The Village of Dresser met with Village of Osceola administrator, Ben Krumenauer, to discuss the recent revelation of under billed wastewater treatment in Dresser at their regularly scheduled meeting in January. In previous meetings, the board discussed a bill of roughly $60,000 dollars in treated wastewater that went unnoticed from 2014 to 2016 due to misreading of flow rates by an Osceola employee during that time. The board met with Krumenauer to discuss how paying off that debt would be handled.
“It’s a shame that this happened, but the village of Osceola has covered a total of $63,000 dollars in costs and we want to work with Dresser on finding a method to slowly, and appropriately pay it back,” said Krumenauer at the meeting. “I think what would work best is to do this slowly. We can spread this out…I would suggest that we work really closely and look at a couple year payback.”
The topic of responsibility was brought up at previous meetings and was revisited by Dresser trustee, Grace Bjorklund. “I would think we should be discussing who is responsible for an employee mistake in the Village of Osceola,” she said. After the issue was brought up again, village attorney Tim Laux made clear that responsibility was not the point of the meeting.
“This is not a fault issue. This is a utility payment issue,” he said. “This concept, although it’s understandable, is not applicable. What applies is that the sewage flow from Dresser was treated and it needs to pay those costs. So, I hate to be too blunt, but this back and forth about trying to decide this issue on the matter of fault for an error isn’t getting us anywhere. Fundamentally, we’re going to have to pay it back, so the issue now is how we do that.”
Krumenauer then presented a plan to have two committees from Dresser and Osceola meet to discuss a payment plan that is acceptable for all involved.
“There are some methods that we can do,” said Krumenauer. “I think the village can, and should work with you very closely on a workable solution. We can’t hold it forever because we are a bigger community and we have our own headaches – especially because of some recent decisions the board has had to make, but I think we can work together on a timeline to true this up.”
The board was approached by Grow St. Croix Valley to discuss a partnership to bring a “Splash pad” in an existing park. This would be a recreational area for kids and family to enjoy with either little to no standing water. The board discussed the possibility of properties near the elementary school, and in the existing park in Dresser. The estimated cost for the addition to the park is $200,000. No action was taken on this presentation.