The Village of Four Seasons is experiencing growing pains that are impacting Village Hall.
The board of trustees Wednesday night voted to seek bids on replacement of the Village’s septic system, which is struggling to keep up with the increased load. When the Hall was built in 1991, there was one employee. Today there are nine, plus Camden County Sheriff’s Department deputies who have a satellite office in the lower level. In addition, the Village’s playground restroom is tied into the system.
As a result, there have been problems with sewer backup into the building, especially last August when the area was deluged with heavy rain.
Village Building Inspector Robert Davis said the lateral lines were clogged with roots and what he called biomatting, a slimy layer of partially decomposed organic waste containing microorganisms that seek to feed and grow in the septic system environment. The system has been cleaned, but the problem will continue because it under serves the amount of inflow.
The new system will be designed to handle 40 percent growth, and will be moved to a 40x80 piece of property away from the Village Hall. An independent engineering firm has been hired to design the system, which will cost between $12,000 and $15,000 not including electricity to operate the system.
The board will consider bids at its next regular meeting Jan. 22.
The trustees approved a break-even 2014 budget that totals $659,580 for all funds including cash carryover of $126,000 from 2013.
That compares to a total budget of $625,230 for 2013, an increase of 5.4 percent.
The operating budget anticipates a $2,000 decrease in sales tax revenue from $192,000 to $190,000; a $1,325 decrease in license fee collections from $1,6000 in 2013 to $275 for next year; a $200 decrease in miscellaneous income from$500 to $300.
But the operating fund budget anticipates increases in building permits of $17,265 from $63,310 to $80,575; and $1,000 in forfeited bonds for a net increase in revenue of $14,4760.
Operating fund expenses for the Village balance the revenues at $299,150.
Keeping in line with other lake-area communities and counties, the board did approve a 3 percent across-the-board salary increase for all employees effective Jan. 1.
A recently resigned member of the board, Cynthia Lonergan, was honored with a resolution and a plaque for her contributions to the Village of Four Seasons during her tenure.
Longergan and her husband recently moved outside the boundaries of the Village, forcing her to resign. The Village had two plaques made in her honor – one that will be displayed at Village Hall and the other for her personal use.
The resolution expressed the city’s gratitude for her services, for serving the Village honorably and for her contributions not only to the Village but also the Village of Four Seasons.
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•The board agreed to spend up to $1,500 for improvements in the lighting system after recent improvements to the interior of the Village Hall.
•The board and staff urged Village residents to keep their driveways, sidewalks and right-of-ways clear of snow so Camden County Sheriff’s deputies and Horseshoe Bend Special Road District employees can perform their duties.
•The board learned that building permits were up significantly in 2013 ($11,000 over budget), and that two more permits for new homes have been authorized in December.
•Village officials conducted 119 dock inspections as of Dec. 1, creating $17,400 in inspection and permit fees. Building Inspector Davis said residents are still calling his office for information. He also noted that Ameren Missouri not requires dock inspections before a property title can be transferred to new owners.
•The board learned that Co-Mo electric is interested in expanding its broadband Internet to areas of Horseshoe Bend that are underserved. Co-Mo is in the middle of a major Internet campaign on the west side of the lake, including Porto Cima which is part of the Four Seasons Property Owners Association (POA).
•The board learned that the new Voice Over Internet Protocol phone system has been installed and should be operational within a couple of weeks. The Camden County Sheriff’s Department will be part of the new system at no charge.