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                 VILLAGE OF LA FARGE

                Regular Board Meeting        Monday, October 9, 2023


1). Village President Frank Quinn called the regular meeting of the La Farge Village Board to order at 6:31 p.m. at the Emergency Services building, at 201 S. Cherry Street.


Roll Call – Present at the meeting:

Board members: Barbara Melvin, Dave Fish, Aaron Nemec, Karen Leis, Aaron Appleman, and Frank Quinn. Absent was Terry Jensen.              

Also: News reporters Lonnie Muller and Bonnie Sherman, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Police Chief Steve Palmer, 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 Friday, October 6, 2023.    


3). Melvin moved, Fish seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (9-11-2023/Planning Commission Public Hearing meeting; 9-11-2023/Regular Village board meeting; 9-12-2023/Special Lawton Memorial Library Board meeting; 9-19-2023/Emergency Services Building committee meeting; 9-27-2023/Special Lawton Memorial Library Board meeting; 10-3-2023/Finance & Personnel committee meeting; and 10-4-2023/Public Hearing meeting). (Carried).    


4). Correspondence: Reminder of the annual Fire and Ambulance Association meeting on October 19th at 7 p.m. The area townships represent the association, approving the budgets. Barb is our representative and voting member. All are welcome to attend.    


5). Public Comment: None.


6). Utility business:

**Nemec moved, Leis seconded to approve Pay Application #1, from Mike Lepke Excavating, LLC, in the amount of $66,014.55 on the Kickapoo River & Bear Creek Stream Improvements project. (Carried). Delta 3 has approved this payment, which is paid for by our TIF funds. They have almost completed the $72,800 project and have done a very nice job. 


**Discussed an amendment to the administrative services contract with Community Development Alternatives (CDA). The current amount is $21,000. The amendment is for an additional $2,500, for extra time writing a grant of $300,000 (which we’re to receive), for the substation project. Total contract would be $23,500. Melvin moved, Appleman seconded to update the contract. (Carried).


**Discussed a Microgrid feasibility study contract with the Vernon County Energy District (VCED). Our Attorney looked it over, made some adjustments, then their lawyers looked at it and made some updates. It’s back to our Attorney for one last look. Frank asked to have a motion for him to sign the contract, so VCED can move forward with the feasibility study once we hear back from Attorney Menn. This study is all funded by the VCED. Leis moved, Fish seconded to approve the microgrid feasibility study contract pending approval by Jacob Menn. (Carried).        


*Regular Utility business: Wayne is gone, so Greg gave a couple of updates from him.

**Brandon Chaulklin did sealcoating on the Bean Park basketball court. This was a donation he made to the community. We will need to repaint the lines.

**Tim Driese has been working on sealing the cracks on Organic Way. This is almost complete.       


7). Old Business: Last month, Mark Phillips made a request to close an alley behind the skatepark area. The board agreed to proceed and have it noticed in the paper for the required 3 weeks. Also, the landowners abutting the alley were to receive a 30-day notice. The only two affected were the Church and Mike Donovan. They received notice on September 13th but will be shy a few days of the required 30 days. Our Attorney said they could write a letter saying they have no opposition and waive the full 30-day period, which they both did. Melvin moved, Leis seconded to approve closing the alley. (Carried).     


8). Frank had a meeting with the Municipal Court group, and they talked about a change in the way they currently assess each municipality that’s a part of them. It’s now based on the number of tickets written. Someone brought up population based, so they’re looking at a blend of the number of tickets with population. We can’t approve the change tonight, as they need each entity in the group to agree on this first before they can change the bylaws at their meeting. Also, current Judge Nikki Swayne will be done in April, as she doesn’t live in our district anymore. They’ll be looking for a replacement. Leis moved, Melvin seconded to approve the change to go the population/ticket-based way. (Carried).      


9). Fish moved, Nemec seconded to approve the Animal Care Provider Agreement with the Driftless Humane Society for the 2024 year, for the dog contract, same fees as last year. (Carried). Cost is $250 for an initial fee in January and $200 for each dog brought in from us during the year, that is “unclaimed”.  


10). Leis moved, Fish seconded to set Tuesday, October 31st, from 4-6 p.m. for Trick or Treating hours. (Carried). Reminder of the Zombie Event, Friday, October 27th, from 4:30-6 p.m. at the disc golf area. 


11). Leis moved, Appleman seconded to approve an operator license for Ebonie Lombard. (Carried). She completed the required training course on 9-22-2023.   


12). Police Report/Update: Chief Steve Palmer said between 9-7-23 and 10-6-23, he’s been very busy. He’s working on a couple of big cases as to why the number is 20 under investigation follow-ups. On October 3, he conducted a Mental Health and Vicarious Trauma presentation and October 4th, conducted In-Service Training at the Vernon County Sheriff’s office. He enrolled in a 3-day Detective Academy course by Green Bay for $200 and signed up for a free Stalking class from the WI Department of Justice. He’s having issues with his dash camera in the squad. Several times, it hasn’t worked. With the new ones, they are a lot smaller and can upload footage to the evidence cloud. It can also do license plate technology, which is big. Cost is about $14,000. Steve reached out to Organic Valley, and they are willing to donate $10,000 towards it.     


13). Committee Reports and Updates:

**Parks: Karen mentioned, for the Lions Shelter, Mike Fowell is getting things set up and a material list to get stuff ordered. And on November 11th, Omega is running a disc golf tournament, with 60 players.   

**Library: Barb reported on the 100-year anniversary event. They have great displays and activities for the kids and adults throughout the month. Wednesday, October 11th, from 5-7 p.m. is the open house, with Brad Steinmetz giving a history talk, door prizes, and refreshments. And next week is root beer floats, silent movies, and contests.   

**Finance: Time to start looking at budget meetings.  


14). Leis moved, Nemec seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).


15). Nemec moved, Leis seconded to convene into closed session, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statutes section 19.85(1)(c), to discuss personnel matters on compensation for the village and utility employees. (Carried).   

                                                 ***Closed Session*** 


16). Melvin moved, Appleman seconded to reconvene into open session and continue the meeting. (Carried).


17). Fish moved, Appleman seconded to approve what was discussed in closed session for compensation for the village and utility employees for 2024. (Carried). 


18). Melvin moved, Leis seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:08 p.m.



                                                           Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer

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