Holton approves 2011 sewer budget

Karen Reynolds
Contributing Writer

At the regular December meeting of the Holton Town Council the 2011 sewer budget was approved.

Theresa Brading from the North Vernon USDA Rural Development office assisted the town clerk treasurer Gretchen Moore in filling out the new 2011 sewer budget. The budget is for $107,103.00 in revenue and $82,558.00 in expenses. Members voted unanimously to pass the sewer budget as presented.

It was noted that Moore will contact Ice Miller, LLP, bond council for the town, regarding a possible change in ordinance to waive the minimum rate charge for sewage for unoccupied homes. Also, discussion was held as whether or not sewer rates should be increased.

It was noted the USDA determined that the town is making enough money to make its payment and they are content with what is presently being charged. It was decided that the town clerk would make a list of the possible life expectancy of current equipment. If a large amount of repairs are expected in the near future, the town may have to consider rate increases to cover the expenses.

Sewer lien payments in the amount of $4402.57 were received. It was reported that six accounts were credited, with four liens paid in full and lien releases filed. New liens were filed on three accounts from the previous month’s delinquent list since the town has had no payment or contact from the owners. The total amount of liens now on file are $13,270.00. Outstanding bills are up to $25,476.00 and total sewer debt is now $38,746.00.

Eddie Pratt with Card Payment Solutions presented the council with information regarding a credit card machine for the town. Fee amounts and contract information was given with council deciding to table the matter until further research was done.
Council President Paul Hughes noted the town needs to get gravel for in front of the new maintenance building. He estimated it would take between 50-75 tons. The council unanimously agreed to do this saying they would check around for the best prices.
It was reported that Brooks & Earl Contracting has determined the town’s main lift station is in need of major repairs or perhaps even a complete upgrade. They estimate the cost to be between $60,000 and $70,000 for the upgrade. Estimates are still being compiled for repairs only. The council discussed options for funding this endeavor. Temporarily, Brooks & Earl will fix the problem with a bypass pump.

The installation of the new digester at the lagoon was completed by Brooks & Earl. The cost was $17,000. Unanimous approval was given to transfer the money from the sewer grant savings to the sewer checking account to pay the invoice.

Approval was given to renew the Certificate of Deposit purchased with Riverboat Funds in the amount of $25,000.

Unanimous approval was given for the purchase of a new shredder.

Under information items:

• The sewer discharge permit for the town of Holton will expire in 2011, but the application for renewal will be completed soon.

• The Holton Christian Church sent a thank you note to the town for the use of the community building for their annual holiday dinner.

• The annual inspection of the fire extinguishers by Crossman Fire was scheduled.

• Town resident Ron Palmer noted that the new maintenance building needs a gutter on the front of the building. He also expressed concerns that too much gravel would cause the water to back up into the building. He was assured by President Hughes that the gravel would be applied properly to keep that from happening.

• Tony Franklin, fire chief, noted that the old maintenance building is still in the fire department’s name at the courthouse. Hughes said he would check with the town attorney on the matter.

Those attending the meeting were Paul Hughes, Angi Farrell, Ryan Lauber, Gretchen Moore, and Cathie Stratton. The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting is set for January 13.