Monday, November 8, 2021
*Village President Cheryl Purvis called the regular meeting of the La Farge Village Board to order at 6:30 p.m. at the Emergency Services building. (Meeting was posted for using Zoom or attending in person).
Roll Call - Present at the meeting:
All Board Members: Frank Quinn, Aaron Nemec, Karen Leis, Terry Jensen, Aaron Appleman, Barbara Melvin, and Cheryl Purvis.
Also present: News reporters Lonnie Muller and Bonnie Sherman (Zoom), Nick Burnard, Gary Koch with CDA, Samantha Laskowski, Alan Buss, Kaila Wilson, Public Works Manger Wayne Haugrud, Police Chief Jonathon Brown, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, and Clerk Kimberly Walker.
*Verification was given of meeting publishing in the La Farge Episcope, and of posting at the Bank, Post Office, and Village Office on November 4, 2021.
*The first Public Hearing scheduled for tonight has been cancelled. The developer for the 16-unit apartment building was not able to secure property, so they are passing on this grant application.
*Gary Koch, from CDA, was present for the next public hearing for the CDBG-Public Facilities grant for the Main Street Improvement project. This is the 2nd required public hearing for this grant. The first hearing was awhile back, when we applied for the grant. This one is to allow the public to make comments on the project. Gary said from his part in the administrative end, it is going well. He’s received all the paperwork needed from the contractor, and we’ve been accessing the grant monthly as the bills come thru. We’re still dealing with the DOT on the asphalt part. We didn’t do a lot of the amenities for Main Street and had less expensive streetlights. This will bring costs down. But in the end, we still should have a 2 for 1 match, to access the whole $1 million dollars.
*Wayne gave a project overview. Gassers finished the intersections today, so the paving is complete.
Gerke is finishing the prep work for the sidewalks from Bird to Maple and the sidewalk people are to come this Wednesday to start the cement work. The light poles were delivered today and will be installed when the sidewalks are done. And tomorrow, Adams County is coming to paint the center strip line and side parking lines. There were no comments or questions, so the hearing was closed at 6:36 p.m.
*Gary presented one of three fair housing actions tonight that are required for the Disaster Recovery grant for the electrical substation project. This one is a Proclamation for Fair Housing Week, for the week of November 8th. It will be in the paper tomorrow. Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to pass the Fair Housing Proclamation for the electrical substation project. (Carried).
*Melvin moved, Nemec seconded to approve the meeting minutes: (10-11-21/Regular Village board meeting; 10-12-21/Regular Library Board meeting; 10-20-21/Finance & Personnel committee; 10-20-21/ Police committee; 10-25-21/Medical committee; 10-25-21/Parks, Grounds, Buildings, & Cemetery committee; 10-25-21/Streets & Utilities committee; and 11-3-21/Finance & Personnel committee meeting). (Carried).
*Public Comment: None.
*Utility business: Wayne mentioned a company called Hartland came this week and did a wetland study of the area where the electrical substation may be relocated to and PSI did 3 borings of where the actual building will sit. They hit 14’ of sawdust, then hit a sandy/silty soil, then at about 26’ hit bedrock. They will get back to us on costs.
*Greg gave a brief recap of the 4-year sewer rate increase plan that first went into effect last year. The Streets and Utilities committee met and agreed to continue with Step 2. Last year was a 7% increase on the monthly fixed cost and 30% on the monthly volume charge. The second year is 6% and 25%. Step 3 is 6% and 13% and Step 4 is 0% and 4%. He reviewed the impact on residential customers monthly. This is an update for possible approval at a future board meeting.
*Samantha Laskowski and Alan Buss were present for an update on the 25 X 25 community energy plan.
They’ve been busy holding meetings. They’re looking at how the village can manage their energy and how people and businesses in town can get their energy in a more sustainable way. Had talk about revitalizing the community solar plan that was brought up many years ago. Beginning early next year, they’d like to have a couple of public sessions to see how people feel about solar. Just wanted the board to be aware of what they’d like to do next year on this. The board thanked them for coming.
*Main Street Project: Received Pay request #5 for Gerke Excavating in the amount of $53,037.00. There is still a retainage amount of $46,219. To date, we’ve paid them $864,000. Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve pay request #5 to Gerke Excavating. (Carried).
*Update on Grants: Checking with Mark Steward, at Vierbichers, he said the EDA is still asking for information from us, so we’re still in the running for the grant.
*Dollar General Update: They have made an offer to a property owner. In negotiations right now. As soon as we know information, the public will know.
*Old business: Fencing along the retention pond by Oak Drive. Have the quotes for a fence around the whole perimeter, which is expensive. Discussed just putting a fence up along the road or even a guardrail. Wayne will get prices for both options.
*The Park committee met and recommended giving the 2 lots back to the Free Methodist Church that the skatepark sits on. Barb read the park minutes and questioned why it would be better to give it back. Terry said the village can’t do anything with it, ever, and we’re paying the insurance. Barb said if we ever decided to do an apartment, Pastor Mark from the church told her they would be in much more favor of that. Now they will have to find an organization to help them fund the insurance. It looks like the village doesn’t want to support the community skatepark. Cheryl and Frank both said they have heard feedback from the community to give it back. Not one said to keep it. The village offered a better location to relocate it and they said no. Barb said is seems like we’re mad. Terry replied they kept saying it’s their land and we tried to steal it. Cheryl was conflicted and not trying to retaliate about things that were said. She feels we’re elected to listen to the community members. If the church thinks it’s their land, it should be given back. Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to transfer the 2 lots where the skatepark is located back to the Free Methodist Church. Roll Call Vote. (Carried 6-1, with Melvin voting no).
*Police report/update: Chief Brown reported 118 calls for service in October. Nothing new for municipal court. He reviewed the arrest records. And the 2 car thefts in town from last month were both recovered.
**Library: Meeting tomorrow to go over the applications. Received 10 for the Library Director position. Only 4 completed all the paperwork requested. Will decide who to interview at this time. Hoping by mid-December to have someone on board.
*Quinn moved, Melvin seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).
*Quinn moved, Appleman seconded to convene into closed session, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes section 19.85(1)(c), to discuss personnel matters on compensation and section 19.85 (1)(e), to deliberate or negotiate the purchasing of public properties, whenever competitive or bargaining reasons require a closed session. (Carried).
*Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to reconvene to open and continue the meeting. (Carried).
*Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve the compensation for employees for 2022 as discussed in closed session. (Carried).
*Purvis reviewed some highlights of the proposed budget for 2022. We had an increase of over $18,000 in our revenue and a decrease in spending of around $81,000 for 2021, which is a help to our fund balance in helping our cash flow. We did well this year. For 2022, the budget went up $15,000 overall. No one had any questions, so Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve the 2022 proposed budget for publication and set Monday, November 29, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. for the Public Budget Hearing, with a special meeting to follow for adoption of the budget. (Carried).
*Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:50 p.m.
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer