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Lagoon cost still an unknown

Village board accepts grant, approves study.

Wastewater is disappearing too quickly into the soil under Brady’s sewage lagoon southwest of town.

The Nebraska Department of Environment Quality has demanded the problem be fixed.

Beyond those two realities, Reed Miller of Miller & Associates in Kearney had little solid information for Brady village trustees during their regular monthly meeting on Feb. 10.

The village received a notice of violation from NDEQ last fall which set into motion a series of grant applications for study and repair of the lagoon.

Brady has received a grant for $23,275 to help fund the necessary engineering study, Miller said.

Total cost for the required study is $30,400, leaving the village to cover $7,125.

“We really don’t know much yet,” Miller said. “That’s what the study is for.”

The concerns, he said, are that sealing the lagoon’s bottom will call for more land area and that the sandy soil could require a costly barrier.

The required study will allow Miller to offer the village a variety of repair cost options, he said.

The study could take up to two years, Miller said. Securing grant funding for repairs, formulating a plan and letting bids might last another two years.

“It could feasibly be four years before you spend any money on this,” Miller said.

A suggestion to raise village sewer fees might be a good idea, he said, to collect some additional money for the project ahead of time.

When asked to project a cost and explain the $500,000 estimate tossed around earlier, Miller said the half-million dollar amount was generated for the need survey.

“We don’t know if that number is high or low,” he said. “It’s just a planning number. That’s what the study will help determine.”

The board voted to accept the grant as well as approve the study with Miller’s engineering services.

In other action, trustees instructed utilities superintendent Keith Wagnitz to remove a cable barrier and gate in the alley between West Popleton and Palmer Park to allow residents there access to their back yards.

Resident Laurie Viter told the board she and husband Mike, who live on Popleton Street, intend to build a garage in their back yard but the barrier in the alley prevents access to the south side of their property.

Neighbor Bryan Franzen agreed, saying it is next to impossible to get a trailer in or out of the alley.

Wagnitz said he installed the cable and gate because he was concerned about the traffic into the park from the alley.

“If you want everybody to drive in there, I can take it out but I’m the one who has to take care of the park,” Wagnitz said. “I’m not going to go to the extra effort to protect the park and keep it cleaned up.”

In other village business, trustees:

  • learned the village has received a Union Pacific Railroad Foundation grant for $5,000 to develop a park south of the railroad tracks.
  • received a complaint by Richard Sargent, 105 N. Locust, who was bitten by a dog while picking up his newspaper. Sargent was referred to the Lincoln County sheriff’s department.
  • heard from clerk Pam Diehl that she asked resident Marci Knudsen to clean the Community Center and serve part-time as assistant clerk after receiving no applications for either position. The trustees agreed, however, that the position of assistant clerk must first be approved by the board. With both cleaning and office work available, trustees instructed Diehl to advertise the position again.
  • accepted the village one- and six-year road plan as presented by road superintendent Carla O’Dell. The plan was not changed from last year and includes no new projects.
  • told land owner Tommy Palmer that the village will locate the nearest water and sewer lines to property he purchased on the southwest edge of town near the Highway 30 viaduct. Palmer said he plans to build on the land and wants to know if water and sewer will be available.
  • tabled discussion of adding a limit to the number of dogs a resident may own and asked attorney Steve Vinton to investigate ordinances in other towns.

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