The Fredonia Town Council held a special meeting last week to discuss and vote on several issues. They began with the pending purchase of the new 5mVa transformer needed to replace the one that “fried” last month. The town is currently on borrowed time, using their back-up transformer, which is venting badly. There is no telling how much longer it will last. 

Town Manager Dan Watson informed the council that Dick Darnell received three quotes for transformers. As the council had previously approved $220,000 for the purchase of the transformer, they were pleased to receive the quote of $182,000, taxes not included. Watson explained the transformer is scheduled for installation on Monday, June 6. Residents will experience two outages of approximately one hour each at 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Next, the council unanimously voted to hire Serena Cutchen as the new Fredonia Town Magistrate, with Brian Hilding as the Pro-tem in her absence. Justice of the Peace Mark Baron offered his services to help with training. The council extended their thanks for his assistance.

Watson next discussed the estimate given by Boyd Corry to upgrade the office computers and server required for the billing software updates scheduled for July. The cost of the upgrades will be under $5,000, so it is not necessary to put the job out to bid. Watson said he had completed research on the pricing, and felt the estimate was fair. 

Town office employee Kelly Hilding explained to the council that the billing software, Caselle, is the main program used by the town. It is used for all billing, payroll, accounts payable, as well as the general accounting. The updates to Caselle have already been approved to be paid by the Water Project grant, but those cannot be completed without the required upgrades to the computers and server.

The council expressed their concern regarding funding for the upgrades.  Watson said since it is necessary for the utility billing, they may be able to use grant money from the Water Project. If not, it could be taken from the electrical fund, as it is essential for utility billing. The council agreed to the upgrades, in hopes that the funding from the grant will be allowed.