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                Regular Board Meeting        Monday, November 13, 2023


1). Village President Frank Quinn called the regular meeting of the La Farge Village Board to order at 6:30 p.m. at the Emergency Services building, at 201 S. Cherry Street.


Roll Call – Present at the meeting:

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

Also: News reporters Lonnie Muller and Bonnie Sherman, Public Works Manager Wayne Haugrud, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Mark Olson, Mark Campbell, Victoria Strauser, 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 Thursday, November 9, 2023.    


3). Melvin moved, Leis seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (10-9-23/Regular Village board meeting; 10-16-23/Regular Library board meeting; 10-24-23/Streets and Utilities committee meeting; 10-24-23/Police committee meeting; 10-24-23/Medical committee meeting; 10-24-23/Parks, Grounds, Buildings, and Cemetery committee meeting, and 11-7-23/Finance & Personnel committee meeting). (Carried).


4). Correspondence: None.


5). Public Comment: None.


6). Utility business:

**Pay Application #2, from Mike Lepke Excavating, LLC, is in the amount of $17,145.83 on the Kickapoo River & Bear Creek Stream Improvements project. Of this amount, $14,737.24 is a change order for extra riprap installed on the railroad bed and the difference in usable topsoil that Mike was able to purchase back. Delta 3 has recommended this payment. There is still a 5% retainage of $4,376. Fish moved, Appleman seconded to approve pay application #2 and change order #1. (Carried).  


**For the administrative services contract for the Main/Mill Street project, Community Development Alternatives (CDA) is stepping back. Delta 3 said they would honor CDA’s original price in the grant application of $18,000. The Village was also recently awarded a Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) grant from the DNR. Delta 3 included an admin cost of $20,000 to administer this, too. If they do both for us, they will give us an $8,000 discount, for a total of $30,000 for both. Melvin moved, Leis seconded to make a motion, based on the Village of La Farge Procurement policy, that the board waives the bid requirement and approves the contract with Delta 3, for $30,000, for grant administration of the CDBG-PF funding and for the DNR Safe Drinking Water Loan Program funding for the Main/Mill Street project. (Carried).  


**Fish moved, Leis seconded to approve selling the 2000 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup truck on the Wisconsin Surplus. (Carried). 


*Regular Utility business: Wayne gave an update on the 2024 infrastructure improvement project for Main /Mill Streets. Cost is estimated at $1.9 million. We received $1 million in CDBG-PF grant funding and Bart, with Delta 3 informed us we received a SDWLP grant of $647,250 and a loan of $348,520 with a low interest rate of 2.145% for 20 years from the DNR. 

**At the wastewater treatment plant, the clarifier failed. There are issues with the chain and motor mount. A company from Fond du Lac is coming to drain the basin down, access the damage, and see what to do. The clarifier is the final stage in what is taken out to the Kickapoo Watershed, that takes off the fat, oil, and grease so it’s not being discharged. Initial cost of the work is $8-$10,000.

**The electric substation switchover is now looking to be the last week of November.

**The 1996 Boom Truck is nearing its 20-year max certification. Utility Sales & Service out of Appleton was contacted to start the process of specking out a truck for costs. It takes at least 2 years to build one. It gives us time to check into financing options, etc.  


   7). Old Business: In October, the board approved closing the alley by the skatepark. Clerk Walker found out after that meeting from the county, that the village could include our ½ of the closed alley onto the original paperwork, if the board agrees to give this portion to the Free Methodist Church. Mark Phillips had previously asked to have the property lines of Lots 7 & 8 moved up to include our part of the alley closing but was to get a CSM and bring it back for approval. The alley closing only runs through Lot 8, so Lot 7 still needs a description for the Attorney. The board can proceed with gifting the portion of Lot 8, but Mark will need to proceed with possibly getting a CSM or a description from a surveyor for Lot 7 to line up. Melvin moved, Fish seconded to gift our section of the alley between lots 8 and 3 (village lot) to the Church. (Carried).      

8). Victoria Strauser was present from the Vernon County Energy District to introduce herself and what they offer the residents of Vernon County. They are a grant funded nonprofit group, in existence since 2021.  They offer free services for energy assessments that can be taken online. A person can request an in-home visit or go online to review the energy use report about the results and ways to conserve energy. They have a wide variety of services, including in-home energy monitoring equipment, in-home energy audits, etc.   


9). Mark Olson was present regarding a water problem between his property and the neighbor. He said this has been going on for 3+ years. The neighbor filled his property 4’ higher than Mark’s back yard and he’s lost 8 trees. His son has also fallen into the water. He had receipts of what he shouldn’t be paying to remove the trees. He didn’t complain the first couple of years and was told tubes were going in, with some fill, so he wouldn’t have this problem in the backyard. Frank said in the past, an agreement was brought up that Mark and Jon Turner would meet with a mediator to work this out. The village offered pipe that we had, and Mark and Jon would split the cost of the gravel. Then Mark said he wasn’t going through with it. His attorney told him if he did any cost sharing, he would be responsible, too. So he backed out, and the board was also done with it. Frank said it’s a civil matter between the two neighbors. He’ll need to deal with Mr. Turner on it. The village isn’t going to pay for a land dispute between the two of them. This is what the board understood from our last meeting with Mark. Mark commented he would be turning it over to a lawyer and he left.   


10). The health insurance policy with Exemplar is up for renewal (December 1st). We got quotes back from Exemplar (up 13%) and Quartz (27% higher). Our current policy is the same coverage, no changes. Leis moved, Appleman seconded to renew the employee health insurance policy with Exemplar. (Carried).                  


11). Fish moved, Leis seconded to approve operator licenses for Amber Strait and Kari Defliger. (Carried).

Two more applications were received from Lance Slock and January May. Both have completed the training, but they both have a few items on their personal records. The board can revoke a license if issues arise. Fish moved, Appleman seconded to accept the licenses on the basis we can revoke them if something happens. (Carried).   


12). Leis moved, Fish seconded to approve the ad in the Driftless Wisconsin Map. (Carried). The cost is the same as last year, at $382.50. LAPA donates $100 toward it, so our cost is $282.50.


13). Police Report/Update: Chief Steve Palmer was not present (at a training event). The police committee had met with him on a new dash camera and have recommended this. The cost is $13,894. Steve approached Organic Valley about this, and they are donating $10,000. The balance will come from the 2023 police budget and the police equipment savings. Appleman moved, Leis seconded to approve the dash camera. (Carried). 


14). Clerk Walker reviewed some highlights of the proposed budget for 2024. We had an increase of $4,385 in our revenue and a decrease in spending of around $33,514 for 2023, which is a help to our fund balance in helping our cash flow. For 2024, the balance went up $46,144 overall. No one had any questions. Melvin moved, Leis seconded to approve the 2024 proposed budget for publication and set Thursday, November 30, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. for the Public Budget Hearing, with a special meeting to follow for adoption of the budget. (Carried).

15). Committee Reports and Updates:

**Parks: Karen reported Mike Fowell is working on the poles in the Lions Shelter building. And she inquired about the daycare. Quinn said he’s still working with DCF on the grant part and looking at the Bethel Parkside for the facility to use.        

**Library: Barb mentioned it was a good month in October for the 100-year anniversary. A lot of involvement. Had a good turnout.    


16). Fish moved, Melvin seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).


17). Appleman moved, Melvin seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:07 p.m.



                                                           Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer

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