VILLAGE OF LA FARGE
Regular Board Meeting Monday, September 12, 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. All Board Members were present: Frank Quinn, Barbara Melvin, Terry Jensen, Karen Leis, Aaron Appleman, Aaron Nemec, and Cheryl Purvis.
Also present: News reporters Lonnie Muller and Bonnie Sherman, Public Works Manager Wayne Haugrud, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Peggy and David Woods, Mark Digman, David Ronnfeldt, Mark and Caleb Olson, Steve Palmer, Attorney Jacob Menn, Joan Tobianski, 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 September 9, 2022.
3). Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (8-8-22/Regular Village board meeting; 8-22-22/Police committee meeting; 8-24-22/Emergency Services Building committee meeting; 8-25-22/Police committee meeting; 9-1-22/Special Village board meeting; and 9-6-22/Special Library board meeting. (Carried).
4). Correspondence: None.
5). Public Comment: Cheryl introduced our new La Farge Police Chief, Steve Palmer. He was welcomed by the board and thanked for attending. He said he was excited to start, which will be soon.
**Mark Olson, 110 S. Maple Street, was present, regarding on ongoing problem in his back yard. He passed around pictures, showing 3’ of water in the back, ever since Jon Turner started filling in his property next door. Jon has said he’d put tubes in but hasn’t. This has been ongoing for 2 years. Mark has turned him in to the DNR. Mark lost 5 trees due to them being in standing water. Cheryl said as this is not an agenda item, we can’t get in a discussion. But to send him in the right direction, Cheryl inquired if any of this was on the village easement, which Wayne said no. The actual lot lines need determined first, so it needs surveyed. We can check with our Attorney if there’s any ordinance violation or anything the village has responsibility for and let him know.
6). Utility business: Mark Digman, with Delta 3 was present. He handed out papers for the extended concrete warranty. The work was done last year, but they had to return this year to fix certain areas. The company is Trierweiler Construction, and the warranty goes until March 1, 2023, for areas outlined in red on their exhibit. Cracks and normal wear are not covered.
*Next, he reviewed the final pay application (#7), for Gerke Excavating. The village retained $25,000 to make sure contractors got the final punch list items finished. The work is now done, and a certificate of substantial completion has been filled out with the date of November 15, 2021. This is good for one year, to November 15, 2022. Delta 3 still needs to obtain a couple AIS certificates for the DNR and final lien waivers from Gerke to make sure the sub-contractors are all paid. Melvin moved, Nemec seconded to approve the pay application contingent upon Delta 3 receiving all final lien waivers and receiving all AIS certificates in order for CDA to submit project closeout documents. (Carried).
*In 2025, the DOT is looking to reconstruct East Main/Hwy 82 and in 2026, Mill Street/Hwy 131. Mark and Wayne have talked about a possible 2024 infrastructure project on both these areas before this paving project. A location map and info were passed out to review. Area one is E. Maple to 1 block East of Cherry St., and to loop down to Snow Street. This is for water and sewer replacement. Estimated cost is $725,000. The other area is North Mill, from the village limits on Seelyburg to Highland Street. This is just for water replacement. Estimated cost is $541,000. The total of both is $1.27 million and includes engineering and contingency. A grant would cover 66%. We can also apply for the SDWLP thru the DNR. The reason for this tonight, is rules have changed. Things need planned in advance now. If you want to do construction work in 2024, need to apply for the grant in the Spring of 2023. You also need it surveyed and have a design to submit with the application. To start the process, looking at surveying this fall, design in the Spring, and submit the application by May. And to get your name on the SDWLP funding list, this October 31st is the deadline for an intent to apply. There is no cost for Delta 3 to do the Intent to apply. The board was good with them starting the process and survey work.
*Wayne was contacted by Vernon Electric if we’d be interested in a service agreement with them. It doesn’t change anything we do but will give us a backup plan in case of emergencies, if someone needs a service if we’re short staffed, or to use as an outlet for supplies. They only charge us when we call them. Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to approve the Operations and Maintenance Assistance Agreement with Vernon Electric Cooperative. (Carried).
