Freeburg trustees concerned about couple living in trailer next to T&L Zip Stop

By Theresa Brandt, Staff Writer
Posted 11/15/23

FREEBURG — Freeburg trustees are concerned about reports of a couple living in their travel trailer parked next to T&L Zip Stop. Bradley Wieberg brought it to the attention of Trustee …

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Freeburg trustees concerned about couple living in trailer next to T&L Zip Stop


FREEBURG — Freeburg trustees are concerned about reports of a couple living in their travel trailer parked next to T&L Zip Stop. Bradley Wieberg brought it to the attention of Trustee Darryl Haller, asking him if the city enforces its ordinances since living in the RV violates City Ordinance #189.

“If anyone wants to put a mobile home in town, they have to follow the ordinance,” Haller said. “It has to be approved.”

Haller believes they have hooked up the water and sewer lines to T&L Zip Stop. Village Clerk Nicki Bax noted that she had read on Facebook that they are living in the travel trailer while selling their home.

“Everybody has to follow the rules,” Haller said. “Everybody has to follow the same rules. We, as board members, need to follow the ordinances.”

Haller noted that the ordinance is available on Freeburg’s website. He also said it would cost over $250 to have Village Attorney Nathan Nickolaus draft a letter to send to the residents to tell them they are violating the ordinance.

“Do we have to go to the lawyer immediately?” Trustee Jaime Kaesik asked. “Can we just reach out to them?”

“But they already did it,” Haller said. “The lawyer can reach out to them and get it figured out some way. They didn’t follow the rules.”

“Do we have any idea how long they plan to be there?” Kaesik asked.

“My understanding is that it is temporary,” Mayor Scott Knoll said.

“We are not singling anyone out,” Haller said. “The rules are the rules.”

Bax read in a Facebook post that they hope to find land and build a new house.

“That could take a very long time,” said Kaesik.

Haller read aloud that the penalty for violating Ordinance #189 is a daily fine not to exceed $250 against the property owner and the owner of the trailer. He noted he did not want to meet with them and then discuss it at the meeting in December and have several months go by with nothing happening.

“The days start counting when the lawyer sends them the letter,” Haller said.

“Maybe they didn’t know about the ordinance,” Bax suggested.

Trustee Glenn Haller thought he remembered they had tried to put in a trailer before that didn’t comply with the ordinance.

“I think there are good people that live in trailer houses,” Trustee Darryl Haller said. “We aren’t necessarily trying to get rid of trailer houses. The ordinance was set up a certain way, and we have to follow it.”

Haller proposed going and explaining the situation to the residents and having the attorney send them a letter.

“They may not even know they are in violation (of an ordinance),” Knoll said.

“Ignorance is not an excuse in today’s world,” Haller said.

Trustee Shane Zimmerman volunteered to go with Haller to talk to the residents.

In other business, Haller was concerned that the lien waiver for the Reinkemeyer property had not yet been signed.

Kaesik noted that she thought that there had been a deadline set at the October meeting.

“Apparently, I was waiting on him, and he’s waiting on me,” Bax said. “But they have to sign it in front of a notary. It doesn’t make any difference how many times I bring it to them.”

Kaesik said Bax needed to give them a time to meet at the bank so the paperwork could be signed in front of a notary.

Haller offered to have everyone meet in his office, where there are people who could notarize the document.

Verslues Construction Company has not set a date yet for the project to begin.

• Trustees approved $110,479.64 for Jefferson Asphalt’s work on village streets, which came in under the original bid of $118,254. Trustees also approved a payment to BlackRoads Groups for their street work for $41,447, which matched their initial bid.

The total amount of $151,926.64 will be paid out of the American Rescue Plan Act Funds of $88,029.58, leaving the remaining amount to come out of the village’s general revenue money market account.

• Freeburg will increase business license fees in 2024 from $10 to $20 per year.

“I don’t know if that has ever changed,” Haller said. “It probably needs to go up like everything else.”

