By Autumn Evans
Wheatfield's Town Board moved ahead with two major proposals Monday: one to begin the process of obtaining a library in the town, and another to start a comprehensive drainage study.
First, the board approved a motion to grant Karl Frizlen of the Frizlen Group, who designed the community center behind Town Hall, a budget not to exceed $3,000 to create a preliminary design for a library.
"At the size of our town, we should really be doing some of our own services," Supervisor Bob Cliffe said.
Councilman Larry Helwig questioned whether the design should be bid out, but the board determined it would be less costly than bringing a new designer up to speed because it was only a preliminary design and Frizlen was already aware of the idea.
Town Attorney Robert O'Toole added the town may be able to apply for grants, but the preliminary sketches would be required to go down that route.
Later, before voting on the drainage study, the board went into an executive session to discuss the matter. Upon returning, it voted 4-1 to accept the proposal from Conestoga-Rovers & Associates for a cost not to exceed $125,700. The one opposing vote came from Helwig. The lowest bid came from Wendel at $89,000.
"We felt that it was time to get a new set of eyes and a new set of ideas and just see if there are things that may have been overlooked or are things we can do differently and better going forward," Cliffe said.
In other Town Board news:
•The board received six responses to its bid for an annual audit for the period ending Dec. 31, 2014. Lumsden McCormick bid $17,000 for 160 hours. It was the only bid to include specific hours; the rest were lump sums. Drescher & Malecki, the company the town has used in years past, bid $19,750; the Bonadio Group bid $22,500; and Toski & Co. bid $26,500. The last two responses, from Brown & Co. and Freed Maxick, were declined.
•The board approved a motion to allow Highway Superintendent Paul Siegmann to purchase a new chipper for about $38,500 to replace the current 11-year-old machine.
•Siegmann also asked residents to keep an eye on drains near their homes after his department was called to the Eagle Chase subdivision for flooding issues. While there, a worker found firewood from someone's home lodged in one of the drains, which was causing flooding.
•The board approved a motion to accept the Greenspace Master Plan first presented in February with an amendment to add greenspace properties to the plan as notified.
•Cliffe thanked the highway, water/sewer and recreation departments for their consistent work in maintaining the town during February's harsh weather conditions.
"I personally want to thank each and every one of the workers who has done that. I want to thank you three guys (department heads Siegmann, Rich Donner and Mike Ranalli) for your leadership and helping your people to do this work," Cliffe said. "We're very happy and very proud of the work that you and your guys did."
•Three public information sessions will be held before the next board meeting on March 23. A public hearing on proposed public improvement program fees will be held at 7 p.m.; a hearing on the condemnation of a drainage easement at Rose Court will be held at 7:15 p.m.; and a public information meeting regarding the Fairmount Park improvement project also will be held at 7:30 p.m.