By Heather Graves
BELLEVUE – Changes are coming to the Bellevue Fire and Rescue Department.
Starting in 2020, the fire and rescue department will have personnel staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
This change was made possible by a unanimous vote of the village board at its Wednesday, Oct. 23, meeting to approve a three-year contract with Bellevue Firefighters from IAFF Local 141.
Fire Chief Jack Mlnarik said having personnel staffed at the station at all times of the day will drastically cut response times.
Televising of private sewer laterals
Much of the Oct. 23 meeting was spent discussing the village’s notification process with televising private sewer laterals.
At the Oct. 9 meeting, board members asked staff to provide clarifications on the process after receiving feedback from residents.
Over the next couple of years, the village has reconstruction work planned for Manitowoc Road, from Allouez Avenue to Kewaunee Road.
As part of the process, the village contracts televising on the village-owned sanitary main and the privately owners sanitary laterals to identify if the sanitary pipes are in need of maintenance, repair or replacement.
Village Administrator Diane Wessel said the results don’t tell the village exactly what needs to be done to the privately-owned laterals, but indicates if there is a problem with the pipe.
Along the stretch of Manitowoc Road, there were 33 privately-owned sewer laterals identified as in need of repair or replacement, 20 privately-owned sewer laterals in good condition, but may require attention, 29 privately-owned laterals in good condition and acceptable to reconnect to the sewer main and nine privately-own sewer laterals that need to be evaluated further.
“It tells us that there is an issue with the pipe and the village can advise the property owner to contact a plumber to address the issue,” Wessel said.
Village staff is currently in the process of notifying property owners on Manitowoc Road whose laterals need attention.
“If property owners do not receive notification from the village in the next week or so, your lateral did not reveal any issues,” Wessel said.
Wessel said the notification process is taking longer than usual because the village has been without a Department of Public Works director or engineering technician since May.
Once the DPW director position is filled, the board has directed staff to have him/her reevaluate the notification letter to see if it can include even more information for residents.
The topic will be back on the agenda at the board’s Nov. 13 meeting.
Trustees asked staff to explore the project further – including exploring a potential policy to allow temporary road patches versus full road reconstruction following private-property lateral repairs; and secondly looking into possibly including homeowner-authorized private lateral repairs to the village as part of the reconstruction projects and assessing the homeowner for the work.
“That has to be cheaper in the long run for residents instead of them trying to get this done on their own,” said trustee Dave Kaster.