Mayor's December Report

This letter is to inform you of the results of the efforts of your Board of Aldermen, Mayor, and City Staff in 2015. 

One of the first priorities was to resolve some long term issues with the water and sewer system since water and sewer services are the most important service the City provides its citizens.  We spent much money and time dealing with the Marvin Hill Lift Station, but as of the present time, the work completed by your City employees Gary, Dennis and Kenny has stabilized Marvin Hill.  In the long run, we are going to have to find a way to enlarge the station for greater capacity.  One issue at the sewer plant, which has been resolved, was the damaged shape of the impellor shaft which was causing the bearings to continually wear out.  Now that a new milled shaft is in place the City has been able to save approximately $2,000 on motors and bearings. 

A second resolved issue is that the City has had a covering for one of the maintenance buildings at the sewer plant for three years, but has not had the workers to complete the job.  We are now only days away from finishing that task.   

The new Ultra-Violet Lights, which were required by DNR, were installed at the sewer plant and have been working well all summer.  The UV Lights are now in storage as they are required to be used from April 1st thru October 31st each year.

        The seemingly never-ending rain caused us to be 45 days late in establishing a regular street maintenance program, but we now have addressed many pot holes and major erosion areas.  Weather permitting we will continue with street patching.  We completed a double chip and seal on Kent and Brian streets.  We are planning work on Mitchell and/or Mulberry for major street work next summer.  To date your City has spent over $22,000 on street repairs.  We cannot make a decision about how much money we can spend for further major street repairs until we know how much it is going to cost us to get through the winter.  For your general information, your City receives approximately $2,500 a month from the state for our street budget.  This money is budgeted to include labor, equipment, material and any contract work.

The City Hall’s meeting room is under renovation and should be completed within a few weeks.  The walls and ceiling have already been repainted and new blinds

have been installed on the windows.  New carpet tile is ready to be laid down.  The old dais is gone making the room more open, attractive and usable for functions when the space is rented out.

        We are trying to move away from older used equipment, to newer equipment with warranties.  For instance, your City purchased a new 60” John Deere mower and a walk-behind concrete street saw to help with City maintenance.  A new milled shaft, a new motor, new bearings and new electrical boards were purchased and installed for the sewer and water system.  We also have been able to buy back-up items to have on hand in case of emergencies for the water and sewer system.

        The park and lake improvements have added an attractive and usable recreation area for residents.  We have hopes of adding playground equipment to the park and a fish cleaning station by the lake.  We are looking at future fund raising opportunities to be able to purchase these items.

I think as you look around your City, you will notice the overall maintenance and appearance of your City has improved noticeably in 2015.  We are hoping for a good year for your City in 2016. 

I would be remiss if I did not tell you how much I appreciate your City staff.  Sondra Kasserman, our City Clerk is the guardian of our records and monies.  Kelli Clariday, our new Assistant City Clerk, takes care of customer service, record keeping, ordering parts for the guys, and any county, state or federal issues.  Dennis Harvey is our water/wastewater operator, but he also assists in anything else which needs to be done.  Kenny Wiley takes care of streets and general maintenance.  If it needs to be mowed or can be fixed he is the ‘go-to-guy’.  Gary Harter is our licensed water/waste- water operator and director of all City maintenance.  Our Chief of Police Jared Sartin has a staff of four part-time officers.  I greatly appreciate the conscientious efforts of all of these City employees.  Thank you.

        Without the knowledge, direction and good advice of your Aldermen, your City would not be in such a good financial position and your City would not have made the strides in improvements and consistent operation that it has made this past year. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mayor Robert Pettegrew