*Forster got with CDA today and we do not need to approve the plans to keep things moving forward on the substation relocation. There’s some wording to do on the bid sheet, but the board doesn’t need to approve anything. Donnie Russell is our consultant on this project. He’s done work for us for many years. We haven’t seen the plans yet, but they’re to be done tomorrow and sent to us, along to a list of bidders. Wayne is to meet with Forster this week, to go over the bid package and drawings. Then on September 27th is an on-site preconstruction meeting with the bidders. Looking to open bids the first of November and hoping to do site work yet this year.
*No regular utility business.
7). Jacob Menn was present to review the abatement issue for Kathy Hart’s property. Cheryl took pictures today. Peggy Woods let her take pics from her side, from the alley, the street by the park, and the front. Jacob had a resolution for review. She has already been given a notice and did not get it abated by the due date. Wayne needs a written report that her property is still in violation, then there’s passage of the resolution by the board to authorize Cheryl to initiate action. Jacob will then take this to circuit court for an abatement order. We can also ask for an injunction against any continuing issues. If she fails to follow this, she will be in trouble with court. Kathy can decide if she wants a jury trial or bench trial. This will go to circuit court, as municipal court doesn’t have power for abatement. At the initial appearance, if she doesn’t show up, she’s in default and abatement can be authorized. If she fixes the problem, she will still have an injunction to prevent it from getting bad again. Vernon County also has an order as well and is keeping theirs open in case ours falls thru.
*Another spot in town is Mr. Sells. Phil Stittleburg and Jacob are looking to put together a report on what’s been going on for years and why he’s a problem for us. He doesn’t mind if he sits in jail, waiting out his fines. Then he has health issues, which comes back to the village to pay if he’s in there due to us. His current place is zoned business, and for the B1 district, prohibited uses state a junk yard. How do you define this: Under our zoning, #13-1-175, a junk yard doesn’t sell anything new. We need a different resolution to pursue abatement for him, listing the zoning ordinance reasons. Jacob said he’ll have a more complete picture for the next meeting, and we’ll have Jacob back at the next meeting for Jake Sells property.
*Jacob Menn read the Resolution for Kathy Hart’s situation. Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to approve this resolution. (Carried).
*We previously talked about the 1-ton pickup being replaced. Greg has offered to try and write the USDA grant for 55% funds. He will follow the guideline from the previous skid steer one. Appleman moved, Quinn seconded to approve applying for a USDA grant for a 1-ton pickup. (Carried).
*Cheryl recapped the CDBG-DR housing grant. DOA said we needed certain items from CDA by 9-11-22 or we risk losing the grant or can go out for bids again. He did send things this morning. Cheryl has some concerns on the higher costs he stated at our meeting, but the budget is the same as before. The DOA said we’re the grantees and the ones in charge. There is a lot of money still available from this grant. Cheryl inquired if we could do a 2nd CDBG-DR grant for another apartment. She had a conversation with Frontier if they were open to selling their property, which they were. She’d like to see us consider going out for a 2nd round of bids and a 2nd application. If CDA pulls thru and the DOA is happy with that, great. Quinn moved, Nemec seconded if the DOA does not accept what CDA has submitted to the Village and Vierbichers per the DOA requirements, the Village goes out again for bids, and if the DOA informs us, we are eligible for a 2nd CDBG-DR housing grant, the Village goes out for bids to submit a 2nd application. (Carried).
8). Jensen moved, Leis seconded to approve a picnic license for the La Farge Volunteers for their annual gun raffle banquet on October 1st. (Carried).
9). Melvin moved, Appleman seconded to approve operator licenses for Jennifer Martinez (renewal), Rhonda Wemmer (training completed 9/8/22), Paige Halverson (training completed on 8/17/22), and Amanda Felten (training completed 8/24/22). (Carried).
*An operator licenses application for Bryce Thom was discussed. He has some items on his record that concerned the board. And he hasn’t completed the training yet. He is working at the Town Tap. It was felt it was a good idea to involve owner Phil Campbell. Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to not approve the operator license for Bryce Thom until he completes the training, and we have Phil come and speak on his behalf. (Carried).
10). Nemec moved, Jensen seconded to set Friday, September 30th, and Saturday October 1st for the 13th annual Fall village-wide rummage sale dates. (Carried).
11). Committee Reports:
**Nemec welcomed Steve Palmer personally and thanked him for coming tonight.
12). Melvin moved, Leis seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).
13). Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:58 p.m.
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer