VILLAGE OF LA FARGE
Regular Board Meeting Monday, March 13, 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, Karen Leis, Frank Quinn, Aaron Appleman, Barbara Melvin, Aaron Nemec, and Terry Jensen.
Also present: News reporter Lonnie Muller, Public Works Manager Wayne Haugrud, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Police Chief Steve Palmer, Brad Steinmetz, Tim Gaskell, 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 March 9, 2023.
3). Melvin moved, Quinn seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (2-13-2023/Regular Village board meeting; 2-15-2023/Special Library board meeting; 2-27-2023 Medical committee meeting; and 3-1-2023 Special Library board meeting). (Carried).
4). Correspondence: Reminder of the La Farge Fire Department’s annual banquet on March 18th.
5). Public Comment: Tim Gaskell, 602 S. Main St., Westby, was present, asking for support in the upcoming April 4th election. He is the current District Attorney, serving in that capacity for the last 20 years,
with a total of 32 years in law. His platform is Experience Matters. He spoke of his career, and would appreciate the support for Judge.
**Brad Steinmetz, Box 202, La Farge, was present for 3 things. First, he brought up the La Farge Economic Recovery Plan from the early 2020’s. Just a reminder of the things discussed back then, mentioning the proposal to extend the streets on the East part of town to open development areas for housing. Cheryl told him the village is working on securing some funding to start this process. Second, a future solar farm, which has been discussed in the past. Cheryl said the village is working with the Vernon County Energy District on this, applying for a grant. And third, he offered his congratulations and commendations to Village President Cheryl Purvis, for her service. She’s had difficult situations over the years and has made sure everyone’s voice is heard. She’s done a good job. Cheryl appreciated his comments and thanked him.
6). Utility business: Three bids were received on the electrical substation re-bid project. Michels was $4,184,128, MJ Electric was $3,399,991, and MP Systems was $3,374,469.75. Forster Engineering sent a letter of recommendation to approve the contract with MP Systems. To pay for this, the village has a CDBG-DR grant in the amount of $2,046,451, leaving us short $1,328,018. Talking to our auditors, we have about 1.5 million in the TIF to cover the project. Greg is applying for more funding to help subsidize this. Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to accept MP Systems bid for $3,374,469.75. (Carried).
**Regular utility business: Greg is working on a FY24 Community Project Funding (CPF) application thru a program with Congressman Derrik Van Orden. This was received last Thursday and is due this Wednesday. Each district can put forth projects, to be spent in the 2024 fiscal year. There is no cap or specific project, so applying for money for the shortfall in the substation project. Cheryl reviewed a resolution authorizing the Village to apply for this. Quinn moved, Melvin seconded to approve Resolution #3-13-2023. (Carried). Greg was thanked for working on this.
**The current wastewater discharge permit expires 9-30-2023. April 4th is the deadline for the application for the new permit. Ours has been submitted. We did not use the multi discharge variance, just the water quality trading part that Delta 3 explained last month.
7). Old Business: Cheryl gave an update on the Kathy Hart Property cleanup. The original agreement was to have it cleaned up by the end of December. They’ve had 1 dumpster, and nothing since, due to bad weather. Cheryl’s been receiving complaints again, so she emailed George Wilbur, giving him to March 31st. If this deadline is not met, the County will take over as of April 1st. They’re receiving complaints as well.
**And on the Jacob Sell cleanup, the resolution the board passed was filed for abatement. The police have been trying to find him to serve the summons. That’s where this is currently at.
**Wayne reported the village bought a 2015 Ford F-450 1 ton truck, with 53,000 miles. It’s also been fitted with a new Boss V Plow and works great. Both were right at the approved $50,000. Greg is working with the USDA for possible grant funds toward this. The old 2003 1-ton has been put on the Wisconsin Surplus. The village also owns together, with Viola and Readstown, a 1986 Getter truck. No one uses it anymore, so this was also put on the Wisconsin Surplus. The money received will be split 3 ways.
8). Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to approve advertising for bids for the mowing and trimming of the Chapel Hill Cemetery. (Carried).
9). Police Report/Update: Police Chief Palmer reported on the following:
**The County wide system had an outage in the dispatching report system software, so he has rough numbers for February 7th to March 8th. Everything is now back online.
**March 2nd, read to the 2nd grade class for Read Across America Day.
**Ordered 150 free gunlocks. They will be at the Village office and Police Department.
**Attended a Chiefs meeting in Ontario on March 7th. Found out about a $7,000 grant that the La Farge Police Department received from the State, for equipment and training.
**A representative from the WI Challenge Academy was at the Chiefs meeting. If the village has any community service projects, they will send 16–19-year-olds to help us out. This is a free service.
**Met with representatives that have the security cameras at school, on a quote for the ESB & Park areas.
10). Committee Reports and Updates:
**Clinic: Appleman mentioned there’s a party interested in putting a daycare in a portion of the clinic. They are currently working on funding options. Cheryl added a team has formed to explore a non-profit group to pursue this. The village, school, and Cropp reps are working together to try to get a community daycare. Meaghan Gustafson is writing a grant, for $75,000 for development of the program. The group is meeting again tomorrow evening at the school to review the grant, which is due by this Friday.
**Library: Barb reported the board hired Dana Yearous as the new Library Assistant to replace Becky Hooker, who is retiring April 7th. There is an open house that day for Becky, from 10a.m.–5 p.m. with refreshments.
**Police: Quinn said they met with Chief Palmer (tonight) to go over the grant he received.
11). Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).
12). Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:08 p.m.
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer