WELTON — Four years after the citizens of Welton voted 57-38 to establish a municipal water system, the end of the project is in sight.

Matt Saur, project engineer, told the city council last week that installation of the water main is almost complete and testing for leaks or bacteria should start next week. When that is complete, a crew of plumbers hired by the general contractor will begin the job of installing meters and hooking up of equipment inside homes.

About three or four homes a day can be hooked up, Saur said. There are 65 homes in the city.

After receiving that news, the city council tackled another big project — street repairs.

Bids were opened from:

n Municipal Street Improvements: Clean, patch, double seal coat, $32,353.

n Determann Asphalt Paving: Cleaning, milling, filling potholes, paving with 1.5 inch mat, $62,960.

n Kluesner Construction: Clean and patch potholes, 2-inch asphalt overlay, $84,765; mill street and haul milling away, add $11,381. An alternate bid for seal coating was $15,386.

“I do have a report from the county engineer,” Mayor Janet Huffman said. “He was very thorough and said drainage has caused so much deterioration.”

Kinney told her if the city chooses to do seal coating, they would be back in four to five years, she said.

“If we do it right, we’ll be pretty much done with it for 12 to 15 years,” Huffman said.

The city has about $66,000 in a road use tax fund. It would be possible to borrow against future road tax income.

Since only three council members were present, the issue was tabled until all five can attend.

A public hearing, at which time no public comments were received, was held on the budget proposal for 2009-2010. The budget shows expenditures exceeding revenue by $61,605, reducing the $145,149 beginning fund balance to $83,544. The property tax levy is estimated at 10.65028, the same as the past year.

First reading was given to a new water billing ordinance and it was decided to not charge for water until all households are hooked up. The rate of the charge will not be known until all construction bills are in.

Four applications were received for the position of water meter reader. The council decided to wait until all members are present to make a decision.

There was discussion on the issue of whether to hook up the water system at households which are delinquent in paying sewer bills. It was decided to hook them up.

Marty Jahn was hired as water and sewer operator, beginning April 1.

The city clerk reported that the state auditor’s representative had to return for one day for additional data. As a result, the clerk was paid $15 per hour for three hours and 15 minutes.

The council discussed a proposed maintenance contract for the emergency generator and decided to table it for six months, since the generator is under warranty at this time.