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Water talk on tap in Bellevue

By Josh Staloch
Staff Writer

BELLEVUE – The Public Works department has noticed an uptick in water leakage throughout the village.

“There is the difference between the amount of water we’ve purchased from the Central Brown County Water Authority and the sales of water to residential, commercial and industrial customers,” Steve Kubacki, interim director of Public Works said. “There was a gap there that signifies leakage of some sort.”

He shared his concerns with the board at its Sept. 22 meeting.

Since learning of the problem, he said the department has paid extra attention to the issue.

Kubacki said most municipalities deal with a water leakage rate of anywhere between 8% and 12%, but Bellevue found leakage rates in the high teens and low twenties.

He said the village utilized flyover radar and other technologies to identify 63 points of interest, including a wide hole in a water main located near Fleet Farm, which he said was immediately repaired.

Kubacki said he believes the department has turned the corner with the issue of leakage but will continue to monitor the situation.

Stormwater management

Kubacki said the village’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) plan is being updated, and the requirements of stormwater management have changed significantly since the village last updated its MS4 in July 2018.

He said getting up to speed with new regulations will require public involvement with things like the detection of an illicit discharge, or the dumping of unauthorized materials into ponds.

The village will also look at pollutant control at construction sites, post-construction for stormwater management and pollution prevention.

The Public Works department creates an annual report submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on those items each year.

“Realistically speaking, we’ve been able to address them, I’ll use the term ‘marginally,’ in the past,” Kubacki said. “We’re going to have to look at new ponds. We’re going to have to look at the maintenance of existing ponds. We’re going to be working with the private sector to ensure that those ponds are operating properly, that they’re being maintained and properly inspected.”

Complying with DNR regulations will also require the village to develop stormwater management agreements with private sector entities.

In other business

• With upgrades to the village’s stormwater management system in mind, the board unanimously approved the village continue its working relationship with Cedar Corporation to provide municipal engineering and consulting services through 2024.

• With a unanimous vote, a previous decision to deny a street tree waiver for multiple properties on Manitowoc Road was upheld following an appeal of the decision by the property owner.

Kevin Kaminski, who owns 10 properties along Manitowoc Road requested in April the parcels be exempt from trees being planted as part of the street’s reconstruction project on the grounds there were already trees on the property and the new trees would “cause obstruction to tenants backing out of the driveway.”

The board denied the request earlier this year and reaffirmed its decision on the appeal.

“Ultimately, the tree planting plan that was put together for Manitowoc Road follows all specifications and all policies,” Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Adam Waszak said. “It’s pretty black and white.”

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