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Council denies payout

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WAVERLY – On a cold and chilly Tuesday night in Waverly, after the city council had gone through the entire agenda, the council moved into executive session. 

The congregation of audience members traveled into the weather to wait out the council’s decision. This decision was whether Brandie and Rocky Erickson and Nicole and Tim Hamersma would receive financial aid from the city after experiencing sewer backups in their homes over the summer. 

These backups were first presented to the council at the previous meeting on Aug. 25 in which the council learned of the extent of the damages done to both parties’ homes.

“It wasn’t just our sewage, it was all of Waverly’s sewage,” Nicole Hamersma said at the previous meeting. 

Council Member Andrew Cockerill motioned to table both requests for this most recent meeting in order to further look into both situations.

After about 15 minutes in executive session, the council invited the assembly back into the warmth of VFW Post 9875, where city council meetings have been held since the pandemic in order to provide more social distancing.

The council began by taking the Hamersma request off the table. 

“These are not easy decisions,” Council Member Chad Neuhalfen said. “When you sit in this chair, you aren’t only spending the City of Waverly’s money but also the taxpayers’ money.” 

The council all voted to deny the Hamersma request and moved on to the Erickson request.

“It’s my opinion that the sewer backup was not something the city could foresee or prevent,” Council Member Bill Gerdes said. “It’s an unfortunate event but I’ll have to vote no.”

With that, the council also voted to deny the Erickson request, to both the Erickson’s and Hamersma’s obvious dismay. Mayor Mike Werner then adjourned the meeting. 

Earlier in the meeting, the council voted to accept the One and Six Year Highway and Street Improvement Program as well as an application for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in regards to federal assistance for the new Waverly Aquatic Center. They also heard and approved the second reading for the sixth and seventh additions for Anderson North Park subdivision on 141st Street and Waverly Road.

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