Holton council hears about dam problem

Karen Reynolds
Contributing Writer

Water coming from Versailles Street onto a homeowner's property wiping out his dam was the first order of business at the Holton Town Board meeting held March 10.

Town residents Gary and Jeff Wright presented their concerns about a hole on Versailles Street and said that unrestrained water is being dumped onto their property, into their lake from both the railroad and the highway as well as weeds and cornstalks from the nearby neighbor’s field.

The Wrignts said they have already had to rebuild the dam in their lake and water is now gushing over the top of that dam. He said he had been to a county council meeting and was advised to speak to the town of Holton.

President Paul Hughes assured Gary Wright he would speak with someone professionally who knows what to do before the next town board meeting. In addition he said he would contact Wright before the next meeting.

Ordinance 2011-05, an ordinance formalizing policies for employee paid time off, was passed unanimously. The ordinance states that holiday leave for full time employees of the town of Holton shall be 8 hours of his/her regular pay, total of 80 hours, as paid time off for 10 holidays as follows: New Year’s Day, Primary Election, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day, General Election, Thanksgiving Day and day after; Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Vacation leave for a full time employee shall be granted after completion of one full year of regular employment with the town of Holton. This full time employee is entitled to five days of vacation leave with pay during the year, total of 40 hours. After three years of regular employment, a full time employee shall be entitled to 10 days of vacation leave with pay during the year, total of 80 hours. For a full time employee, sick leave will consist of six days per year, and will be paid at the employee’s current pay rate, total of 48 hours.

Paid time off is earned at a weekly rate. Employees will be allowed to accrue a maximum of 120 hours of PTO, which may be carried over from year to year. If an employee accrues more than 120 hours, they must use the excess PTO to remain under the limit. Employees may not receive pay in lieu of days off. If an employee dies, resigns or is terminated on or after their anniversary date of employment, the employee shall be entitled to payment for accrued paid time off. Hours worked in excess of the normal 40 hour work week shall be paid time off earned. Any ordinance or parts of an ordinance in conflict with this ordinance are hereby repealed. This ordinance was effective as of March 10, 2011.

Clerk Treasurer Gretchen Moore, informed the board that Teresa Brady with the USDA says the town is required to keep one year’s reserve in bond money. Moore also shared that the town did get a grant interview with the Rising Sun Regional Foundation, but due to so many grant applications, the town of Holton will not get as much grant money as they asked for. Moore also shared that the sewer debt at this time is $32,597.00, which is the lowest it has been in a while.

President Paul Hughes shared that needed repairs to the sewer have been put on hold until the new grinder pumps come in.

The town of Holton will advertise locally in the town the need of a person to clean the Holton Community Center at a rate of $8.32 an hour with the stipulation it is on an “as needed” basis. This means that the center will need to be cleaned after each use. Applications will be accepted at the town hall or the sewer office from March 14-March 28.

Approval was obtained to set up a credit card machine, on a six-month trial basis, through the Napoleon State Bank. This will work through the computer and will give people an option to pay sewer bills using a credit card.

It was reported that the recent Keystone Training for employees that cost $960 for one day was very helpful. The annual report was completed and turned in on time. The town still has a need to inventory everything the town owns.

The town park will be opened March 14 with no restroom facilities until the last week of April.
Gravel has been laid in front of the new maintenance building and all that is needed now is the installation of culverts and planting grass.

Those attending the meeting were: Angi Farrell, Andy Stratton, and Paul Hughes. In addition, clerk/treasurer Gretchen Moore, and deputy clerk Cathie Stratton were in attendance.
The next regular meeting will be April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Holton Community Center, located on Versailles Street.