VILLAGE OF LA FARGE
Regular Board Meeting Monday, May 9, 2022
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 - Present at the meeting:
All Board Members: Karen Leis, Aaron Nemec, Barbara Melvin, Frank Quinn (zoom), Aaron Appleman, Terry Jensen, and Cheryl Purvis.
Also present: News reporters Lonnie Muller and Bonnie Sherman, Public Works Manager Wayne Haugrud, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Police Chief Jonathon Brown, Jim Lundberg (zoom), Shaun Sherman (zoom), Todd Platt (zoom), Clerk Kimberly Walker, and numerous citizens for the skatepark discussion.
2). Verification was given of meeting publishing in the La Farge Episcope, and of posting at the Bank, Post Office, and Village Office on May 6, 2022. (Meeting was posted for Zoom or attending in person).
3). Melvin moved, Nemec seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (4-11-22/Regular Village board meeting; 4-19-22/Personnel & Finance Committee meeting; 4-19-22/Special Board meeting; 4-25-22/Personnel & Finance committee meeting; 4-25-22/Special Board meeting; 4-26-22/Special Library Board meeting; 5-2-22/Personnel & Finance committee meeting; 5-2-22/Special Board meeting; and 5-5-22/Parks, Grounds, Buildings, and Cemetery committee meeting). (Carried).
4). Correspondence: None.
5). Public Comment: Cheryl said she was glad to see the people in attendance and mentioned if they wished to make a comment, they have 3 minutes and need to state their name and address. The board cannot answer any questions or discuss things at this time. Had 15 citizens make statements regarding the skatepark. All were for keeping the park. Comments included: it’s an asset, a resource for recreation, attracts a lot of people, great to keep, all the parks in town are good for the kids, would like all to come to an agreement, in favor of keeping, and good physical activity for kids. People commenting were: Aaron Larson, Don Foy, Christy Torkelson, Weda Wazeegale, Lori Phillips, Kristie Wazeegale, David Howell, Will Stewart, Carolyn Sandberg, Verona Phillips, Peggy Woods, Emily Howell, Nicholas Wazeegale, Amy Vesbach, and Dean Steinmetz, who thanked everyone for their effort on this subject. The Board has the best interest of the community in mind. Cheryl thanked all for talking and giving their opinions and feedback.
6). Utility business: PWM Wayne Haugrud reported on the following:
**The CMAR (Compliance Maintenance Annual report) for the wastewater treatment plant needs approval for submission to the DNR. Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to approve the (2021) report. (Carried).
**Well #3 update on the pumping problems. Water Well Solutions did a removal pump test and found a 62% loss in the well yield. They’ve suggested doing an air burst, which would help get the iron and manganese out of the casing. This is $13,550. And when they went to rebuild the pump, they found stress fractures in the casing. A new pump is $10,500, for a total of $39,300. April 15th, a request was sent in for approval from the DNR for the air bust and we just heard we can proceed. So in 2-3 weeks it should be back up and running.
**Well #2 also had issues with the generator and the soft start with the motor. Last Friday it failed and burnt the wiring in the actual motor. It may have overloaded as it’s doing the entire town. D & D Total Construction and Water Well Solutions came up and fortunately, they put some coating on the wires that had burnt and it’s been working. A new motor is $7,000, plus the labor to install. They have one in stock, and if we can coordinate it with the air bust, it will save us some money. Our current motor is a 1964. The village can’t be without water, so Wayne will schedule this tomorrow to be done.
**A bore was done for the new electrical underground on Spry Road. The old wire has been removed, and it’s up and going.
**April 14th, Wayne met with Delta 3 and Forster on the electric substation relocation. On schedule for the plans to be completed by the first week in June. The building plans have been done by Delta 3 and are being submitted to the State and hopefully go out for bids the end of June. We are still waiting to hear from the PSC for their approval for a “90-day notice of investigation”. We can go out for bids, but they can’t be awarded until we hear from the PSC.
7). Skatepark: Cheryl informed all in attendance that it was never the village’s intention to get rid of the skatepark, despite a lot of public opinion. Part of the issue was this was a handshake agreement along time ago. None of us were aware, until talking with Mark Phillips about a possible location for a Dollar General, that the village didn’t own the property. Even though it’s in our name, we don’t own it. If it ceases to be a skatepark, the church gets the property back (as agreed years back on a quit claim deed). Once we were aware of this, we stopped negotiations and they were to negotiate with the church. The village offered to move the skatepark to another location, but the sites were not in the best interest of the church board. And relocating the park is now not in our best interest, and we have other infrastructure projects we need to do. We don’t want to lose it. There’s been a lot of frustration on both sides. So we’ve been thinking what to do. Consulting with our Attorney, we should have a legal agreement in place, which would help with the insurance and other issues. Several weeks ago, Cheryl, a committee member, and a staff member put together a proposal, to treat this as a lease agreement, as we do with our other properties. It’s compromise on both sides. Cheryl asked the board at this time if they had any comments, and no one did.
*The Park committee proposal that’s being presented is:
**The church would be responsible for what they’ve already been doing. This is the upkeep of the grounds, mowing, etc., keeping the equipment in good repair, and continuing to pay the utility bill.
**The lease agreement would be a 5-year lease, with a yearly fee of $100.
**The church would pay the yearly insurance for the skatepark, which this year was $14.00.
*These will all be spelled out in a legal agreement, signed by both parties. This will be fresh in everyone’s minds, renewable if the current people aren’t around. This will be presented to the church board, and if it passes by the village board, will be brought back for the June board agenda to pass the final agreement. Appleman moved, Nemec seconded to approve the proposal for the skatepark as presented. (Carried).
*8). Mark Phillips on the skatepark property: He said he was very thankful for the board coming to this conclusion. He said they have no problem with these terms. The church board has given him permission to approve any options that were presented tonight. He was happy with the 5 years but wouldn’t mind going longer. And he mentioned an option of the church not having their name on the lot (quit claim deed clause).
Just become a village park. But then agreed to just go with the agreement. Other things can be looked at down the road. Will get Mark the agreement for review and take to the June meeting to pass the agreement.
9). Alley vacation & Parking Variance request from DGI La Farge, LLC, developer for a proposed Dollar General retail store: Jim Lundberg and Todd Platt were present on Zoom, requesting multiple items. Looking for an alley vacation, parking variance for a reduced number of parking stalls based on ordinance, a certified survey map, that would create the Dollar General parcel, and a standard site plan approval. They’re proposing a 9,100 sq ft building for a Dollar General retail store. It would face Main Street, with a proposal for 30 parking stalls along the highway frontage, and handicap stalls in the front of the store. Deliveries would be in the SW corner of the building. Trucks would maneuver on site and pull in from the driveway on Mill Street. Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to approve the parking variance request, approve advertising the alley vacation request for 3 weeks in the paper, and at the June 13th meeting, approve the alley vacation, the site plan, and the CSM (Carried).
10). Public information and comment opportunity on an application for a USDA grant for funding public works equipment. Cheryl reviewed 3 weeks ago, Portland Implement contacted us that they needed to know if we were buying the new skid steer or not, that they’ve been holding for us since December. We’ve been working on this grant for it. Cheryl called Kou at the State and explained the situation. We locked in a price when we signed, and it will go up if we cancel this one and keep pursing the grant. Demand is high for the product and costs are going up. The USDA is behind on approving projects, so they have granted us special permission to purchase the skid steer, then finish up the paperwork. No one had any questions or concerns.
11). Old business: None.
12). Board of Review committee: Cheryl Purvis, Frank Quinn, Terry Jensen, Barb Melvin, and Clerk Walker were appointed. Meeting is May 18th, 5 p.m. at the village office. Aaron Appleman is the alternate.
13). Police report/update:
*Chief Jonathon Brown had 82 calls for service in April.
*Had Municipal court last week, but no one appeared that was scheduled.
* The DOT has approved the 4th of July parade route down Main Street.
*Two quotes were received to survey the village lot on South State Street. CSM was $2,160 and Delta 3 was $1,000. Wayne said Delta 3 is to confirm the points tomorrow.
*In September, the Board voted to approve a new combined public safety system to replace our existing one. The price in February came in higher than first agreed upon. Jon talked with them and negotiated a better price. Looking to save the village about $3,487 over five years. $1,300 was budgeted in 2022 for the start up costs. Will continue to budget in the upcoming years.
*If we get a new squad in the future, the Rothschild Police Department has offered to buy ours. We can make them an offer to help offset our costs. This will go to the police committee at a future meeting.
*Jon reviewed a case involving an incident from June 2021, on charges of manufacturing THC.
*Jon handed in a letter of resignation and inquired if the village can match/exceed his new job offer. Purvis said this is something the committee can look at but can’t do tonight. Not on the agenda.
14). Committee Reports:
**Library: Barb reported Holly Hysel has been hired to be the new cleaning person.
15). Jensen moved, Melvin seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).
16). Appleman moved, Nemec seconded to convene into closed session, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes section 19.85 (1)(c), for considering employment for the Groundman/Water/Wastewater operator position. (Carried). **Closed Session** The public left at this time.
17). Jensen moved, Leis seconded to return to open session and continue with the meeting. (Carried). The public returned to the meeting.
18). Jensen moved, Leis seconded to hire Dustin Nemec for the Groundman/Water/Wastewater operator with the salary as discussed in closed session. (Carried).
19). Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to post internally (Tuesday thru Thursday), for the Street Supervisor position, and if no one applies, to put a notice of employment for two weeks in the papers. (Carried).
20). Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:43 p.m.
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer