By Grace Moore
The regular meeting of the Pine Haven Council was able to close the calendar year with Clerk/Treasurer Barb Hardy reporting that the annual audit will be available within the next couple of weeks for the council’s examination.
However, Fire Chief Dave Hull reported a concern that the Fourth of July firework display is possibly not going to be held in 2018. When asked for a date for the fire work display, “We’re not even sure that the fireworks are going to occur since we lost a significant amount of money on it last year. People didn’t really donate enough to compensate us for the show itself.”
This he attributes both to a lack of volunteers to seek donations and fewer positive responses to the letters requesting contributions. The actual dollar value lost in 2017 was about $3200.
Councilwoman Karla Brandenburg expressed concern regarding the economic impact to the businesses if the town forsakes the event. “Financially…I think it would be a huge loss for the community.”
“The problem,” stated Councilman John Henle, “is finding people to do it.”
He and Hull expounded on the issue. Said Hull, “We need people willing to go out and carry the boots around to get donations.” Every campground in the park should be approached for donations and with few volunteers last year, this task could not be accomplished in the allotted seven hours.
After ascertaining exactly what would be expected of the volunteers and how many, ideally, would be needed, Brandenburg took on the challenge and plans to create a committee for the job post haste.
The question of who is responsible for turning on the town’s emergency siren, informing the residents of potential tornado or fire dange,r was discussed recently between ordinance review committee member Chris Bingham, staff and a representative of Whelen, the company maintaining the siren now. The answer was that no one actually knows.
The monthly test is conducted by town staff, however no one has been appointed to set off the siren for an actual emergency.
The representative told Bingham about upgrading the existing system onto a computer and, when the National Weather Service issues an alert for the area, the system will be automatically “tripped” or the siren can be hooked into a reverse 911 system, again allowing an automatic “tripping” of the siren as well as emergency text messages, emails.
The siren can also be managed remotely with a phone number, allowing the devise to be used for fires, which is beyond the National Weather Service. Bingham was asked to bring the council another company to compare price with Whelen.
The town’s new water tank is progressing with the contractor working with the supplier to prepare the schematic for the engineer’s review before a schedule is set to break ground. However, the well is still stymied by the DEQ until they have completed their investigation of the Carlile wells.
The easement that the town has sought for the last several months to facilitate the Sanitary Sewer Project is still facing problems. Mayor Larry Suchor posted a certified letter to the homeowner requesting permission to expand an easement into his property.
Suchor has attempted to meet with the individual repeatedly without significant success. The town currently has a 20 foot easement, but wants ten more feet to facilitate the new sewer line.
If the town proceeds with the existing easement, Suchor acknowledged that it will be somewhat difficult for the sewer line to be laid within the 20 feet width, “but it can be done”.