VILLAGE OF LA FARGE
Regular Board Meeting Monday, July 11, 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:
Board Members: Karen Leis, Aaron Appleman, Frank Quinn, Terry Jensen, Barbara Melvin, and Cheryl Purvis. Absent was Aaron Nemec.
Also present: News reporters Lonnie Muller and Bonnie Sherman (call-in), Public Works Manager Wayne Haugrud, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Brad Steinmetz, 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 July 7, 2022.
3). Melvin moved, Quinn seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (6-13-22/Regular Village board meeting; 6-20-22/Joint Police committee and Finance & Personnel committee meeting; 6-20-22/ Special Village Board meeting; 6-22-22/Tax Increment District Joint Review board meeting; and 6-28-22/ Finance and Personnel committee meeting. (Carried).
4). Correspondence: The La Farge Lions Club donated another $500 toward the 2022 fireworks.
**Received a $1,200 grant from Dairyland Power to go to the Main Street planters from LAPA’s project.
**Received a $2,220 dividend from the League of WI Municipalities from our work comp insurance.
5). Public Comment: Brad Steinmetz said he’s had a couple of people ask him if anything has gone beyond those meetings held with Vierbichers on the post flood, and future ideas for the village, for extending the street out East for a new subdivision. Cheryl said we have not forgotten about it. We’re currently working on getting the substation relocated, then can work on that. It’s probably a 10–15-year project, but it’s good people are still interested in it.
6). Utility business: PWM Haugrud reported on the following:
**The wastewater discharge permit with the DNR is up in September 2023. This is a 5-year permit. In the past, for the phosphorus, we have done the multi discharge variance, that allows us to discharge above the .2 into the river. Wayne is working with Delta 3 on a biological phosphorus removal pilot study. If we can lower the oxygen at the plant, we can discharge the phosphorus right at the plant instead of the Kickapoo river. Delta 3 is also working with Vernon County to get funding for streambank work. And another option is a recreational grant. We can start with our properties, by Sandmire Park and the walking trails, to do water quality which will also help with the phosphorus. This is what we’re looking at right now. Still applying for the multi discharge variance if the pilot study doesn’t work and we don’t get streambank funds.
**Wayne talked with Forster on the substation relocation. The PSC is nearing completion of their approval. They will issue a notice of investigation when getting close. The public will have a certain window of time to respond to their notice, then can have an approval to proceed.
**Had a couple of electrical issues. On June 17th, had high winds on the East of town, which did a lot of damage to our rural. We had an outage that night, trees were on lines, and one place it took out a power pole. The pole repair is not accessible with our equipment, as it’s up on a hillside, so we applied for a DOT permit to move that portion of the power to the South side, and go right along highway 82, not going over the top like it is. We did receive the DOT permit today, so Gary Joholski is coming tomorrow to mark where the poles will go, so work can start the following week. We have the materials for this, just be labor costs.
**Then also due to the storm, on July 2nd, we had an outage. A branch had tripped a fuse. It was hard to find, so we were out a couple of hours.
**On July 5th, the entire town was out. That was Dairyland Power’s substation on Plum Run. They had issues that took out a circuit coming in. We did generate. It took us ½ hour to get online, as we have a sequence to go thru, and it ran for about 3 hours until the problem was fixed. But during generation, we had a tree come down and it took the East circuit out. These are things we can’t control.
7). Old business: None.
8). A few months ago, we talked about upgrading the 2003 1-ton truck. We just received the USDA funds for the skid steer, and we talked with Vierbichers, and could apply again for 55% funding for a truck. And
last year, discussed replacing the 5-year-old lawnmower. Wayne would like to move forward with this now, as we probably wouldn’t receive it until next Spring. We can get quotes and start applying for USDA financing. Next board meeting can discuss again.
9). Community Development Alternatives, Inc., (CDA), has asked to amend the contract for administration services on the Hazard Mitigation grant relating to flood assistance. The original amount was $7,500. We had enough money left in the grant to add another property to the buyout, so now there’s additional paperwork. And CDA also had a little more time on another property that had issues. Cost is $3,000 more. The village will be reimbursed 87 ½% by FEMA and 12 ½% from the county, but we pay the fees up front. Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to approve the amendment to the contract for CDA (Carried).
10). Duplicate of agenda item #7.
11). Driftless Wisconsin asked if we’d be a sponsor this year again for an ad campaign. Quinn moved, Leis seconded to approve sharing the $500 sponsorship with LAPA, each paying $250. (Carried).
12). Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to approve hiring Greg Lawton and Kim Walker as the listing officials to do the annual dog count for the village. (Carried).
13). Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to approve operator licenses for Tammy Fitzpatrick (renewal), Janet Rath (6-23-22 training completed), Carrie Coggins (6-15-22 training completed), and Tina VanBlaricum (training completed 6-28-22). (Carried).
14). Committee Reports:
**Barb gave an update on LAPA. The planters are in on Main Street and have been planted. The Way finding/directional signs are up around town. Comments were made they look good. There are some old village pictures from Brad Steinmetz that have been blown up and displayed in the Information Center on Main Street. Two historical plaques (on a gold plate on a dark board) are done and on display in the window of HTC Realty. Mr. Fowell at the school is working on these, but due to the construction, it’s going slow. Not sure of the cost yet, but if anyone knows of any grants available, to please let Barb know. And the 4th of July history walk went well. People were interested.
**The Village found out last week we did receive the $30,000 grant for the skid steer.
15). Melvin moved, Quinn seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).
16). Quinn moved, Appleman seconded to convene into closed session, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes section 19.85 (1)(c), for considering employment for the Street Supervisor position and for mid-year compensation adjustments. (Carried). ***Closed Session***
17). Jensen moved, Leis seconded to return to open session and continue with the meeting. (Carried).
18). Jensen moved, Leis seconded to hire Joshua Johnson as the new Street Supervisor. (Carried).
**Jensen moved, Melvin seconded to approve the mid-year wage adjustment compensation as discussed in closed session, except for the substitutes. (Carried).
**Appleman moved, Jensen moved, to approve an adjustment for the substitutes for a wage increase (as discussed in closed session). (Carried 4-2, with Leis and Melvin abstaining as they are current subs).
19). Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer