City Water main, new sidewalks almost done

Sidewalks along Second Street have been torn up for much of the summer, but that appears to be coming to an end.
Mayor Mike Schmitt said Thursday night work on the project is winding down.
He said the main focus of the project, installing a new water main, is completed.
“They (Rutjens Construction) have some cleanup work yet to do,” he told the Elgin City Council.
He said a meeting for the final walk-through will be held in the coming weeks so that the project can be ready for final acceptance and approval at the October meeting.
Also yet to be completed is the installation of railings on select parts of the sidewalk where the concrete had to be elevated to make for a smooth entryway into buildings.
Earlier in the meeting, with Westridge Drive property owners Ben Meis, Ken Schindler and Gary Arehart in attendance at Thursday night’s Elgin City Council meeting, it appears a consensus was reached on how to handle water runoff issues.
Mayor Mike Schmitt read off a number of options for property owners to consider and they opted for taking some steps to work together to solve the issue as opposed to paving and curbs which was projected to cost $87,000, which would be divided among property owners.
“We can’t have water running on people, that’s not right,” Meis said. “Let’s try to figure out how to do it smoothly.”
Work on water drainage will take place sometime after the fall harvest is completed.
Later in the meeting, the issue of livestock being kept inside the city limits was raised.
While no ordinance exists regarding the keeping of livestock in town, the property owner could possibly be ticketed for a nuisance as the problem appears to be more about flies. Time could resolve the issue as the animals in the pen are expected to be sold or moved to a location outside of Elgin.
In other action:
Building permits — Five building permits were approved. Among them was one sought by Elgin Public Schools for construction of a bus barn on property south of the school gymnasium. Other permits approved, pending the necessary signatures, were for Macaib Hoefer, Jenny Mitteis, Ken Schindler and Vet Properties, LLC.
Trees — Some Elgin residents may be hearing the sound of chain saws as a number of property owners have received letters in the mail notifying them they have 30 days to trim trees in the city right-of-way which violate city codes. “If they (the property owner) can’t do it, we’ll arrange it for them,” Childers said during her report. She responded to a question from the council concerning sewer rates, noting the last time the rates were raised was December 2009. Sewer rates will be on the agenda for the October meeting.
Time to be cleaned — City Superintendent Don Poulsen, Jr., told the council work will begin cleaning the inside AND outside of the city’s water tower. The project is expected to take up to 30 days.
Date set — The annual One & Six Year Street Hearing is now set. It will be held on Monday night, Oct. 5, as part of the council’s regular meeting next month.
Ordinance passed — On a unanimous vote, the council approved Annual Wage Ordinance #658. The ordinance sets the wages for city employees. Earlier in the meeting, following an executive session, city employees were given a 30 cent per hour wage increase.
Hired — Robbie Evans was hired as an additional fulltime maintenance employee.
Final payment — A final payment of $3,168 to Rutjens Construction for the drainage project at the intersection of Pine & Myrtle streets was approved.
Crack sealing — Bader’s Highway & Street will be do-ing crack sealing on streets around Elgin. The council ap-proved the plan, spreading out the cost ($12,992) over two payments.
Bids — Bids are to be opened next month for construction of an addition on the east side of Elgin Public Library. The project is expected to be awarded when the council meets on Oct. 5.