GREENWOOD – A major business in Greenwood was not billed correctly for electricity, and the Village Board of Trustees is now working to rectify the matter.
At its regular meeting May 29, the village board discussed notifying Midwest Farmers Cooperative about a billing error for their Greenwood location at 219 Highway 6. The village is the electricity provider in Greenwood.
Village Clerk Cheris Cadwell said for the past few years, the software program the village was using did not charge users when they went over 20,000 kilowatts of power.
According to Cadwell, Midwest Farmers Cooperative was under-billed $30,274 from Oct. 26, 2016 to when the error was corrected in January of this year. Cadwell said she could only go back as far as 2016 to check the billing records.
The board tabled action on the matter, but asked a board member to reach out the business to discuss the situation.
“I think maybe somebody ought to personally go and see them,” said Board Chairperson Don Wilken.
Board Member Matt Starr volunteered to contact the co-op. Last Friday, Starr said he had made calls to Midwest Farmers Cooperative and informed them of the situation, but had not spoken yet to the individual who could make a decision on the matter.
Midwest Farmers Cooperative is the only business in Greenwood that uses electricity in excess of 20,000 kilowatts, so it was the only one affected by the software error, Cadwell said. They typically only use more than 20,000 kilowatts during harvest, when the dryers are operating, she added.
Also on the topic of electricity, the board discussed who should be the point of contact for the village board in the event of an outage. A recent power outage brought the situation to the forefront.
When a power outage occurs, an electrician is called to make the repair. If they cannot do the repair, OPPD is called, said Board Member Megan Piehl.
The concern is whether a village official should be the first person to be contacted during an outage. A consensus of the board concluded that Piehl, a member of the village’s electricity committee, will be the first contact. The village board chairperson will also be alerted.
The board members also discussed whether village employees need to be called in when there is an electrical outage.
“The town guys can help find the problem until OPPD gets here if they can’t get hold of an electrician,” said Wilken, adding that it would save the village money if their employees could deal with the problem instead of calling an electrician or OPPD.
The board approved a bid from Civil Works to build a gazebo in Greenwood Village Park. The bid was for $17,598.35 with a 10 percent contingency.
Parks and Recreation Board Member Jim Swenson told the board that he solicited bids from three companies but only one responded. That company, Civil Works, is owned by Alan Grell of Greenwood.
The gazebo, which will be made of cedar, will be located near the area where the sand box was previously situated, Swenson said. Civil Works’ bid included electrical work and concrete for the floor of the gazebo, but village staff will install the sidewalks leading up to the structure.
Swenson said the parks and rec board anticipate the gazebo will be completed before the community’s annual summer celebration on Aug. 17.
“We’d like to have it in place for Greenwood Days, of course,” he said.
The board also approved selling a parcel of land to Roger Dennis, owner of Yoder’s Amish Furniture in Greenwood. Cadwell said Dennis wants to use parcel No. 130030589, located on East Fifth Street and Highway 6, to put up a sign.
Board Member Kevin Gerlach was initially reluctant to approve the sale.
“My thoughts are don’t sell,” he said as discussion began.
However, Gerlach changed his mind and voted yes along with the rest of the board.
A contract with the Southeast Nebraska Affordable Housing Council (SENHAC) to assist with abatement of nuisances in the village was also approved by the board.
After the meeting, Cadwell explained that the board will use SENHAC, which is operated through the Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD), to help clean up properties in Greenwood with the goal of helping the community grow in the future.
The organization can also help the village apply for grants to assist property owners with rehabilitation of their houses, Cadwell said.