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Regular Board Meeting         Monday, April 10, 2023


1). 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. Roll Call. All board members were present: Purvis, Terry Jensen, Karen Leis, Aaron Nemec, Aaron Appleman, Frank Quinn, and Barbara Melvin (by phone).          

Also present: News reporter’s Lonnie Muller and Bonnie Sherman, Public Works Manager Wayne Haugrud, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Police Chief Steve Palmer, and Clerk Kimberly Walker.     


2). Verification was given of meeting publishing in the La Farge Episcope, and of posting at the Bank, Post Office, and Village Office on April 6, 2023.    


3). Quinn moved, Leis seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (3-13-2023/Police committee meeting; 3-13-2023/Regular Village board meeting; and 3-28-2023/Regular Library board meeting). (Carried).    


4). Correspondence: None.   


5). Public Comment: None.


6). Utility business: Received 5 construction bids for the proposed 2023 Stream Improvements -Kickapoo River and Bear Creek project:  

  • Sunram Construction, Inc.-$241,180 and Alternate ‘A’ for contractor to purchase topsoil $301,400.

  • G-Pro Excavating - $213,915 and Alternate bid $342,500.

  • Kendall Trucking & Plumbing - $139,506 and Alternate bid $0.00.

  • Bill Lepke Excavating - $110,750 and Alternate bid $20,550.

  • Mike Lepke Excavating - $86,500 and Alternate bid (minus $13,700).  

Our project manager, Jordan Fure with Delta 3, recommends going with Mike Lepke with the alternate bid, for a total of $72,800.00. Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to accept Mike Lepke’s bid. (Carried).                                 


**Received a bid for a Cross Connection Control agreement from HydroCorp, to do 20 inspections for $3,528. We’ve had them in the past, and this is done every 3 years. Wayne recently attended a WRWA expo and came across another company, Midwest Testing, which currently does our large water meter testing, and they’d like to give us a price. Decided to postpone this until the next meeting.


**In 2022, the utilities were to do an electric utility financial forecast for a rate case. Johnson Block & Company filed an extension until March of 2023, waiting on the substation project, to see what was going to happen before we proceeded. We signed an engagement letter with them at this time. Now they’ve asked for another extension, since the project looks to be finished in 2024, and would like a new agreement signed. Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve the new engagement letter with JBC. (Carried).       


**Regular Utility business: On March 28th, Water Coat Tower & Clean was hired to perform the 5-year tank inspection on the water reservoir, that is required by the DNR. Every 10 years it needs to be drained. We had it completely drained, and all went well. We had to wait over night to get a safe water sample, and it came back good, so we’re good for another 5 years, when they’ll need to do a dive in it.

**Had a pre-construction meeting for the substation relocation on April 6th. The subcontractors were online, and MP has been here several times and getting a lot of supplies ordered. Preliminary start is April 24th, to see some site work being performed. The next step is getting a construction timeline.     


7). Old Business: Kathy Hart property update: She had a March 31st deadline, which wasn’t met, so Jacob Menn is to be filing for a court date. And on Jacob Sell, he’s not here. Waiting on our attorney to see about sending letters out to him.   


8). Discussed an agreement for Community Development Alternatives, Inc. to submit a CDBG-PF   application to the Department of Administration, to finish Main Street and do a portion of Mill Street for a water main replacement project. Their cost is $3,200 to write this. Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to approve the agreement between the Village and CDA. (Carried).  

9). Need to adopt a new resolution “Adopting a Citizen Participation Plan”. This goes along with the CDBG application process. Quinn moved, Nemec seconded to approve the resolution. (Carried). 


10). Discussed applying for a Vernon County Community Development matching grant for up to $10,000. The office staff came up with ideas for park improvement upgrades: to include finishing some cement work at the memorial, update the electric pedestals to each of the camping sites, and build some roofs over a couple of picnic tables for Sandmire Park and Bean Park. The village has match funds in the Park Savings.    

Jensen moved, Leis seconded to propose applying for these funds to improve our park system. (Carried).


11). Opened two bids for mowing/trimming of Chapel Hill Cemetery. Justin’s Lawncare and Landscape bid $1,950 for weekly mowing and bi-weekly trimming, and Beau Biermann (Beau’s Lawn Care) bid $2,700 for the season. Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to approve Justin’s Lawncare. (Carried).


12). Brandon Larsen, with Vernon County Emergency Management, is working on getting everyone in compliance with current state statute changes. We need to decide to either adopt Vernon county’s emergency operations plan or we can keep our own, which Brandon has offered to update. We also need an emergency manager listed, which is currently Greg. Managers now need to be certified and have qualifications. Greg was fine with Brandon taking this position. It’s probably an advantage, with all the regulations, to go with the county. Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve the resolution for the Emergency Operations Plan with Vernon County. (Carried).       


13). Jon Turner made a request at the village office to ask the board about possibly purchasing the property below the Emergency Services building, to use for his kids to ride their ATVs on. For multiple reasons, the board did not want to sell. It may be a site for the future Solar panel project with the VCED, been discussion on turning the area into a wetland, the noise may be a problem with neighbors, and it’s part of our water quality trading project area. Jensen moved, Nemec seconded that the Village of La Farge declines to sell any property below the ESB to Jon Turner. (Carried).    


14). April 20th, at 6:30 p.m. will be the re-organization meeting for the Village board, and to welcome incoming Frank Quinn, as President of the Village. Also that evening, will be 2 Public hearings, one for the Main and Mill Street project and the other for the Planning Grant.    


15). Open Book with the Assessor was set for May 16th, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and Board of Review was set for May 30th, from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., both at the village office. 


16). Set the 27th annual village-wide rummage sales for June 2nd & June 3rd. 


17). Jensen moved, Leis seconded to approve an operator license for Connie Melvin. (Carried). (She completed the Learn to Serve Beverage training course on 1-25-2023).


18). Police Report/Update: Police Chief Palmer reported on the following:

**Been writing a lot more ordinance citations.

**The gun safety locks have arrived. Will have some at the Village office and some at the ESB.

**With the State of Wisconsin grant, Steve got a vest, ballistic helmet and shield, a body camera, and is waiting on a mobile router.  

**March 12 & 13th, attended a domestic violence training event, on March 28th did a virtual sexual assault training course, and April 11-13th will be attending an interview and interrogation course in Sparta.

**The Board said to keep up the good work.  


19). Committee Reports and Updates:

**Frank presented Cheryl with a plaque and gift from the board and employees. He thanked her for serving the Village for the last 10 years, especially the last 4 as Village President, with being a real asset to the board and community, especially with the grant work. She received a round of applause.    


**Cheryl thanked everyone and said she was sad. It was a hard decision, and she’s been very honored to serve the community. She’s happy with what our “team” has accomplished. The village board has been great and very supportive. The village staff has been terrific. Wayne and Greg have been awesome and appreciate all they’ve done and know they will continue to do great work. And Kim, she wouldn’t have

got through the last 4 years without her help. Really appreciate it. Her biggest regret is we still have some terrible properties to clean up. This has been going on for years. She’s tried her hardest, and every time we came close to a solution and a plan, we had to stop. Hope for better luck in the future. That’s been her biggest frustration. She took the job very seriously and was very proud of everything we’d done. She’s going to take a step back but will be back involved in the community in a little while. She thanked everyone for all the support and guidance. It was very much appreciated and she was honored .    


20). Jensen moved, Leis seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).


21). Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:10 p.m.



                                                           Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer

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