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Colfax delays cross connection contract for $9,000

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board has delayed taking any action on a contract for cross connective surveys with Hydro-Designs, Inc. that would cost about $9,000 per year.

Training to do cross connection surveys may be available through the Wisconsin Rural Water Association, said Rand Bates, public works director, at the Colfax Village Board’s October 8 meeting.

The state Department of Natural Resources requires all municipalities to inspect all residential and commercial water systems to make sure there is no cross connection contamination of the municipal water supply.

An example of cross connection contamination would be a water hose resting in a laundry tub that could draw contaminated water back into the municipal water system.

The contract with Hydro-Designs for doing the inspections would cost $226 per month for the residential program and $539 per month for the commercial program.

Bates said he had already gone to a “starter” class on doing cross connection surveys.

Village Trustee Richard Johnson said that the entire program would involve quite a lot of work for village employees and that the village would need a computer program to keep track of the information.

Elk Mound is using Hydro-Designs for the surveys, and Boyceville is planning to have the company always do all of the commercial and residential inspections, Bates said.

Brad Henderson of the DNR has said that Colfax will have to start soon on a cross connection survey program, Bates said.

Bates also said, however, that he would be willing to research options and find out what training is available through the Rural Water Association.

If village employees conduct the inspections for residential and commercial, Bates said he may need to hire another employee to do the record-keeping.

Bates also noted that village employees are going to start soon on changing out water meters and that he would like to do the water meters and the cross connection inspections at the same time so village employees do not have to go into houses twice.

The Colfax Village Board approved a motion to delay action on the Hydro-Designs contract until the October 22 meeting.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Learned that the state will be requiring assessors to include digital photos and sketches in the assessment records. The village’s assessor, Barb Zempel of Zempel Appraisal Services, said it will cost the village about $4 per digital photo and that she will need to take 425 pictures of properties in the village. The item will be on the agenda for the next village board meeting.

• Approved soliciting bids from car dealerships in Bloomer, Colfax, Sand Creek and Menomonie for a police package Sport Utility Vehicle and for an automobile. Colfax Police Chief Pete Gehring said he has been pleased with the SUV’s performance as a police vehicle but that it also did not make any difference to him whether the department has an SUV or an automobile. The 2006 Impala being used as a backup now would be sold, if possible, and the current SUV would become the backup.

• Authorized the Colfax Police Department to advertise for full-time and part-time positions. The closing date for applications will be 3 p.m. on October 26.

• Set the budget hearing for November 26.

• Approved a final payment of $31,872.82 for the Colfax Municipal Building energy efficiency project.