.

The USDA sent notification of the vulnerability assessment and emergency response plan due May 1, 2011 on our water and wastewater projects.

Operation Lifesaver is requesting that the village provide them a medium to send out safety messages for communities that have railroads.

The Clerk’s Report: 

The IRS has waived the civil penalty for failure to file W2s and W3 for 2005. The $7090.84 settlement on McWha’s public official bond was applied to our arrears bringing our tax debt status current through Sep. 2007.  Twelve out of 20 quarters have been paid to date.

The Village Maintenance report: was given by Heyen.

The Village pumped 824,000 gallons of water last month.  The pumps ran for 257 hours.
The lift station ran for 61 hours, a rate of 2.1 hours per day with no alarms. 

The Montana tractor was picked up for repairs on Feb. 17.  John’s Tractor said it would take at
least a month to repair depending on what parts they have in stock.

The F250 exhaust will has been repaired.

Heyen reported that the women’s toilet in the concessions stand has hairline cracks even though
he winterized with them with RV antifreeze.  He wasn’t sure if the cracks were there before, but
there are no leaks.

Heyen repaired the stop sign at the bottom of South 2nd St.  It appeared to have been knocked
over by a vehicle.

Heyen reported that he needs to burn grass and weeds of the edges of the lagoons.  He will
purchase the necessary equipment and get that done soon.

Fire and Rescue Ms. Stewart reported 1 Rescue call and 1 Fire and Rescue call since the last meeting.  Sirens tested fine.

Ms. Stewart presented the new EMT contract for Rick Erickson for board approval. 

A new volunteer fireman, Steve Bescheinen, has been added to the Volunteer Roster and read in to the minutes for insurance coverage purposes.

The State Fire Marshall will be conducting Statewide Jaws of Life Training in Union. Twelve Union volunteers and 16 out of town volunteers have signed up for the training being conducted for four Wednesday sessions in April, from 7:00pm to10:00pm.  The fire marshal has requested that we procure 5 or 6 junk cars to train on.  The Village Chairman requested that the cars be stored, out of sight, behind the Village Offices.

Chief Bescheinen informed the Board, with the impending storm season, that they, the Village employees, and contractors are required by FEMA to be NIMS certified on sections 100, 200 and 700, in order to receive certain funds, funds that the county missed out on last year.  The Chairman is required to be certified on sections 701-706 and 800, in addition.  Chairman Hardbarger gave the officials until May 1, 2011 to complete their NIMS training.

Cori Knapp has completed and passed her EMT classes.  She is currently applying for her State Certification.  She is to take 3 more free classes in the next 3 years to remain certified.

Union United  Inc. raised around $600 at the soup supper for their NCIP Capstone project.
Mr. Landscape is helping the group with the park project blue prints for the grant, adding 30 maturing trees with companion plants.  The $5000 Re-Tree Nebraska grant has been awarded and the contract modified.  They are waiting on the grant coordinator’s approval to proceed with breaking ground come spring.

The group is also looking to include community gardens through the Big Garden Project sponsored by the USDA.  They are hosting a special meeting for the residents on April 22, 2011to hear speakers from The Big Garden Project and Splash Pad.

Union United’s next fundraiser is a bowling tournament scheduled for Mar. 19th.  They have 36 people signed up so far.

The group has also applied for a Cass County Tourism grant in the amount of $2500 to be used for marketing.  Union United intends to use the grant to advertise Union’s 125th Anniversary coming up in March of 2012.  They are also planning on sponsoring an Alumni Breakfast to get ideas for the celebration.

Old Business

Chipman read into the minutes, for the second time, the proposed ordinances 8-601 – 8-610 to become effective January 1, 2012.  A copy of the proposed ordinances is attached.  After reading the proposed ordinances, Chipman requested comments from the floor. 

Bescheinen commented that it took many years for the Main St. to deteriorate.  The Board can’t expect it all cleaned up in a short amount of time.  Chipman replied that the Board is giving everyone with vacant property plenty of time to take appropriate action with the effective date of Jan. 1, 2012.

Bescheined stated that he has been hauling items out of town for months.  The Board commented with a “thank you” and “keep working.”

The clerk briefed that the Attorney General has found the Board’s Open Meeting Laws violations to be unintentional.  The violation in which the board voted to amend the agenda at the meeting to add the lawsuit filing was rectified at the next meeting, however, the ordinance that allows this action is unlawful.  The Attorney General’s Office suggested the ordinance be modified to be in compliance with State Statute.

The number of utility accounts in cut-off status was reduced from 18 to 7 with the notification of March and April shut offs collecting approximately half of the estimated $9000 in arrears. 

Seven April and three May Cut Off notices will be sent by the end of this week.

New Business

Two property owners were sent letters last month requesting their presence at this meeting to discuss the USDA mandatory sewer hook- up clause in the Village’s contract.  The two properties in question are across the street from each other.  When the original sewer system was put in, the owner’s found out that they couldn’t easily get through the limestone and at the time it wasn’t required. When the new sewer system was put in, a nearby homeowner used bed springs and dynamite to blast through the limestone to get connected.

One of the property owners came to the meeting and stated that they would rather be hooked into the sewer than remain on septic, but they were unsure how to go about it, given the past problems.  The Board directed the clerk to contact the USDA to see if the Village could get a waiver on these two properties, or get on some kind of 10 year implementation plan.  In the least case, the clerk needs to get some kind of USDA timeline.

Chipman proposed a change the ordinance 1-112, Public Meetings, to rescind the right of the Board to modify the agenda at the public meeting convened.  Chipman then read the title of his proposed modification to Village Ordinance 1-112. Chipman then motioned to suspend the rules of the three readings and that Ordinance 1-112, be considered for passage on the same day upon reading by number and title only and then placed on final passage. 2nd by Vidlak.  By roll, Trustee votes are as follows: Hardbarger, Jr.,-Aye, Vidlak-Aye, and Chipman-Aye, Brown-Aye, Kahland absent.  Motion approved.
Chipman then again read the title of his proposed modification to Village Ordinance 1-112.  Chipman then read the entirety of his proposed changes to Village Ordinance 1-112.  Chipman motioned to accordingly amend Ordinance 1-112. 2nd by Brown.  By roll, Trustee votes are as follows: Hardbarger, Jr.,-Aye, Vidlak-Aye, and Chipman-Aye, Brown-Aye, Kahland absent.  Motion approved.

McWha offered the Village $500 in settlement of the civil suit.  This settlement offer requires that the Village procure a release for her from the bond company.  Since we have already collected on her bond, there is no chance that the bond company would provide a waiver.

When asked for comments, McClane added that the Village has already paid Stephanie Payne in full for the lawsuit and we should continue.

Vidlak motioned to submit a counter proposal of $3000 and to give the chairman the settlement authority in this case.  2nd by Chipman.  By roll, Trustee votes are as follows: Hardbarger, Jr.,-Aye, Vidlak-Aye, and Chipman-Aye, Brown-Aye, Kahland absent.  Motion approved.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for April 13, 2011.  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.

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