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Dorchester board approves internet at Memorial Hall

The Dorchester Village Board tackled a number of different housekeeping agenda items at its meeting on Sept. 7.

Street project update

The board was given an update on street and utility projects by Scot Balsavich of Cooper Engineering. Balsavich said the curb and gutter is 98 percent in place. He said the concrete work has been initiated on some of the driveway aprons and sidewalks that were being replaced. He also noted that he has found a couple of cracks in the curbs that were recently placed.

The contractor has agreed to come back one year later to replace sections of curb that have been affected by those cracks if it gets worse. Over the next couple of weeks, backfill will be put in behind curb and gutter portions that have been replaced.

Balsavich also mentioned that the gravel roadways are pretty rough right now and he will be having a conversation with Steen Construction to have them smooth out the temporary gravel portions of roadways.

“Clint [Penney] and I were talking to the contractors about how they need to dress up the roads and make them much nicer for the people that live out there and need to pass through until we get the pavers in there,” Balsavich said. “Right now it’s very rough. If somebody went through there at night, they could do damage to their vehicle and we don’t want that.”

Balsavich said the street project is still on schedule at this time. He said the crew will not meet its substantial completion date of Sept. 16 but is still on track to reach the final completion date of Oct. 21.

“The pavement is not down, but if everyone has access to their home and they’re getting the restoration done, then they’re not complying with the substantial completion date but they still will probably meet the final completion date,” Balsavich said. “We’re going to do what we can to encourage them to get in there.”

A number of change orders were approved by the board as projects are either completed or in the process of being completed. The first of which added $3,200 onto the total price of construction currently being completed by Steen Construction on street and utility improvements at North and Third Streets. The order came about after it was found that 10 or less homes in Dorchester did not have their clean water drain connected to the storm sewer system. For each drain that needed to be connected, Balsavich estimated it would cost the village $250 to place a four-inch connection pipe to the storm sewer system.

The next change order that was approved provided for an electric winch to be installed at the village sewer lift station. Balsavich said because there are foreign objects and materials that are passed through the village sewer pipes, the pump at the lift station needs to be lifted out of the sewer drain and cleaned every couple of months. Right now, a crew of a couple of people drag the pump up using a rope or chain.

A winch system would make it so one person could theoretically press a button to lift the pump and clean it. The winch system cost $2,600 to install according to Balsavich. He said if citizens of Dorchester only used toilet paper in the toilet, the pump would not have an issue but that’s not the reality.

Other business

n Village Trustee Eric Klemetson asked the board if the process of getting a Clark County Sheriff’s Department officer in the village to enforce their ordinances is coming along. He said dogs are running freely throughout the city and ATV and UTVs are speeding down village roads. He asked if the board could send out a reminder that dogs are to be registered and no village resident should have more than four dogs.

“There’s a bunch of four-wheeler [issues] going on,” Klemetson said. “There’s a bunch of dog [issues] going on. We’ve got to get this figured out. It’s time. I understand a letter isn’t going to do anything but we need to figure this out and we need to figure it out soon.”

n Jenny Halopka was in attendance as she lobbied for internet to be installed at Memorial Hall. She said she had requested that internet be installed before but the hall wasn’t being used as much as it is now. She said everything from ATMs to DJ services to security cameras run off of internet so when prom celebrations, weddings or other events are held in the hall, it is an inconvenience to not have internet. Halopka said she could take care of part of the internet being that her business is downstairs but she was wondering what kind of help the village could give her. She estimated that the service currently costs $115 for the downstairs area of the hall.

She told the board that in 2014, the hall made $1,800 on hosting events but in 2021, the hall made $10,857.

The board agreed to give Halopka $60/month for internet to be installed in Memorial Hall. Halopka will be in charge of installing and paying for the internet service.

n Mark Leichtman of Northwest Hardwoods attended the meeting and said during the public comment section of the meeting that the village needed to take care of a problem “I’ve been sending bills to have my ditch cleaned out because I’m tired of wrecking my mowers,” Leichtman said.

His concern was that the ditch that he mows on the Northwest Hardwoods property was too wet because it doesn’t drain properly and it causes issues when mowing.

“We don’t pay bills that we don’t initiate,” Village President Kurt Schwoch said.

“We’ll see about that,” Leichtman said. “If you want to dig certain ditches but not mine, we’ll see where it goes.”

Penney argued that the village only cleans ditches if waterflow is being restricted. According to Penney, that ditch wasn’t to the level that he needed to see at this point. He has cleaned ditches in the past for citizens whose waterflow was blocked. Leichtman and Penney went back and forth on what got communicated to who within the city but ultimately, Penney requested that Leichtman come to him with requests in the future.

n Balsavich and Amy Kelsey of Cooper Engineering were in attendance to answer questions and go through the multiple loan applications and road projects the village has in the works.

The Community Development Block Grant that the village was given to help with road reconstruction on North and Third Streets was in need of finalization. Kelsey explained that the grant would not immediately be reimbursed after the project was completed but would instead take up to four weeks to be reimbursed.