Here are a few highlights from the October meeting of the Bennington City Council (full minutes here):
Prairie Hollow: The developer's engineer let us know that the project is pretty far behind schedule, resulting in several complications as winter approaches. The two biggest issues are the erosion near the property lines of existing homes and the closure of the intersection at 2nd and Allen streets. The developer's engineer committed to reviewing the erosion problems, along with the city's engineer, and coming up with a solution within 10 days. As for the intersection, drier weather will hopefully allow that to be poured soon. If these issues affect you directly, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Police chief's report: Chief Hilscher delivered his first full monthly report:
- The Department made 19 traffic stops, including 12 citations, and responded to nine calls for service.
- Three part-time officers have resumed service with the Department.
- The positions of sergeant and another full-time officer will be posted soon.
- The city's contract with the Douglas County Sheriff will continue for now, phasing out over the winter as our own Department ramps back up.
The Council also reviewed and approved a list of performance goals for Chief Hilscher. These include holding meet-and-greet events in the community, completing training courses in law enforcement leadership, and conducting a review of the Department's equipment and facilities. Chief Hilscher was able to report progress on all these fronts.
So far I am heartened by the Chief's progress. I will make sure to send out a notice about the next meet-and-greet session.
Sewer rates: The Council approved new sewer rates for 2020. The increase of 4% to 6%, depending on usage, keeps with projections made by the city's engineer over the past several years. This rate is mostly driven by MUD, but it also allows the city to build up enough funds to cover future storm sewer projects, like the one on Molley Street a couple years ago.
Work on Bennington Road: Lastly, expect to see lane closures on Bennington Road over the course of two days before the end of October. The city will seal a stretch from the bridge to the high school, preserving it for a few years before a more significant resurfacing will be required. If this preservation effort works well, we will likely partner with the county on similar efforts in the future to keep costs down.
Drop me a message or give me a call if you have any questions about these topics or others.