EPA approves first step for new wastewater treatment plan


NEW BREMEN – At the April 11 New Bremen council meeting, village Administrator Brent Richter said the first step of the village’s new wastewater treatment plan has gained EPA approval.

In other action, industrial park land sales, sign additions and employee health insurance policies were approved. Finally, village residents were asked to pick up after their pets.

Richter told council that the EPA approved the village plan to remove the sludge from the two wastewater lagoons as a way to begin to address the high levels of ammonia and phosphorus. He said emptying the lagoons would reverse decades of accumulation and allow them a starting point.

In the past, the EPA had said the sludge released from the aging wastewater plant was too high in ammonia and phosphorus as well as heavy metals. He said this sludge removal will give them time to decide how to reconfigure the existing wastewater plant to meet EPA guidelines.

Council approved three actions in regards to the building of a new Platinum auto service center on lot 22 in the village’s Bunker Hill industrial park.

For one, council approved a first reading of an ordinance to accept a community reinvestment act (CRA) agreement with Platinum allowing a 45% exemption for 10 years on the property. Second, council approved a first reading of an ordinance transferring the lot 22 to the village community improvement corporation which will facilitate the sale of the property to Platinum. Finally, they approved a second reading of an ordinance which will allow a set-back variance change on lot 22 from 75 to 55 feet.

Another ordinance getting a first reading would allow to dividing a single Amsterdam Center land into two lots. The land is located just south of the Wendy’s.

In other action, the village will have new signage honoring local professional athletes with the final approval of a resolution to accept four signs that commemorate two New Bremen natives who were part of professional baseball history in the early 1900’s.

The signs will be located at the village boundaries on state Route 66 and state Route 274. No date has been set for placement of the new signs. The funding for the $1,000 project is coming from local contributions.

The signs are being donated by Jay McCollum on behalf of the families of Theodore W. Guese and Albert Huenke, who played both professional and semi-professional baseball.

A first reading was done of an ordinance to allow a variance on signage along state Route 66 for the Faith Alliance church. Once approved, the ordinance would allow the sign to be expanded to 36 square feet.

Also given final approval was an ordinance to purchase a health insurance package for the 22 village employees. Village fiscal officer Amy Speelman said the plan’s monthly cost of $19,000 was a 3.95% increase over last year.

Council member Dennis Burnell said he had received several calls from village residents complaining that people were not picking up waste from their dogs, instead leaving it on neighbor’s lots. Police chief Michael Skinner said the fine for this minor misdemeanor was $150.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

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