North Webster Town Council finished its 2016 business Tuesday, Dec. 20.
“Our past year has been good,” said Jon Sroufe, council president.
“We are looking for a smooth 2017,” said council member Lisa Strombeck. “We did a lot of upgrading to our infrastructure.”
Much of that upgrading involved the town’s sewage system, wastewater plant and 15 lift stations.
Upgrades of the sewage plant and lift stations “will last 20-plus years,” said Mike Noe, street superintendent.
The sewage system has expanded as well, recently adding six households from the Knapp Lake Regional Sewer District in Noble County. “We started billing them the flat rate the first of December,” reported Noe.
In other business:
• The council approved spending $4,300 to remove two trees, including stumps, from town property behind the community center. “They’re big trees with big limbs and have the potential problem of falling over on private property,” said Noe.
• At Noe’s request, the council approved $9,839 to purchase a new lawn mower. The current mower “is about 10 years old and we’re putting a lot of money in it,” Noe said. Board member Dave Waliczek suggested giving the mower to the park board for town park maintenance.
• Police Chief Greg Church reported his department used only 145 hours of overtime this year. “We usually ask for 250 to 275 hours,” he said, “and we’re asking for 250 hours for next year.” The council approved the request.
• The council approved $2,000 for four body cameras for Church and his three officers. “We will download the recordings onto an external hard drive every two or three days,” said Church. The money will also purchase hardware with “enough memory to last a couple years.” The cameras’ rechargeable batteries are not replaceable and are expected to last “two to five years,” he said.
• Claims of $303,359.31 to Selge Construction of Granger and $106,112 to Crosby Construction of Fort Wayne were approved. The two companies are working on the state-mandated improvements to the town’s sewer system.
“By the end of 2016, we will be in compliance with all the wishes of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management” with wrap-up details to be worked out in 2017, said Sroufe.
The council will meet with representatives from Triad Associates, the general contractor for the sewage work, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, at North Webster Town Hall, to discuss extending the substantial completion deadline to Jan. 25.
“I think it was a progressive year for the town as a whole,” said Noe.
“It has been a pleasure to serve the town of North Webster this year,” said Waliczek, who took his seat on the council Jan. 1, 2016.
Church said, “Everything was smooth for us this year, and we look forward to a good 2017.” He noted the department hired one new officer to replace one who joined Warsaw’s police force. The new hire is “in the academy and will graduate by the end of February.”
Church advised winter motorists to “slow down and pay attention to their surroundings.”
Drivers can get overconfident “with all-wheel and four-wheel drive,” he said, and can underestimate stopping time and distance on slick roadways.
The council will next meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at the community center.