Somerset Village Board agrees to waive Arnold Street hook up fee

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At their meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 17, Somerset village trustees agreed to waive the customary $1,753 sewer hookup fee for residents affected by the Arnold Street construction project. By waiving the fee, trustees hope to provide incentive for residents to hook up sooner rather than later.

"In our discussion at Public Works, we recommended waiving the charge to give residents more of a reason to get hooked up right away rather than wait," said Trustee Bartt Palmer.

"I agree with incentivizing so we get them on the system and get the system utilized, as long as they do it within the period specified in our ordinance," added Trustee Ryan Sicard.

Trustees approved a one-time offer to waive the $1,753 sewer hookup fee for residents along Arnold Street affected by the recent construction project provided they take advantage of the offer within the timeframe specified by the Village's ordinance.

Public Works Supervisor Bob Gunther will provide written notice of the Village's offer to eligible residents along with a copy of the applicable ordinance upon final completion of project. Residents who fail to apply for the one-time waiver within the specified time period will lose their opportunity to save the $1,753 fee.

Trustees agreed to pay MSA Professional Services $2,000 to review and update the Village's Outdoor Recreation Plan.

The current five-year plan expires in 2018. A qualified plan entitles the Village to, amongst other things, apply for state and federal stewardship grants.

"We propose to take a look at the existing plan, visit the parks to see how many of the things listed on the existing plan have been completed, talk with the Public Works Committee to see what other improvements are desired and update the plan accordingly," said MSA Branch Manager Dave Rasmussen.

Sicard advised MSA to keep in mind that park planning is separate from the village's comprehensive plan and that any revisions and updates should be reviewed for compatibility with the comprehensive plan before moving ahead. Sicard also suggested that as part of the process, public input be solicited in an effective as well as cost efficient manner.

Testing of water samples from the test Well #5 on the Vanasse site have been completed and the water quality and quantity are excellent. MSA is moving forward with the design of the permanent well for approval by the board by the end of the year. Provided the agreement for purchase of the property can be concluded successfully, construction of the new well should begin next spring as the weather permits.

Other business

• Trustees approved pay request #2 from Municipal Well and Pump for $25,100.90 for work completed on Test Well #5.

• Trustees also approved pay request #4 from A-1 Excavating for $28,073.63 for work completed on the Frances Street project.

• Trustees approved an Interim Conditional Use Permit with Somerset Entertainment LLC. The interim permit updates minor language in the permit, corrects parcel numbers and reduces the annual start-up costs deposit from $10,000 to $5,000 based on the recent history of expenditures. A clause in the revised permit does allow for the reversion back to $10,000 should circumstances necessitate it.

• Trustees approved to continue the Village's tax collection agreement with St. Croix County. The county charges the Village $1.75 per return to manage tax collection responsibilities.

• The board accepted the resignation of Trustee Chris Terwedo. On behalf of himself and the remaining trustees, Board President John Melvin thanked Terwedo for his contributions during his time on the board.

• Trustees agreed to change the date for the November board meeting to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Nov. 28.