CALHOUN: Kampsville Board listens to concerns regarding water
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By Carissa Sitki
The Kampsville Village Board of Trustees met on Monday evening for their monthly meeting, where they gave an update on the flood buyout program, discussed village water issues, and listened to several concerns during the Public Comments portion of the meeting.
The agenda was rather short, but an update was given regarding the flood property buyout program. It was announced that the village has received two checks from IDNR, one for $97,174.71 and one for $102,552.81, totaling $199,727.52. These funds will go toward removal of flood properties. The larger check is for archeological properties and the smaller check is for residential properties.
Village President Amanda Johnson reported that the first round of teardown is complete and the second round will begin soon.
Bridge repair and ditch cleaning efforts were discussed last month and it was reported that the bridge at Farrow Cemetery and N. St. Louis Avenue/N. Broadway will be repaired with cold patch this summer.
Finally, the board discussed a meeting with the engineering firm, Benton and Associates, concerning Kampsville’s water. If Benton and Associates conducts a survey, Kampsville will have an easier time applying for grants for work on the village’s water system, according to Johnson.
“Having this survey done will definitely help with grants,” said Johnson.
Speaking during Public Comments was Kampsville Village President candidate, Angelia Suhling, who brought her concerns regarding Kampsville’s water to the board. Suhling said that some areas of town are experiencing water issues, such as noticeable discoloration and clothing turning yellow in the wash. She said she spoke to Harvey Suhling who knows the Kampsville water system.
“We have people in town who can’t afford to go out and buy bottled water,” said Suhling. “I’ve talked to Harvey and he’s stated that he does believe there is some iron coming from the water tower itself.”
Board member Terry Hausmann responded, stating that the water tower was flushed in 2002 and that maybe that is something the village could look into doing again.
“There’s a lot of iron in the water here, one thing to consider would be water softener and it helps,” said Hausmann.
Suhling asked the board if anyone has reached out to Harvey Suhling or anyone else regarding the water issues.
“We’ve got to go through the proper channels to get this process started to try to get some kind of plan to attack this because it’s not something easy or simple to do, or inexpensive by any means,” Hausmann responded to Suhling. “Once we get to where we have a plan, I’d be more than happy to talk to Harvey, maybe he might be able to tell us a few meter locations that we don’t know exactly where they are.”
Hausmann continued, emphasizing that the water issues are being addressed by the board, but that it’s a long process.
“We’re trying to take it a step at a time, like eating an elephant,” said Hausmann. “Once we get some kind of numbers coming back from the engineering firm, then we can start presenting it to the public and then we can all together, as a community, make a decision on which way we want to go, but we need to get something tangible to talk about first. We know there’s problems with the whole system, we know that.”
Another visitor spoke up, asking the board, “If my water is brown, is it okay to drink it?”
Johnson told the visitor that the engineering firm said that the discoloration is an aesthetic issue and it is safe.
“They said, at the engineering firm, that it was more aesthetic,” said Amanda, “that it’s still testing fine, but that it’s just discolored.”
Next to speak was former Village Clerk Jodi Becker. She began by praising the work of former board member Rob Parmenter who she dubbed “the unofficial village maintenance supervisor.”
Becker listed numerous positive impacts that Parmenter has had on the community.
“Due to Rob’s ability to foresee what needed to be done, this village was well maintained,” said Becker. “The village properties were mowed and weeded. His knowledge kept the mowers, vehicles, and anything with an engine, running.”
Becker finished by stating that she cannot say enough good things about Parmenter.
The final person to speak during Public Comments was Parmenter, who resigned from the board last October. He began his statement by thanking Hausmann and Stephanie Angel, the two newly appointed board members, for their “good job serving the community.”
Parmenter went on to highlight some of the accomplishments of the former board, including, the sale of inoperable equipment for $5,000 which went to the General Fund, the repair of the shower house at no cost, repair of the Village Hall roof at no cost to the village, and decrease in Village Hall expenses. He also highlighted some of the former board’s “shortcomings.”
Parmenter then spoke regarding his resignation, stating that there was buzz in the town that there were “people” who wanted Wade Gibson removed from office and that there was someone offering to pay lawyer fees to remove him. Parmenter questions whether anyone actually wanted him removed or if it was just members of the board that wanted him removed. Parmenter said he has spoken to “many people” who said they were disappointed when they heard about the resignations.
“When Wade informed me that he was resigning, I said, ‘me too,’ said Parmenter. “‘I’m not going to be part of this group,’ and I removed my personal tools from the Village Hall Shop.”
Johnson replied to Parmenter, stating that she “never tried to remove Wade from office.”
A visitor spoke up from the crowd and she said that “there were people who wanted Wade removed.”
The Kampsville Village Board meets on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Kampsville Village Hall. Their next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 17.