Versailles Village Council discusses emergency electric distribition repairs


By Meladi Brewer

VERSAILLES — The Versailles Village Council met Wednesday to discuss revisions to Section 1110 and a memorandum for the Electrical Department.

The council considered and approved a motion to prepare legislature for the proposed text amendment to the Village of Versailles Zoning Ordinance, Section 1110. Prior to the council meeting, the Village of Versailles Planning Commissioner met on Tuesday, July 5, and during the meeting the commission members discussed the proposed text amendment.

“The revision is follows: within 75 days of the public hearing required, the Village Council shall either adopt or deny the recommendation of the Planning Commission or adopt some modification thereof,” Village Administrator Mike Busse said.

He added in the event the Village Council votes to modify the recommendation of The Planning Commission it must do so by not less than three-fourths of the full membership of the Village Council. No such Zoning Regulation shall be passed unless it has been read in full or by title only on three different days except that such Zoning Regulation may become emergency legislation if three-fourths of the full membership of the Village Council vote to dispense of this rule.

“The changes in the revision are the 75 days as the current regulation in 35 days. The reason for that change is it’s impossible, unless we pass it by emergency, to get anything done in a 30 day period because of the three readings that have to occur,” Busse said.

Busse said they try not to pass zoning amendments by emergency to give the general public time to comment and to ask questions.

“We do not want to give the appearance that we are rushing things through,” Busse said.

Busse said the request is to amend 35 days to 75 days and change “in the event the Village Council ‘denies’ the recommendation” to “in the event the Village Council ‘votes to modify’ the recommendation.”

“Previously, the next sentence said ‘no such Zoning Regulation shall be passed unless it has been read in full’, and we are recommending council change that to ‘read in full or by title only’,” Busse said. “We also recommend they change if three-fourths of the ‘members’ of the Village Council vote to three-fourths of the ‘full membership’.”

The Council approved the amended legislation and the new legislation will be prepared. Moving on, the council considered a motion to authorize the Village Administrator to contract with Vaughn Industries, LLC for emergency electric distribution repairs.

Assistant Village Administrator, Kyle Francis, attended the meeting to speak to council members regarding the emergency electric distribution.

“Earlier this year, in March, we had the tornado that went through the north of town. Later that month, we had another severe storm come through town and snapped two poles in an afternoon. Shortly after we had another pole snap in the same vicinity,” Francis said.

Francis added several of the poles had been tagged in the fall of 2021 as being defective, meaning their bases are rotted or they have other defective characteristics.

“Two of these poles are right in that triangle area, and we replaced one earlier this year. Another one is a key riser pole to a bunch of commercial businesses in the area and also carries all the power to Johns IGA, Weaver Bros., and that whole end of town,” Francis said.

The village was looking into Vaughn Industries to review the area and provide the labor and equipment price to make the necessary pole replacements and reconfiguration. They provided a not to exceed price of $69,840 to make the replacements on Kley Road and Ploch Pike in addition for the replacement of the rise pole to Johns IGA. They anticipate the work to take two to three weeks.

“There is a lot of fear and anxiety from myself and the electrical lineman that if we get another good windstorm and one of those poles goes down, we could be looking at a substantial outage to customers in that area for some time,” Francis said.

Francis said, if one of those poles goes down, the customers are going to suffer. One of the key customers is Weaver Bros., and there is no back up circuit to tie them off in order to ensure power is restored quickly for production purposes.

“The closest circuit is circuit #4 to the east and that is a very old build. It does not have the proper sized conductors to carry their load, so this is like an Achilles heel of that circuit,” Francis said.

Due to the “Achilles heel,” Francis said this is the reason for declaring this issue an emergency, as he and the team are trying to complete the project before winter and another wind storm comes through. Francis assured the council that the issue is not the wooden poles as much as it is just old age, so the need for steel poles is necessary.

“I don’t think we are to that point. It’s just that those poles are completely rotted out,” Francis said.

The next Versailles Council meeting will take place Wednesday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., in EMS Building, 320 Baker Road, Versailles.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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