Broken wing arms, a broken sweeper and electrical issues on a village plow made clearing snow difficult for the Osceola public works crew last week. One breakdown occurred just 10 hours after repairs had been made, according to Todd Waters, the village’s streets and parks coordinator.

With snow still falling Feb. 12, the village board approved the purchase of a used 2007 municipal tractor with a new 60-inch angle sweeper for a total cost of $40,175.

The problem with the failing plow, according to Trustee Bob Schmidt, was the mechanical broom.

“These are great for long driveways and things like that,” Schmidt said. “But they’re not made for this. You need a hydraulic broom.”

Board members were not pleased by the prospect of a sudden expense, and sought to minimize impact to the village’s budget.

“I’m interested as to why we’re in this position,” said Trustee Van Burch. “I’m talking as a municipality, or anybody who would purchase and go through this trouble. … We need to be compensated for this and not just try to find another tractor, throw this one in the corner and drive on, because it’s not our mistake. 

“But,” he continued, addressing Waters, “you need an answer as to how we’re going to get this done.”

Schmidt said he and Waters had talked earlier that day about trading or selling the tractor.

“Forty thousand dollars is a big purchase right now,” Schmidt said. “We talked about trading it in or selling it outright. The tractor runs fine but the broom isn’t working for us.”

Ultimately, the board gave its OK for the purchase, on the condition that the village investigate the sale of the current tractor to offset the cost. 

“It’s kind of a crisis,” said Burch. “We have a big responsibility here to make sure these things are taken care of. Now is the time to get what we need to do done. We’ll have to deal with this mess and the tractor down the line.”

The public works crew came in at midnight Feb. 13 to clear snow downtown before moving onto their regular routes.

Debt term extended

The board Feb. 12 extended the term of a general obligation promissory note. The original note was issued to buy the property that would become the fire hall and planned fab lab (657 State Highway 35). 

According to the resolution, the village is working with financial advisors on the best structure for long-term financing and needs more time to establish that plan.

The note was extended first from October 31, 2018, to January 31, 2019, and last week was extended to July 31.

The original note was issued for $900,000. The current balance is $720,000.

Other business

• The board approved an agreement with Frank Pascarella to serve as interim village administrator for an average of 20 hours a week.

• A site plan for a cold storage building at J&S contracting was approved.

• Village staff are working on a sewer reimbursement schedule with the Village of Dresser.

• Dennis Tomfohrde was reappointed to the Osceola Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and Michele Merritt to the library board.

Village of Osceola: January by the numbers

660 calls for service logged by Osceola police officers

14 for suspicious activity

5 ambulance assists

5 calls for disorderly conduct

5.7 million gallons of water pumped

6,610 items checked out from the library

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