space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* WIAA Crowns Four State Spring Baseball Champions
* Multiple Marines Awarded Spring Post-Season Honors
* Bulldogs Picked for Packerland Honors In Three Spring Sports
* Little River Hosts Fathers Day Scramble
* Marinette/Menominee Open Summer Seasons with Wins

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

City Utility Acts On Sewer Bills, Fire Fee

Issue Date: May 14, 2014

Winter is over, but the problems that the deep freeze this year caused for the City of Peshtigo’s Water and Sewer utilities are not. Public Works Director George Cowell reported to the Water and Sewer Committee that he lifted the keep running request on May 7 and 8, but then on May 8 they found another 200 feet of frozen storm sewer causing problems at the end of Wood Street.

Other issues aired at the meeting on Tuesday, May 13 included completion of the wastewater treatment plant test lab, cross connection inspections, and some new information on state requirements for water and sewer improvement projects.

Chair Tom Gryzwa reported the people doing cross connection inspections are doing an excellent job of dealing with property owners and advising them what to do if their systems do not have the proper back flow protection devices. Cowell noted there are two types of back flow preventers for outside faucets, but only one is designed for the climate here. It allows water to drain out completely when shut off. the other traps water inside, and then freezes and breaks when winter cold sets in.

Two property owners - Jeff Peters and Ryan Larsh - sought relief from high sewer charges on their first quarter bills resulting from water line problems. The Peters request was approved by unanimous committee vote, and the Larsh request was tabled for more information because the volume of water that apparently leaked out exceeded the capacity of the basement it was pumped from. Assistant Clerk/Treasurer Anita Morois explained how City Hall computes the volume of a leak - which involves comparing the meter read from the problem period with averages from the previous eight quarters.

Peters explained near the end of January he called a serviceman to fix a zone valve under an apartment he owns. The valve was fixed, but the worker left the it turned on, with water running into the crawl space into the ground under the apartment. No one noticed for some time.

He said he received a huge bill, and requested credit for $407.12 that was charged for water that ran into the ground and not into the sewer system. The water bill too was high, but since it actually was used he did not request credit for that.

I assume the heating guy is going to pay for the whole thing, Committee Member Fred Meintz commented at the start of the discussion. He also wondered how much insurance might pay, and said he did not want Peters collecting twice.

Gryzwa explained an owner only gets the credit once for an address. What you collect from your contractor is up to you, but the sewer wasn’t used, and we never give water bill credit.

Peters was present to explain his problem, and committee vote was unanimous in favor of that reimbursement.

The leak on the Larsh property resulted from a frozen water line break under a vacant home on Front Street that went undiscovered for two days. The sewer drain in the basement was also frozen, and eventually, after the basement filled up, a neighbor spotted water running out from under the building. It was pumped out by Matt Michalski, and probably eventually went into the storm sewer system.

Morois said the computations showed excess water use of 151,000 gallons, resulting in an excess sewer charge of $768.11.

Morois said there will be another request from a property owner in the same area, but the request was not received in time to get on the day’s agenda.

Seymour questioned the volume needed to hold 151,000 gallons of water, and Cowell said they could not get that much water in a basement. Cowell and Seymour did some math and determined that a 1,000 square foot basement with 9 foot ceilings would hold only 67,000 gallons. They wondered if part of the volume went into the floor drain before the sewer froze, but Gryzwa pointed out that in theory, the drain should not have frozen after the water was running.

Morois said the basement apparently connects to a crawl space, and wondered if part of the water had exited there. She said there was a problem last year under the other apartment in the same building, and it was discovered at that time that water was going into the crawl space and then out.

Cowell said he couldn’t support giving credit for that amount of water and proposed postponing a response until they get more information. That volume is too large! he declared.

The committee asked Cowell to check with Larsh and Michalski to determine how much water was actually pumped out, and where other excess water could have gone. Cowell wondered how that much water even ran through the meter. At 50 gallons a minute through a one inch pipe you couldn’t get that much water in two days, he declared.

Since they had no other option, the committee agreed to write off an unpaid $3,239.74 water and sewer bill for the old Peshtigo Motel building. The property was sold at sheriff’s auction after going through foreclosure and the city was notified by Marinette County that there wasn’t enough money generated to pay the back taxes and the bills.

