By Sarah Wright
NORTH WEBSTER – Jayne Alger, Inframark utilities manager for the town of North Webster, shared an issue the street, water and sewer department was experiencing at lift station No. 2 with North Webster town council members during their regular meeting Tuesday, Aug. 18. People are flushing rags.
“It’s really a mess,” Alger said, adding one employee was called out three times after the recent tornado. “It seems like lift station No. 2 is the only one that gives us problems and it does have the expeller grinder on this pump.”
Additionally, grease has been a problem at the lift stations. “It’s in a couple of the lift stations that drain in from the restaurants. So we can either see about having the restaurants put in some sort of grease trap (which would be an ordinance change) or we can buy some sort of degreaser that we can add to these lift stations to break the grease up.”
At the wastewater plant, Alger said, “We did have some E. coli samples that were over the limits again at the wastewater plant, and we had a gentleman (with the OSG unit of Inframark) come in and spend a week at our plant to go over everything that could have gone wrong with these samples. We – myself and my lab tech, Gage Rush – worked with him. He has advised us to have our chlorine residual at a higher level. We’ve tried that and our level is at 0.5 and we’re actually running it at a 1.2; we haven’t had any violations since.”
A lab inspection also occurred in July and it was passed. This is the sixth year in a row that the lab passed.
Leann Hubbs shared the park department has used grape Kool-Aid at North Webster Town Park to deter geese after learning the fowl do not like the smell of grape. Since doing this the beach has seen a decrease in E. coli, allowing for its reopening, Aug. 18. She also introduced Kevin McGonagle who will be the new park department president.
Council members also took a step toward creating a trail that would connect the town of North Webster to Wawasee Middle School after approving an USI Consultants feasibility study, pending slight changes on the contract’s wording. Town attorney Jack Birch recommended the changes to ensure the town can use the documents even if it chooses to work with another company during the process of constructing the trail; Birch will work with USI Consultants in regard to these changes. The study is expected to cost $30,000, and the town will be applying for grant money through K21 for the project.
In other news:
- Halloween trick-or-treating hours have been approved for 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.
- Brush cleanup is underway by the street, water and sewer department. The goal is to have Beer and Slabaugh provide an estimate for the use of its large wood chipper and backhoe once the brush piles have been built up. This will likely occur at the end of August or the beginning of September.
- Low-hanging branches are being addressed following the tornado.
- Council members approved the purchase of a heater for an outbuilding from Dave’s Electrical Heating and Cooling. The request to purchase a paint stripper was tabled.
- A sinkhole has been reported at North Albert Eckert Drive and North Center Street. Under the road, it appears to spread out 2-3 feet. A green dye will be used to see if it is a crushed sewer line; it’s not wet so Alger doesn’t think that will be the case. Currently, there is a barricade around it.
- A tree on the south end of Pizza King will be removed, and Signature Tree Company will be inspecting the health of the trees in North Webster Town Park.
- In July, North Webster Police responded to 226 calls of service.
- North Webster will be waiving sewer penalties through the end of the year.
- Council Member Dan Thystrup announced North Webster will be home to a new franchise, Hot Head Burritos.