NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a meeting of the La Farge Village Board will be held on Monday, December 9, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at the Emergency Services building, located at 201 S. Cherry Street.          



               Call to order/Roll Call   

               Verification of Meeting Posting/Publishing

               Approval of previous meetings minutes


               Public Comment



               1).  Curt Parr to speak about the school’s possible solar project;

               2).  Approval for a water rate increase;

               3).  Regular Utility Business;



               1).  Discussion/Action on an “Outdoor Retail Sales and Outdoor Storage” ordinance;      



               1).  Discussion/Action on a Resolution for an “Abatement Order for continued

                     violations of Municipal Ordinances”;

               2).  Main Street Planning Grant:

                     a. Authorization for Village President to execute the contract with the State;

                     b. Appoint a Planning Grant committee;

                     c. Authorization for Planning Grant committee to hire a grant administrator;

                     d. Authorization to open a checking account for the Planning grant funds;  

               3).  Action on a request to raise the Ambulance Association rates;

               4).  Action to appoint Election Inspectors for a 2-year term, 2020-2021;

               5).  Police report/update;     

               6).  Committee reports and updates;

               7).  Approval to Pay the Bills;    

               8).  Adjourn.


 Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer

             Posted 12/6/2019  



                   Regular Board Meeting         Monday, December 9, 2019


*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 was taken with board members Purvis, Reggie Nelson, Aaron Nemec, Frank Quinn, Aaron Appleman, and Barbara Melvin present. Absent was Terry Jensen. Also present were news reporters Lonnie Muller and Shaun Sherman, Police Chief Jonathon Brown, Dale Klemme, and Clerk Kimberly Walker.             


*Verification of meeting publishing in the La Farge Episcope and posting at the Bank, Post Office, and Village Office on December 6, 2019 was given.    


*Appleman moved, Melvin seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (11-11-19/Regular board meeting; 11-19-19/Police committee meeting; 11-26-19/Regular Library Board meeting; and 12-2-19/ Public Hearing/Special board meeting). (Carried).  


*Correspondence: Received a $500 donation from the La Farge Lions Club for the 4th of July fireworks.


*No Public Comment.


*Utility business: Curt Parr, who was on the agenda to speak on the school’s possible solar project was not present, so Aaron Nemec (also a school board member), gave the update. The school board turned down the large solar project they were planning but are still interested in possibly doing something smaller. They have grant money to use to help, which is good until June 2020. They’re looking to benefit everyone in the community and are just asking for collaboration with the village. They would like open communication with the utilities. The board agreed this was good.     


*Approval of a water rate increase: Cheryl gave a background. From 1994 to 2014, there were no increases, so when it was done in 2014, it was an 87% jump. She would like to see smaller increases every couple of years. We don’t have a lot of reserves, and it will help avoid shortfalls and large customer increases. There are 2 ways this can be done. The conventional way, in which the auditors are involved and will cost us $10-$12,000, or the simplified way, which the utilities can do on their own, with a 3% inflationary increase, and will cost about $800. Looking at the monthly rate going from .73 cents on residential and .80 cents to $1.91 on commercial, depending on the meter size. This will go into effect on March 1, 2020. Quinn moved, Nemec seconded to approve the 3% rate increase for the water. (Carried).    


*No regular utility business as Public Works Manger Wayne Haugrud was absent.


*Discussed a zoning ordinance proposal for “Outdoor retail Sales and Outdoor Storage”. It’s designed for businesses to put their products away at night, to be kept in their area, and not restrict the sidewalk (minimum of 3’). And it addresses outdoor storage, on how to screen items from public view. The board added a part to include giving a reasonable amount of time to outdoor retail sales of 30 minutes before sunrise and to be taken back in 30 minutes after sunset. Nemec moved, Appleman seconded to approve, with revisions, the Outdoor retail Sales and Outdoor storage ordinance. (Carried).     