Seymour wondered how a water and sewer bill was ever allowed to get that high without being shut off.

Morois explained the water has been shut off for a long time, but charges keep accumulating because of the Public Fire Protection fee that is assessed against each property with a water meter. The charges are based on meter size and this building has a 2 meter. The charge was for the meter, but there was no water use, she explained.

Meintz said property owners should be notified when the water is shut off that they will continue running up bills unless the meter is taken off. That huge a bill when water is not being used...There’s something wrong there!

Gryzwa said the person who bought the property now also isn’t paying. He suggested he should be notified that charges are accruing even though the water is shut off. Morois said he was told,but Meintz felt that information should always be put in writing, to leave a paper trail for the protection of everyone.

Gryzwa suggested he should be sent a letter advising that the account is already in arrears, and the only way to stop or reduce the charges is to remove or change the meter. Cowell said he cannot educe the meter size without changing the plumbing. What he should do would apparently depend on whether he intends to use the property for a motel or apartment building in future, or perhaps there is some other use in mind.

That led to a brief discussion on when and how the Public Fire Protection charge began appearing on water and sewer bills instead of being paid through the city’s property tax levy.

Morois said the amount to be collected is set by Wisconsin Public Service Commission, but it can be paid through property tax levy, special assessments, or water/sewer fees.

Meintz said the change was made about eight years ago, and at that time the city picked up an additional $260,000 a year in revenue and never reduced the property taxes.

Morois noted Public Fire Protection fee, to be paid to the water utility, formerly was a line item on the fire department’s annual budget. It pays for hydrants and water used for fighting fires, and the meter volume charged for has nothing to do with actual protection of the individual property.

Morois said several property owners in the city refuse to pay the fee, and eventually it gets put on their property tax bill as a special assessment.

Mayor Cathi Malke agreed. She knows of about 55 properties in the city that do not have city water service but get assessed the fee.

Meintz repeated they need to have a policy that requires notifying property owners with water shut off that the Fire Protection Fee will continue to be assessed.

Gryzwa suggested that the city building inspector should also get involved with the old motel property. He said the building is rapidly deteriorating, and if the new owner has no plans to improve it he should tear it down.

Payments are coming in now on the $1,788 due for sewer work done on the Dumke Forest Products property.

Cowell reported water main flushing has begun for the season, and will be done every Thursday night for several weeks from 9 p.m. to the early morning hours on Friday from the west side of French Street to Railroad Street and the river to the west city limits. In fall the north quarter of the city on the west side of the river will be done.

Because of the large amounts of overtime worked due to winter freezeups, Cowell said 2-man crews are doing the flushing instead of the three people that did it last year, but it is going well.

We know we’re going to get some red water, Cowell said, adding that will be particularly true in areas of Brown and Peck avenues. Residents in the flushing areas should let their water run a bit on Friday mornings before doing anything like laundry.

Cowell reported work is nearly done on the new lab at the wastewater treatment plant. Tests have been done, and on Tuesday, June 3, the state is coming in to the certification audit. A lot of work has gone into getting us to this point, but now we’re there! Cowell declared. He said once the lab is certified they will be able to do all the tests in-house except a seasonal one that will be done weekly throughout the summer by an outside firm.

The sink faucets and restrooms are functional, and the eye wash station will be operating before the inspection. Problems remain. They need a wall-the air condition to maintain the required 70 degree temperature, and the entire roof of the building may need to be replaced in the near future.

Some major issues were found when they tested the generator at the main lift station at full power, Cowell reported. But there was a bright side. He found maintenance manuals and parts, and he believes they can fix it in-house. They also found prints and manuals for all the machines dating from about 1971. Cowell said. he will see if Fabco has a backup generator the city can rent to use as backup while the existing generator is being repaired. Should there be a power outage at the main lift station it wouldn’t be long before sewers started backing up, he said. However, they need two pumps only when BPM, Inc. is running its big machine, Cowell said, so if there’s a problem they could be asked to shut that down.

Cowell, Tom Termatt of the public works crew and Richard Sparks of the wastewater treatment plant recently attended a day-long confined space training put on by Rural Water at Oconto Falls. They learned that some of the city’s equipment is improper, out of date or nonexistent. He said among things needed are guard rails to put around manholes when they are open, covers to go over them so nothing falls on the had of the person working inside, and a new tripod and hoist.

We cannot go into manholes until we get these things, Cowell declared. He said some of the present equipment that no longer meets confined space requirements can be put to reuse by the fire department.

Cowell mentioned other problems with equipment in the water and sewer departments, and Gryzwa suggested they should put together a cleaning and maintenance plan so they don’t lose track of things that need to be done.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
06-22-2018Sports
WIAA Crowns Four State Spring Baseball Champions

06-22-2018
Peshtigo High School softball team members, Madi Martin and Shae Tonn were chosen to play in the Division 2/3 game held on June 12

06-21-2018Front Page
Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm is June 24th

06-21-2018Front Page
Kass Resigns County Finance Director Post

06-21-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Police Chief Resigns, Moving Back To Michigan

06-21-2018Front Page
Infrastructure Committee Wants To Move Back To Peshtigo Shop

06-21-2018Front Page
Kiosk At Riverside Cemetery To Help Identify Grave Sites

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
CHS 1943-65 Class Reunion is July 15th

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Car Show Vendor Deadline June 25

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Library To Host Ice Cream Social

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Youth Basketball Camp

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Post 2063 Meets

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Camp Bird Event is June 20-22

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
M&M Area Foundation Helps Fund School Supplies

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Jose Honored as Legionnaire of Year

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane/Silver Cliff Legion Post 66 To Meet June 23

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Harvest Dinner at Presbyterian Church

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Blood Drive at Silver Cliff Rescue

06-21-2018Obituaries
Shirley J. Behnke

06-21-2018Obituaries
Eunice R. Borst

06-21-2018Obituaries
Betty M. Dettloff

06-21-2018Obituaries
June E. Diercks

06-21-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth L. Downs

06-21-2018Obituaries
Edith Franzen

06-21-2018Obituaries
Edna M. Garon

06-21-2018Obituaries
Mary Louise Gauld

06-21-2018Obituaries
Thomas A. Gilligan

06-21-2018Obituaries
Mary C. Gocht

06-21-2018Obituaries
Peggy Madden

06-21-2018Obituaries
Gerald F. Wescher

06-21-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-21-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-21-2018Perspectives
From our Readers

06-21-2018Sports
Multiple Marines Awarded Spring Post-Season Honors

06-21-2018Sports
Bulldogs Picked for Packerland Honors In Three Spring Sports

06-21-2018
Martin/Tonn Play in WFSCA All Star Game

06-21-2018Sports
Little River Hosts Fathers Day Scramble

06-14-2018Front Page
Coleman Annexes Property For Cheese Factory Project

06-14-2018Front Page
Pound Fireman's Picnic, Car Show Both In June

06-14-2018Front Page
Environmental Groups Pledge To Continue Back Forty Fight

06-14-2018Front Page
PFAS Found At Tyco Stanton Street Facility

06-14-2018Front Page
Grover Residents Advised To Keep Fire Signs Visible

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Renovation Tour On Coleman School Board June 18 Agenda

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Village Pound Car Show is June 30th

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Continue to Feature Cougar Walls of Fame

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
4th Annual Craft, Vendor Fair at Equity Park June 16

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Junior High Students Attain Honors

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Run for Recovery

06-14-2018
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Monthly CPR Class at Crivitz Clinic

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Announces 4th Quarter Honor Roll

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Alee Aragon Addresses Auxiliary

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Back to School Program Receives $3,000

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
WBA Sponsors Farmers Market

06-14-2018Sports
Marinette/Menominee Open Summer Seasons with Wins

06-14-2018
Area Golfers Receive GCAW Academic All State Honors

06-14-2018Sports
Five High Schools Claim WIAA State Softball Titles

06-14-2018Sports
Busy Season For Marinette Parks & Rec & Public Works

06-14-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-14-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-14-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

06-07-2018Sports
WIAA Softball State Tourney Starts June 7

06-07-2018Sports
Area Golfers Battle Through Tough State Course

06-07-2018Sports
Peshtigo's Rauch Captures D2 State Pole Vault Title

06-07-2018Sports
Coleman/Wausaukee Bow Out In Sectionals

06-07-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

06-07-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-07-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-07-2018Obituaries
Richard L. Dantinne

06-07-2018Obituaries
Mildred Donlevy 

06-07-2018Obituaries
Clara (Wasmund) Druckrey

06-07-2018Obituaries
John F. Egofske

06-07-2018Obituaries
Dixie K. Gard

06-07-2018Obituaries
Lila M. Hallada

06-07-2018Obituaries
Myron C. Klika

06-07-2018Obituaries
Donald D. Kroening

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kent W. Lantow

06-07-2018Obituaries
John W. Lesniak

06-07-2018Obituaries
Marsha A. Lindgren

06-07-2018Obituaries
Beth M. Mireau

06-07-2018Obituaries
Bonnie R. Berton-Neumeyer

06-07-2018Obituaries
Nancy J. Prange

06-07-2018Obituaries
Bruce E. Ranzinger

06-07-2018Obituaries
Ellen M. Raygo

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kathryn Schahczinski

06-07-2018Obituaries
Russell L. Schwartz

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kenneth J. VanDreel

06-07-2018Obituaries
John P. Wingers

06-07-2018Obituaries
Leonard F. Wirkus

06-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Church Rummage Sale/Cook Out

06-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire-Rescue to Plan Picnic

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Class of 1988 Reunion on Aug. 18

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Meeting for Girl Scouts at Crivitz

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Woman's Club Pop-Up Sale

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Village Pound Car Show is June 30th

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Picnic Dates June 15-16

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board To Meet

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Schools List Summer Office Hours

06-07-2018Front Page
New Brazeau Building Honors Elizabeth Washebek

06-07-2018Front Page
Final Permit Issued For Back Forty Mine

06-07-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Council Approves 1% Hike In Water Rates

06-07-2018Front Page
Late Season Snow Blamed For City Recreation Issues

06-07-2018Front Page
Town Peshtigo Airs Road, Billing Issues

05-31-2018Perspectives
From My Window

05-31-2018Sports
Rangers/Badgers Face Off in Regional Final Today

05-31-2018Sports
Rangers Are Last Team Standing on Tournament Trail

05-31-2018Sports
Area Athletes Head To State Meet In LaCrosse

05-31-2018Sports
Peshtigo Takes Perfect Record To State

05-31-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-31-2018Obituaries
Earl J. Alsteen

05-31-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth L. Anglehart

05-31-2018Obituaries
James A. Benesh

05-31-2018Obituaries
Paul R. Berntson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Dale R. Borneman

05-31-2018Obituaries
Robert F. Brown, Jr.

05-31-2018Obituaries
Norman Buhrandt

05-31-2018Obituaries
Roberta C. Couillard

05-31-2018Obituaries
Richard Deschaine

05-31-2018Obituaries
Karen and Dennis Fry

05-31-2018Obituaries
Raymond A. Gorman

05-31-2018Obituaries
Glenn G. Harris

05-31-2018Obituaries
Charles W. Hatton 

05-31-2018Obituaries
Stella M. Horvath

05-31-2018Obituaries
Patricia A. Johnston

05-31-2018Obituaries
Sandra S. Kasik

05-31-2018Obituaries
Carol L. Klein

05-31-2018Obituaries
Arlie K. Manning

05-31-2018Obituaries
Patrice L. Messenger

05-31-2018Obituaries
Laurie Nicklaus

05-31-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Peterson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Rita Peterson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Jacqueline Rudolph

05-31-2018Obituaries
Gertrude Tetzlaff

05-31-2018Obituaries
William M. Thierling

05-31-2018Obituaries
Joy M. Van Hecke

05-31-2018Obituaries
Daniel D. VanHoff

05-31-2018Obituaries
Ramon G. Varrientos

05-31-2018Obituaries
Leonard J. Williams

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Seven Red Cross Scholarship Winners

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
 Wausuakee Lions Big Cash Raffle

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
WBA Farmers Market New Location This Year

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Sports Awards Winners At Crivitz High School

05-31-2018
NE WI Kids Fishing Outing July 7 at Laona

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Lions Golf Scramble at Crivitz June 2nd

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
De Smidt's Awards Four Scholarships

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board June 4

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
4th Annual Craft, Vendor Fair at Equity Park June 16

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Dept. Picnic July 15-16


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Green Bay Packers will make it to the Super Bowl this year.
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites