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Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Talk of traffic flow around proposed school building dominates meeting

By Jeff Elking
NEW BREMEN - The traffic flow around the proposed elementary-junior high school building dominated the discussion at Monday's village council meeting.
Schools superintendent Jason Schrader shared site plans and asked council members to vacate a section of Cardinal Street, east of the current high school. District officials anticipate taking ownership this month of the ground between the high school and Kettler Road, as part of a land swap with Crown Equipment, the current land owner. Future plans are to add baseball and softball fields and additional event parking.
Schrader's presentation detailed a traffic flow to provide the safest routes for student pedestrian traffic as well as vehicles dropping off and picking up students. The district would own the current Cardinal Street from Monroe Street. Its land would extend about 300 yards south beyond the footprint of the school expansion. Schrader said the proposal would, "create a safe campus for the entire district."
Cardinal Street residents Steve Vonderhaar and Bill Lennartz questioned what would be happen to Cardinal Street south of the proposed changes. Both said they would like to see a cul-de-sac at the intersection to create a buffer area between residents' and the district's traffic flow. Vonderhaar said installing a cul-de-sac would provide a "major safety opportunity, and I am very much in favor of it."
After more discussion, mayor Jeff Pape announced a public hearing for 6:15 p.m. Oct. 22 to discuss the proposed street vacation.
Council members approved after third reading an ordinance to increase water rates for village residents by 10 percent starting in January. The ordinance also calls for annual 3 percent increases thereafter. Based on customer use, the new rates would increase by about $1.50 to $3 per month.
At the request of police chief Mike Skinner, council members waived the customary three readings and approved by emergency measure an ordinance to adjust the pay scale for both full- and part-time employees. The ordinance eliminates the Patrolman 1 positions and adjusts the pay-scale range from $18.97 to $27.90 for the full-time officers and from $15.80 to $19 per hour for part-time officers, both based on experience. The department has found that the current rate was not competitive with some local communities. The chief hopes the increase will help with the stability of the departments employees.
First reading was also heard to correct wording in a recent agreement with the proposed brewery, Gongoozle. To ensure continuity with any and all paperwork included in the transaction, the owners of the group will be listed as JD Gilberg Investment LLC.
Administrator Chris Dicke reported that the first asphalt base had been applied to the Front and Eastmoor streets project, with the intermediate and surface course to follow soon.
Council approved accepting a snowmaking machine to be used at the sledding hill, which is being constructed at Bremenfest Park. Local resident Dianne Komminsk was responsible for the gift.
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CELINA - A Celina man was arrested on Friday and charged with impersonating a police officer and obstructing official business, according to police. [More]
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