*Cheryl reviewed a resolution for an “Abatement Order for continued violations of Municipal Ordinances”. This is for property that has had 2 or more violations and hasn’t followed thru with compliance. It gives us our next step to take legal action, and says the board is behind this, not just the Police Chief, or President. The attorney felt it would give more help in court. Melvin moved, Quinn seconded to pass this abatement resolution. (Carried).  


*Dale Klemme was present on a list of items associated with the Main Street Planning Grant. This will help us with applying for the PF grant, due in May, to help with the actual construction of Main Street. This grant will help cover 2/3 of the project, not to exceed a million dollars. Last year we did a community wide survey and found over 51% of the village is LMI, which will help us with grants. This survey is good for 5 years. In July, we applied for the Planning grant. The total was for $64,000, but the State took out $30,000 for engineering, as they said this is not eligible. We sent in a revised application and are to receive $22,500, but still waiting for the award letter. The reports need done by around April 15th. Dale suggested moving ahead, contingent upon the award for the January meeting. He reviewed what is needed regarding engineering. We need to get an analysis of the condition of the infrastructure, costs to replace, possible televising, and a map showing existing utilities and replacement ones. If the engineering is not funded, and we pay for this, it is considered our share of the match. Cheryl mentioned we need to do some checking into our finances.  


**Quinn moved, Nemec seconded to authorize the Village President to execute the contract with the State. (Carried).       

**Nemec moved, Appleman seconded to approve a Planning Grant committee of Cheryl Purvis, Deb Nelson, Reggie Nelson, Wayne Haugrud, and a rep from Organic Valley. (Carried)).

**Quinn moved, Melvin seconded to authorize the Planning Grant committee to hire a grant administrator. (Carried).

**Quinn moved, Nemec seconded to authorize opening a checking account for the Planning Grant funds. (Carried).


*Dale mentioned a First Impressions program. A community our size would get a group of 5 together, go to another community, and put together a report on their take of the community. Dale said Potosi has already been to La Farge. If La Farge would go there, and do the same, the reports would be exchanged. This gives feedback to the communities on what people’s first impressions are.  


*Dale also mentioned that back in March, we applied to FEMA for assistance, which is 87 ½% funded. The other 12 ½ % is local share. He said the DNR municipal flood control program grant could help our share. It’s due by mid-March. He asked this be considered at the next meeting. He will get an RFP from appraisers to present at this time.  


*Received a request from the La Farge Area Ambulance to consider a raise in their fees to be more in line with the neighboring communities. Their billing company, LifeQuest, suggested this. The current prices, and recommended new rates were reviewed. Quinn, also a member of the ambulance, said the ambulance group has agreed to this, but it needs approved by the whole association. These funds help purchase new ambulances every 5 years, and they’ve been able to buy these over the years without asking for funds from the townships and municipality. We are still lower than other places. Melvin moved, Nemec seconded to accept the recommended rate increase. (Carried).     


*Election inspectors need appointed for a two-year term, beginning 1/1/20 to 12/31/21. The following names were given: Gloria Glick, Sharon Walker, Marlys Steinmetz, Maureen Hysel, Sherri Schrofer, Bonita Dorschied, Barb Melvin, Mark Glatfelter, Joan Kent, and Kimberly Walker. Quinn moved, Nemec seconded to appoint the said list. (Carried).


*Police report/update: Chief Brown had 75 calls for service in November. There was one arrest for disorderly conduct. And he’s working with a group on Winterfest planning for January 10th.


*Committee Reports:    

**Clinic: Aaron Appleman is working with a party for renting a portion for a possible photography studio.  

**Cheryl reported we received a $40,000 check from the county for the Ho-Chunk funds. She will be asking for more in the future. We’re still in the running for the $900,000 EDA Grant, with the 3 other communities. Our share is around $200,000. And still in the running for a special project planning grant.


*Appleman moved, Quinn seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).


*Quinn moved, Nelson seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:40 p.m.


__________________________________                 Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer