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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Jarred Edgecombe Is New Pound Fire Chief

Issue Date: August 9, 2017

Turner Gross has stepped down as Fire Chief for the Village of Pound Fire Department and Jarred Edgecombe was named to replace him.

Gross announced his resignation at the Pound Village Board's July 3 meeting, and told the board that he and the department members recommended Edgecombe be selected to replace him. Board vote confirming the Edgecombe as the new chief was unanimous.

Edgecombe reported to the Pound Village Board at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, Aug. 7, that the 2017 annual Fire Department Picnic and Raffle together made a profit of $11,165.50. Income was $22,112.17 from the picnic itself. Profit was $7,031.63 after paying expenses totaling $15,080.54. Raffle profits were $3,018.87 after deducting prizes and expenses. In addition, there were donations of $510 and boot donations of $605.

Edgecombe reported the department responded to one call for a structure fire, one call for assistance with storm damage and two vehicle accidents since the last board meeting. There were no trainings in July but training is planned for August, he said.

Clerk Treasurer Patricia Schutte reported the car show this year earned $976.28 for the park equipment fund. Expenses included $1,106.25 for trophies, $192.95 for dash plates, $191.52 for beer and wine coolers, $180 for toilets, and $114 for a thank you ad. Income included $1,400 from sponsors, $595 from registrations, $140 from vendors, $254 for the 50/50 raffle, $91 from the metal signs raffle, $127 from beer and wine sales, and $154 from Equity and Schutte Beverages.

Clerk Schutte said some ideas for the park equipment fund could be a "splash pad," which is expensive but can be used by anyone of any age. A large one in Wautoma had cost $250,000. Another suggestion is to put outdoor fitness equipment at various spots on the 5K walking trail route, which would cost perhaps $10,000 to $15,000 and not use any of the limited space in the park.

In addition to Trustees Mary Meyer, John Homontowski and Jerry Rogge; Village President Terry Earley, Clerk/Treasurer Schutte and Public Works Director Kevin Schutte, there were over a dozen residents of Walker Street present for the meeting, which included information and public discussion on the Walker Street improvement project. Trustee David Navis was absent.

Kevin Schutte commented that just about everybody from the area of work planned on Walker Street appeared to be on hand. He told the group that plans for the Walker Street improvements are almost done. The project will be similar to work done on Kenyon, Maple and the first part of Meyer Street in 1999 to 2003. The street is to be widened, water and sewer lines will be moved, and curb and gutter will be installed so ditches can be filled in. Every driveway will be paved 10 feet from the street. Everyone will need to hook their homes up to the storm sewer and run their sump pumps into it, Schutte said.

He said on those prior projects, which were done when he was village president, property owners were charged by the foot for the curb to help the village afford to do more projects.

He said getting Walker Street finished is way overdue. While the water and sewer mains many not be in dire need of replacement they try to do it all at the same time so it's all brand new and there is no need to dig up the street again in a few years.

As to curb and gutter, in 2003 when work on the first part of Walker Street was being planned, the board had received a letter from Engineer Robert J. Mommaerts explaining the benefits of installing curb and gutter on a village street. He said the biggest benefit is preservation of the pavement, and the longer pavement maintains its structural integrity, the more money the village saves. He said the surest way to preserve the pavement is to provide proper drainage to prevent water from soaking into the aggregate under the pavement.

The two most commonly used methods of providing proper drainage is by ditching or installing curb and gutter. Ditching works well in rural areas, but not in urban ones, he had explained.

"It would be an error to install new blacktop pavement without providing proper drainage," Mommaerts concluded. "In my opinion, while ditches on a built up village street could provide proper drainage it would be unattractive and hard to maintain. Curb and gutter would provide a much neater looking project."

Kevin Schutte said the combination of curb, gutter and storm sewer also would greatly improve overall drainage, and eventually cut down on the amount of time sump pumps would run. Without ditches, they can also have on-street parking.

