NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a meeting of the La Farge Village Board will be held on Monday, December 14, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. at the Emergency Services building, located at 201 S. Cherry Street.
All participants, including the public, can join using Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/97506636983 Meeting ID: 975 0663 6983
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acMauAoIo
1. Call to order/Roll Call
2. Verification of Meeting Posting/Publishing
3. Approval of previous meetings minutes
5. Public Comment
6. Utility Business
**Discussion/Approval on the Utility committee’s recommendation for a sewer increase over 4 years.
**Regular Utility Business
7. Discussion on Main Street Reconstruction project
**Discussion/Possible action on the Street committee’s recommendation to hire a Main Street project
8. Discussion on the EDA grant:
**Overview of Public Meeting #2
**Update of activities
9. Any old business
10. Action on FEMA buyouts
11. Approval of an engagement letter with Johnson Block & Company to perform audit and accounting
Services for the Village & Utilities for the year ending 12-31-2020
12. Action on an operator license application
13. Police report
14. Committee reports and updates
15. Approval to pay the Bills
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer
VILLAGE OF LA FARGE
Regular Board Meeting Monday, December 14, 2020
*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. (Participants were offered Zoom for joining).
Roll Call - Present at the meeting:
All Board Members: Cheryl Purvis, Terry Jensen, Barbara Melvin, Frank Quinn, Aaron Nemec, Aaron Appleman, and Reggie Nelson (Zoom).
Also Joining by Zoom was News reporter Bonnie Sherman, Marcy West, and Dean Steinmetz.
Others present: News reporter Lonnie Muller, Public Works Manager Wayne Haugrud, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Police Chief Jonathon Brown, and Clerk Kimberly Walker.
*Verification of meeting publishing in the La Farge Episcope and of posting at the Bank, Post Office, and Village Office on December 11, 2020 was given.
*Melvin moved, Quinn seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (11-9-20/Regular Village board meeting; 11-18-20/Streets and Utilities committee meeting; 11-30-20/Economic Flood Recovery committee meeting; 12-1-20/Regular Library Board meeting; 12-2-20/Public Hearing/Special Village Board meeting; and 12-9-20/Finance & Personnel committee meeting). (Carried).
*Public Comment: None.
**The utility committee met with auditor, Melanie Lendosky. She put a proposal together for a 4-year plan for a sewer increase. In 2021, looking at a 25% increase, 2022 is 22%, 2023 is 12%, and in 2024, 3%. This is to help with our $105,000 debt and help off set the phosphorus limits we’re dealing with. And in 2019, the sewer lost $65,000. November 18th, the utility committee agreed to recommend starting with the 2021 plan, for the 25% increase. The utilities will work on getting a budget put together, to look at the numbers again before implementing the balance of the years. The customers are looking at $5.04 a month for 1,500 gallons, $7.73 for 2,500 gallons, and $18.22 for 6,400 gallons for an idea of the impact. The last increase was in 2016. Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to approve the 25% increase for 2021 and revisit it again for 2022. (Carried).
*Main Street reconstruction project: The Streets & utilities committee met before this meeting to discuss street lighting options. They decided to table this until another proposal is obtained. We have one from Forester and would like to contact Vierbichers for another. So will meet again before the next board meeting to approve something. For now, working with Delta 3 to put an estimated cost for lighting into the construction costs.
*Discussion on the EDA grant: Cheryl gave an overview of the second public workshop. The maps were reviewed again and Vierbichers had better pricing of the three levee options. Also discussed the substation relocation. Costs to protect our current location with an 8’ wall around the area is $550,000. Ideally, the #1 choice of the group is relocation. Not sure how far out in the future this would be, but still pursuing grants.
*Old business: None.
*Action on FEMA buyouts: The funds are soon to be available, but an issue has come up. The DOT would like to have a 10’ easement along the road of the Rivers Edjj property, at 514 W. Main St. To split this up and still be eligible for the buyout, a certified survey map is needed. This could take 3-4 months and is expensive. It’s been discussed we don’t want to hold up the rest of the buyout properties from getting these funds. Talking with Katie Sommers of FEMA, if we take 514 out of the program, we should have our funding within a couple weeks. And with the levee, there’s a possibility of residents who do not want to move can stay. The county may have programs we can check into to help elevate them instead of buying them out and demolishing them. Once they are bought out with FEMA funds, another home can never be built there again. This takes away from our tax base and utilities. Cheryl would like to see us keep the houses that are currently in the buyout program, with the exception of 514 W. Main, with the intention that any of the homes wanting to be elevated, the village will work with them. Once we have the FEMA funds, we have 2 years to spend the money before having to return it. Wayne also mentioned 514 would be deed restricted if bought out. The levee is proposed to go thru there. It is considered a structure and would therefore not be allowed. 514 could still be bought out thru the process of the levee. Quinn moved, Melvin seconded to remove the 514 W. Main Street property out of the buyout. (Carried).
*Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve the engagement letter for audit and accounting services from Johnson Block & Company, Inc. for the year ending 12-31-2020. (Carried).
*Appleman moved, Nemec seconded to approve an operator license for Jenna Jensen. (Carried). She completed the required training on May 8, 2020.
*Police report/update: Chief Brown had 59 calls for service in November. He is on board with Lexipol. Had municipal court on December 3rd. He reviewed the outcomes of court and reported on a couple of arrests. And this week he had a felony theft case that is about wrapped up.
**Clinic: Appleman reported someone is interested is looking at another space in the building. He is working on the details.
**Library: Barb reported the last library board meeting was all held on Zoom and went well. The library continues their curbside service. Circulation here and in the WRLS system has been good. And the Friends of the Library just had an online auction with 49 entries/baskets to bid on.
**Police: Cheryl gave an update on a Jake Sell issue. He was issued some ordinance violation tickets several months ago and has requested a change of Judge twice. It is now in the Chief Judge of District 7’s hands. He needs to find another Judge to hear the case in our district. Our Attorney said he’s having some difficulty, but should have someone in the next couple of weeks.
*Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).
*Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 6:56 p.m.
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer