N.E. sewer in need of repair
By ANDREA FURLONG
Two leaks have been found in North English’s sanitary sewer system in the past month.
City public works employees Tim Garrett and Dave Knipfer reported the leaks to the council at a meeting held May 5. A few weeks prior to the meeting, a collapsed service line resulted in an unknown amount of wastewater overflowing into Little Creek, Garrett said.
“When it collapsed, all the dirt above it fell into the main,” he explained.
The service line has since been repaired, but wastewater continues to leak from a rotted main Garrett and Knipfer discovered a few weeks ago underneath a grain bin at Faas Feed and Grain, 210 E. Lakeview St. Garrett and Knipfer estimated it will cost at least $10,000 to repair the main. Council members asked the employees to develop a few possible solutions and estimates to bring back to the next council meeting.
Council member Carl Miller asked about the progress of employee reviews. Mayor Dick Henson said employee review committee members Scott Romine and Wendell Marsh met earlier in the year to conduct written evaluations, and that personal health issues prevented him from following up on the reports until recently. He added that based on the content of the evaluations, he did not believe there was an immediate need to personally discuss the reviews with the city’s three employees.
“I did not see any problem that needed to be addressed on their comments right away,” He said.
Henson added that while the reviews had not been discussed at council meetings, council members do have access to them.
“I was under the understanding that if someone wanted to see these evaluations, they could just ask to see them,” he said.
Miller said there was an informal “reversal on the employee policy review process,” adding that he believed the council agreed to conduct two employee reviews before the end of each fiscal year, but had only conducted one. Council member Jen Rugg agreed, saying that she could not recall the council voting to change reviews to once a year. Mayor Henson said he recalled the council had not voted, but at some point had unanimously consented to switch from twice to once a year.
“Everybody agreed on it,” Henson said.
“Obviously, they didn’t,” Romine said, noting Miller’s and Rugg’s comments.
Mayor Henson said one review per year was sufficient for each employee, especially considering that the city appeared to run well under employees’ direction prior to the council’s implementation of employee reviews last year.
“I have full trust in all of our employees. They keep up to date on anything that comes down from the budget, from the DNR, (etc.). If you’re going to evaluate somebody, you have to know their job,” he said.
Council members discussed that the council never drafted a written copy of the policy for reviewing employees when it was approved last year. The council discussed producing a draft of the employee review policy to clear up confusion. No official action was taken.
• The council approved allowing resident Devon Weaver to shelter up to one horse per half acre at his residence located at 517 S. Flory St.
• The council will hold a public hearing on its budget amendment for fiscal year 2010 Monday, May 24, at 6 p.m.
The next regular council meeting will be held Wednesday, June 2, at 6:30 p.m.
UPDATED May 18, 2010 12:43 PM