He said they will not know the actual cost of the curb until the plans are completed and bids are in, but the last assessment was $9.55 per foot.

Clerk/Treasurer Schutte said the cost this time could be more or less than that amount, but it should not be far off. Property owners can contact her to set up payment arrangements, whether they want to pay all at once or spread the payments over a few years.

If every property owner affected signs a letter of agreement, the village will not need to hire an engineer to determine exact footage, nor an attorney to set up a special assessment, which would add perhaps $1,000 to the cost of the project. Schutte said the whole drainage benefits will not be seen until County Q is also done with storm sewers.

Later, both Schuttes stressed that if even one property owner refuses to sign, the village will need to go the special assessment route, and everyone will end up paying more because of engineering and attorney fees.

Everyone at the meeting seemed pleased with the proposed plans, and very pleased with the idea that their drainage problems will be solved.

Kevin Schutte said the village is trying to get all the sewer lines replaced to cut down on the amount of leaks which results in higher wastewater treatment costs.

Driveways will be paved 10 feet in from the street. That 10 feet will be asphalt if the existing driveway is gravel or asphalt, and concrete if it is concrete. To prevent gravel from washing onto the street, none of the aprons will be gravel.

He said the village will take the water, sewer and storm sewer lines up to the property lines, "and from there on it's up to you." Once actual costs are known , property owners will receive letters advising what their cost for curbing will be.

Clerk/Treasurer Schutte, who lives on Walker Street, declared, "I am just thankful that we'll be getting rid of the ditch!" She added that she has not heard one person complain about the plans to put in curb and gutter, or about plans to charge for it. Most lots on the street have less than 100 feet of frontage, so the assessment cost should be less than $1,000.

Plans are to complete the plans this summer, let bids in spring, have the major work done by September of 2018, and then pave the street in spring of 2018, after the base has a year to settle. "Your lawns will be torn up all next summer," he cautioned.

Kevin Schutte reported there had been a lot of cleanup in the park after the storms and the picnic, and grass there is still pretty rutted. Someone had hit the retaining wall by the First Baptist Church and the person responsible will be billed.

In another area, neighbors had been fighting over a fence, which he said is now complete. "I guess they're happy that it's 10 feet high so they don't have to look at each other," he commented.

Work on the Industrial park is almost complete.

A culvert is rusted out on a road into the park, creating a sink hole. It will be replaced.

Agenda for the meeting had called for denial or acceptance of a lease with Prue Holdings, LLC, but Clerk/Treasurer Schutte said the village's attorney has issues with the way the contract is worded and felt they should meet with them before voting on the contract. Edgecombe said he would see Tom Prue later that evening and would talk to him. Clerk Schutte suggested if necessary they could schedule a special board meeting.

There have been issues with maintenance at 105 Colburn Street and 2041 County Q and cleanup notices have been sent to the property owners. Mark Podoski, owner of the property at 105 Colburn, had attended the July board meeting to find out what the village was doing in regard to his property, and was on hand again for the August meeting. He told the board he is working on the property, but is not 100 percent done with the bookwork and will let the board know next month what will be done. Kevin Schutte said there has been some improvement.

Clerk Schutte said letters were sent to the other property owners that if their properties are not cleaned up by Monday, Aug. 14 the village will send someone to do it and bill them.

"They're literally piled with garbage," Kevin Schutte declared.

Clerk Schutte reported she has sent an e-mail to the church that has been using the Community Center for services for over four years asking what their plans are. When they started renting the Community Center space it was indicated the arrangement would be temporary. "I think we've outgrown each other," Clerk Schutte commented. "It's getting to be inconvenient for both parties." She said the church stores materials in a closet there and leaves some things set up, and services are held when people who rent the hall for other events need to be either setting up or cleaning up. Because the Community Center is being rented out more for other events it is getting harder to prevent conflicts, she said.

At Clerk Schutte's request the board approved using a QuickBooks credit card option. She said it is cheaper than govpay.net, and goes with her accounting system.


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