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Trustees wrestle with more lagoon decisions

If Brady’s village trustees want to take advantage of a low-interest loan to pay for repairs to an ailing sewer lagoon, they’re going to have to make some quick decisions about the mandated project.

Trustees learned during their regular monthly meeting on May 9 that to take advantage of a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan with 2% interest, they’re going to have to decide which repair option best suits the village.

In 2009, the Village of Brady was ordered by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to bring the sewage lagoons up to the current standard which allows one-eighth inch seepage or less per day.

The 2009 tests showed the lagoons seeped several times the allowable amount.

NDEQ had given the village until July 2010 to correct the problem. Only studies and grant applications have been done so far.

Natalie Furrow of USDA told the board fines could be looming if progress isn’t made soon.

Lindsey Cannot of Miller & Associates of Kearney, the village’s engineering firm, explained that her company has been in contact with NDEQ and as long as work progresses, the deadlines won’t be an issue.

But the USDA low-interest loan possibility is pushing the issue because after July 31, the 2% rate will increase, Furrow said.

So now the village must choose relatively quickly whether to pursue a complete retention fix to the lagoon or move toward a land application option in which sewage water would be pumped and applied to ag land through an irrigation system.

The complete retention option comes with a price tag of approximately $1.5 million.

Switching to a land application sewage lagoon would cost about $1 million.

Dana Peterson, an engineer with Miller & Associates, told the board that questionable accuracy of flows needs to be taken care of first.

To do that, the village needs to televise the sewer system to evaluate necessary pipe repairs, collect soil samples from the lagoons to measure available bentonite and install a reliable flow meter to determine exact sewage flows.

“The last thing we want to do is to build a lagoon based on erroneous data,” Peterson said.

Trustees would like to get the flow meter installed to get accurate data and have the sewer lines televised to locate any piping problems prior to making a final decision on the lagoon.

“It sounds like you want to save as much money as possible but you also don’t want to rush into anything,” Peterson said, “but you’re kind of to a point where you’re being forced to make a decision.”

Trustees will visit the issue again in June with the intent to make a decision.

“We’re trying to build this town,” said board chairman Jeff Miller, “and spending this kind of money is really going to put a damper on that.”

In other village business, the board of trustees:

agreed to allow clerk Pam Diehl to change village office hours to 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the summer.

heard, during public comment, that land owned by Duane and Jeaninne Davis at the intersection of Commercial and Matthewson streets was rezoned from industrial to residential use during completion of the village’s last comprehensive plan in 2009. The residential zoning label means the Davises cannot legally expand their truck shop there.

The board agreed to review the comprehensive plan and zoning across town.

accepted a new contract with Schaben Sanitation which leaves rates at the current price through May 2013 and increases the cost 4% for the following year. Schaben Sanitation purchased SGS, the company previously providing trash removal services.

voted not to rezone a lot on Vine Street just north of Highway 30 from Residential I to Residential II. That means no mobile home can be installed there.

decided to pursue a legal citation against the owner of property at Popleton and Main streets which may be a safety hazard, rather than move forward with nuisance abatement.

authorized closing the alley behind houses on the west end of Popleton Street with easements attached that will allow for further development.

chose not to purchase a big screen television for the Community Center at this time.

approved a budget of $3,000 for the Brady Days celebration.

discussed demolition of the old village office building where Roberta’s Salon used to be but decided instead to put the building up for bid with the stipulation that it must be brought up to code. If no bids are received for the building in the next 30 days, it will be torn down.

authorized three fertilizer applications to grass at Palmer Park by Jorgenson Lawn of Hersey for $1,000 each.

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