Trustees also agreed that village residents with at-home businesses must have a business license even if they are selling products online. Trustees discussed that business owners need to have the appropriate licenses to operate any business and that before applying for a village license, business owners should have a Missouri State and Osage County license for taxes to be applied correctly and to be a legal business.

• Trustees approved using First State Insurance Agency as the new insurance carrier for Worker’s Compensation. Fortress Insurance Agent Johnnie Fowler told trustees that Mid America Bank had closed its insurance agency in Jefferson City, so Fowler was forced to work with a different agency.

“The policy will stay the same; we will just work out of a different office,” Fowler explained.

Fowler also presented the city with an award for a 10-year safety record.

• Trustees tabled a decision on how much money they need to borrow for the pre-engineering of the new wastewater facility. Brock Goehl with D.A. Davidson presented trustees with options for a $150,000 or $300,000 loan. He explained that each would carry 5.5% interest and would be rolled over into the Missouri State Revolving Fund Loan after pre-engineering was completed.

Trustees expressed an interest in paying a large chunk of the pre-engineering from the sewer money market account.

“If you guys don’t have an issue with that, that’s great,” Goehl said. “Cash is king in any project.”

“Well, I hate to borrow money if we have it in savings,” Haller said.

Trustees tabled the issue until the December meeting so they could consult with Bartlett & West Project Engineer Kyle Landwehr.

• Utilities Supervisor Doug Hamacher requested the village purchase a Samsung Tablet he could use to read water meters and access the Diamond Mapping program. Hamacher learned about the new program at a recent conference and thought it would be great for the village.

Diamond Mapping allows municipalities to map and document the water and sewer lines in the village, along with repairs and services.

“This lets you detail your work as you do it,” Hamacher explained.

“I saw this at the conference, and I was so impressed,” Bax agreed.

Hamacher noted that the system is cheaper and easier to use than the last mapping system that the village had considered.

The cost is $20 per month, and while it requires a tablet, the tablet must be purchased and activated to read the water meters regardless.

Hamacher explained he has a 30-day free mapping software trial on his cell phone. He reiterated how easy the program is to use and how it would be helpful for the village even after he was gone. An easily accessible record would show when and where repairs were made.

“You should see what these other towns have,” Hamacher said. “If a pump isn’t working (the mapping software) tells you,” Hamacher explained.

“Junk in, junk out,” Haller said. “You have to put all that information in though.”

“If you don’t buy it, I’m going to,” Hamacher said. “Every city needs this. Every municipality needs it.”

Trustees approved $711.69 for Hamacher to purchase the Samsung tablet and the cost to activate it with Cricket so it could be used to read the village water meters. They asked Hamacher to have someone come to the December meeting and present additional information on the Diamond Mapping Software Program.

Hamacher noted that he would pay for the additional month of software if necessary to keep the program working past the 30-day trial period.

“This is just amazing to me and would be so great for the next person after I am gone,” Hamacher said.

• Bax said she had received a phone call about a bad drop-off at the driveway behind the pump house. Hamacher noted he had put gravel in that spot before but would look into it and see if he needed to add gravel.

Hamacher reported that he had trimmed most of the overgrown trees along several village streets. He plans to put up the village’s Christmas lights the first week of December.

• Trustees approved the following outstanding bills: general revenue ($7,305.13), ARPA ($5.25), sewer ($638.03), and water ($1,599.93).

• Freeburg had the following account balances: purchasing ($302.40), sewer checking ($20,351.14), general revenue checking ($32,765.26), sewer money market ($292,372.16), general revenue money market ($482,453.21), ARPA ($88,029.58), water ($5,386.57), water replacement ($974.66), and water money market ($820,652.83).

• The village had a water loss of 2%, with 2,718,894 gallons of water pumped and 2,672,249 gallons billed, or 46,645 gallons lost.

• The next meeting will be held on Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.