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Gays Mills Board pays Davy Engineering bill
gays mills village board

GAYS MILLS - Well, the long simmering billing dispute between Davy Engineering and the Village of Gays Mills may have finally cooled off.

The Gays Mills Village Board agreed to pay an overdue bill of $4,339 for work done earlier by the engineering firm. The village board steadfastly refused to pay the bill after they learned they had already paid more than $4,000 over the bid price for the  sewer system study.

Davy Engineering said the work was necessary to complete the assessment of the sewer system, which included rudimentary planning for a new sewer treatment plant and more.

The problem from the board’s point of view is that the work had far exceeded what Davy had said it would cost and the company had never approached the board for approval of the increased prices.

Davy Engineering recently completed work on a phosphorus variance for the village that would allow them to keep operating their system even though it can’t meet new lower phosphorous limits.

In applying for the multi-year variance, Davy outlined some steps the village would take to try to mitigate phosphorous levels in local surface waters.

In all, the firm valued the work on the variance at about $9,512, which it did for no charge.

Taking this into account, the board approved a motion by Larry McCarn and seconded by Aaron Fortney to pay the remaining bill of $4,339.

Village trustee Kevin Murray noted that he was not in favor of the village signing another contract with Davy Engineering.

Fortney said it should be made clear in the future that billing in excess of the bid must be brought before the board for approval.

Earlier in the meeting, Gays Mills Director of Public Works Jim Chellevold explained a plan devised by the engineering firm to add alum to the sewage before treatment to try and precipitate out some out of the phosphorous.

While the board did approve a resolution on the Crawford County Multi-hazards Mitigation plan 2019-2020 with some distinct limitations on that approval.

Trustee Kevin Murray voiced several concerns about language in the mitigation plan. Specifically, he was skeptical of the 2020-2022 development of a pandemic flu plan. Specifically, he said references to emergency powers to act in the pandemic concern him signing onto a program yet to be defined. 

One of Murray’s concerns was granting authority to government to quarantine someone against their will.

Murray also had some reservations about the possibility that the flood plan might allow the government to remove people from older houses in the downtown. Murray questioned whether it was wise to be approving a plan about flood plan mitigation that was still being worked on. He questioned several other points included in the flood mitigation portion of the plan as they related to Gays Mills.

Murray made a motion to approve Resolution 2020-08 adopting the Crawford County Multi-Hazards Mitigation Plan 2019 - 2023 with the provision that the village seeks to participate and review mentioned projects and plans as noted on pages 4-2, 4-3, and 4-6.  Once Crawford County defines these projects and plans the village will act on revised resolutions. The motion was seconded by Fortney and passed by the board.

“We approve it with the contingency that when those sections are decided by the county that we vote on the mitigation plan again,” Murray said in explaining the motion.

Murray also took exception with a Resolution  Reapproving North Mills and Frist Addition Restrictions and Covenants that restrict and dictate some building practices in the new development, located east of the Gays Mills Mercantile Center

Murray said a person building a home in the subdivision should be able to make their own decision about the design of their home.

The trustee took exception to the restrictions and covenants in  place for the area that dictated design approaches, landscaping and even siding choices. He noted the final decision to approve a home rested with the Gays Mills Architectural Review Committee.

The covenants and restriction for the area are up for renewal by February 7, 2021. Murray said that he saw no reason to have the ARC to approve home design plans.

The board agreed to table the resolution on the covenants and restriction for North Mills.

Gays Mills Village Board President noted that there was an unfilled position on the ARC.

“We need to beat the deadline before it runs out,” Heisz said. Murray agreed to serve on the ARC and he was nominated by Fortney and approved by the board.

In other business, the Gays Mills Village Board:

• approved a change order to the TIF Trail near De La Mater Road-the trail will connect the Appleland Business Park to the Gays Mills Mercantile Center

• approved the sale of Lot 25 in the North Mills development to Phil Lee

• accepted a final offer to purchase a lot in the new development adjoining the e Appleland Business Park from Golden Warriors to operate a retail business

• authorized the village president and village clerk to waive or exercise any contingencies and sign and deliver all documents with Golden Warriors

• agreed to refinance the sewer loan with Royal Bank, which will allow the village to save $400,000 in interest-the refinancing will inhibit the village’s loan capacity initially

• learned the village had purchased a street sweeper from another municipality for $15,000 and authorized the purchase of some spare parts  at a 20 percent discount from that municipality