Adell board addresses several water issues

by Rodney Schroeter
of The Review staff

ADELL — The Village Board made plans to address several water drainage problems at its monthly meeting Wednesday.

Director of Public Works Shawn Bigelow first discussed the property of Jared Spang and adjacent properties on Wisconsin Street. Spang had addressed the board last month about excessive water pumped from his home. The water does not drain properly, and it saturates and pools on neighboring properties. Spang was again present Wednesday night.

Bigelow said, “It looks like we are planning on putting in a storm sewer lateral along [the properties].” The ditch line will also be reshaped for better drainage. A culvert might also be needed on one property.

Spang’s property is on part of Wisconsin Street that was not rebuilt in the recent Wisconsin Street project. However, as Village President Andrew Schmitt explained, that project came in under budget, and there is money left that can be used to extend the storm sewer lateral to where Spang and his neighbors are experiencing the water problems.

The cost to do this would be roughly $50,000. The county is expected to cover about half of that.

Schmitt said he is investigating whether the village can require other residents living along the new lateral to hook up their sump pumps to it.

The board voted unanimously to move forward with the project.

The board addressed water drainage problems on several other properties, on Brookview Avenue and in the Russell Estates subdivision.

Residents Suzanne Ramirez, Kathy Youngwirth and Ryan Perez were in the audience to discuss this. The village could grant an easement to property owners, Schmitt said, to install drainage tile. While the village would pay for the easement, the owner would be responsible for the tiling.

When asked why water problems developed only recently, Schmitt said the local water table was higher because of increased rainfall. Bigelow said there had been more rain than usual in the last year.

Responding to a question about high water bills, Clerk/ Treasurer Kelly Rathke admitted that Adell’s water rates were on the high side. Contributing to higher rates is the fact that, 25 years ago, “The village of Adell was forced to put in a sewer main to Hingham,” as Trustee Leighton Holtz explained.

“It was about a million dollar contract, and we had to pay it over 20 years. We thought we could bring the sewer rates down once that was paid for. However, the sewage plant has to be rebuilt. So we’re still in the same fix we were in when we had to put in the line before,” Holtz elaborated.

When asked about typical water usage, and how to know whether a particular household’s water usage was typical, board members mentioned two possible reasons for excessive water use: a leaky toilet, and an aging water softener.

Bigelow said even a small toilet leak would cause a large wasted amount of water over time and he recommended searching the web on the subject.

Schmitt said a water softener cycling more than necessary would add to water usage. When one resident said her softener seemed to run every night, Schmitt said that was excessive, and should be checked.

The board unanimously approved working with the village’s engineer to see how the water problems could be alleviated.

Rathke said there was some recent confusion over the time of the monthly board meetings. They are typically held the second Wednesday of the month, and start at 6:30 p.m.

Bigelow said he’d cleared the walking trails on village property. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of them.

Residents who would like to help plan and create a tribute to the Incomparable Hildegarde, a world-famous singer who was born in Adell in 1906, are encouraged to contact the village office.

The board unanimously approved:

• A water relief request from Jennifer Borkenhagen.

• A resolution approving the CMAR (Compliance Maintenance Annual Report) required by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

• Removing the clothing allowance from the employee manual. The village will order uniforms for Bigelow and Dennis Hartwig when they are doing official work for the village.

The next village board meeting will be Wednesday, June 14, at 6:30 p.m.

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