VILLAGE OF LA FARGE
Regular Board Meeting Monday, March 14, 2022
*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 Frank Quinn, Karen Leis, Terry Jensen, Barbara Melvin, Aaron Appleman, and Cheryl Purvis. Absent was Aaron Nemec.
Also present: News reporter Lonnie Muller, Brad Steinmetz, Sean Lentz with Ehlers (zoom), Public Works Manger Wayne Haugrud, Utility Clerk Greg Lawton, Police Chief Jonathon Brown, and Clerk Kimberly Walker.
*Verification was given of meeting publishing in the La Farge Episcope, and of posting at the Bank, Post Office, and Village Office on March 11, 2022. (Meeting was posted for Zoom or attending in person).
*Quinn moved, Melvin seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (2-14-22/Regular Village board meeting; 2-21-22/Medical committee meeting; 2-21-22/Special Board meeting; 2-28-22/Streets and Utilities committee meeting; 2-28-22/Finance and Personnel committee meeting; and 3-10-22/Finance and Personnel committee meeting). (Carried).
*Public Comment: None.
*Utility business: Sean Lentz with Ehlers, was present thru zoom. We received the SDWLP loan and grant. To get the grant portion, we need to take out a loan. The utilities have a 2013A bond note outstanding, which was originally pledged with all 3 entities, water, sewer, and electric. The PSC says we can’t finance the new loan with all three on the previous bond. At this point, the water and sewer were paid off and just the electric is owed. Sean has suggested getting a new note for this, and to combine the village bond from a previous TIF/EDA project to get a better interest rate. The new bond would just have water revenue listed and the village TIF portion (each entity would still make their own payments). Interest is now 3-2%-3.8%. Hoping for at least 2%, which could save us $38,000+.
*The village GO Debt limit is 5% of the equalized value, currently $2,081,000. With the combined amount of $847,000 to refinance, and the $1 million TIF escrow note, it brings us to $1,847,000, leaving the village debt capacity at about $240,000. But it will come up rapidly as we pay the debt payments within 5 years.
*RFP’s will be sent to area banks this week for the best interest rate. Then we’ll have a special meeting on March 28th to review and act on the RFP’s. We need a decision then as the bonds have a 30-day call notice, which the date of call is May 1st.
*Wayne reported on the backup generation. We started this last summer, and well #2 is now up and running. Well #3, over the last 6 months, has been losing some gallons being pumped, dropping from 240 to 210 per minute. Water Well Solutions has been contacted and will pull the well and see it there’s something wrong with the pump. The DNR suggests wells be pulled every 10 years. It’s been 12 years for this one. Cost is roughly $12-$14,000.
*Update on Grants: The substation relocation is now fully funded. We had a good chance at the EDA grant, but the state contacted us, and said they had excess disaster relief grant funds (from the Vernon and Dane county areas). They asked how much it was to fully fund it. They had already funded us 1 million. The balance for the project was $1,046,000, which they agreed on. With the cost of materials rising, the final figures may come in a little higher, but we have TIF funds to cover the overage.
**And we’re still waiting on the skid steer and Police squad car grants.
*Old business: Dollar General update: The developer contacted us, and Dollar General corporate has approved the lease. It’s not official yet, as they still have some soil borings to do, permit applications to obtain, and engineering. But it sounds very positive.
*Barb said a couple months ago, we had talked about a LAPA project for a historical walk around downtown. Their committee is working on design and stories. Brad Steinmetz added they talked with Mike Fowell at the school and are looking at possibly an etched board with a brief history of each building. Hoping for a dozen stops on Main Street and to have a map with more detailed history. Also talking about a history museum room in one of the buildings. He mentioned if the village knows of any grants out there to help for creating displays and signs, to keep them in mind. They hope to have some done by this summer.
*Barb said LAPA also has 2 more projects. The mission of their group is to help business and improve Main Street. They’re looking at planters and signage. Like to purchase 5 planters, with stone, to match the 3 we currently have. Cost is $475 each from Kay Park Recreation. And for the signage, looking for direction for the businesses off Main Street. Total of 5 sets of signs, for the library, parks, churches, etc. Looking to get these thru Decker Supply. LAPA will be paying for all this. Jensen moved, Appleman seconded for LAPA to proceed with purchasing planters and signage as presented. (Carried).
*The Finance and Personnel committee recently met to discuss ideas for the ARPA funds. The village will have about $79,444 to obligate by the end of 2024. Wayne explained the upgrade for the radio system between the wells and water tower for around $64,300. Also have discussed a park shelter in the Sandmire Park area and using some funds toward a new meter reading system for the utilities. Another idea from tonight was the history walk project. The committee will be meeting again to firm up the ideas. Anyone that has a suggestion, let them know.
*Jensen moved, Quinn seconded to approve advertising for bids for the mowing and trimming of the Chapel Hill Cemetery. (Carried). (Bids will be opened at the April board meeting).
*Melvin moved, Leis seconded to approve an operator license for Ashley Hoff. (Carried). The Responsible Seller server course was completed on 3-3-2022.
*Chief Brown described a problem he’s had with Dustin Mogle’s dog. Since July 2020, there’s been a dozen complaints on his dog constantly running loose without a leash, jumping onto people, jumping in front of moving cars, breeding other dogs, etc. Jon’s had many talks with him. He’s up to 9 citations. On February 19th, he was sent a letter outlining our public nuisance declaration. This has been discussed with the attorney. So now it’s up to the board to decide whether to pursue or not. We need to meet the requests of our citizens to do something. He doesn’t want to see the dog euthanized. Jensen moved, Leis seconded to continue to pursue the public nuisance abatement with the guidance from our Attorney. (Carried).
*Police report/update: Chief Jonathon Brown had 60 calls for service in February. He reviewed his municipal court cases and arrests. Some changes will be coming up with municipal court. Their clerk has resigned. And the village has brought about a complaint concerning the misuse of our property on the 300 block of South State Street. Jon met with our Attorney, and he advised us to do a survey to distinguish our lots and see about any easements. Then bring a civil suit for violations and post no trespassing signs. Then give the party a notice for trespassing on village property and issue citations accordingly.
*Committee Reports: None.
*Appleman moved, Leis seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).
*Quinn moved, Jensen seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 7:18 p.m.
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer