NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a meeting of the La Farge Village Board will be held on Monday, August 12, 2019, at 6:30 p.m. at the Emergency Services building, located at 201 S. Cherry Street.
Call to order/Roll Call
Verification of Meeting Posting/Publishing
Approval of previous meetings minutes
Regular Utility Business;
Any old Business;
Meaghan Gustafson, regarding After School Program funding needs;
Samantha Laskowski and Becky Comeau for task force update on solar + storage
and defining community energy goals;
George Wilbur regarding Energy Efficiency Loan Program Letter of Intent;
Action on a letter of support for a joint application for a Special Project Planning
Grant program (CDBG SP-PLNG);
Action to hire a listing official for the annual dog count;
Action to renew the ad in the Hidden Valley Visitor’s Guide;
Discussion/Possible action on a Flood Insurance policy;
Discussion/Possible action on a name for the South end of town park area;
Committee reports and updates;
Approval to Pay the Bills;
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer
VILLAGE OF LA FARGE
Regular Board Meeting Monday, August 12, 2019
*President Cheryl Purvis called the regular meeting of the La Farge Village Board to order at 6:32 p.m. at the Emergency Services building. Roll call was taken with board members Purvis, Reggie Nelson, Aaron Nemec, Aaron Appleman, and Terry Jensen present. Absent was Frank Quinn. Also absent was Barbara Melvin, as she is representing the Village at an informational flood/funding workshop at the Reserve. Also present was news reporter Lonnie Muller, Police Chief Jonathon Brown, George Wilbur, Samantha Laskowski, Becky Comeau, Meaghan Gustafson, and Clerk Kimberly Walker.
*Verification of meeting publishing in the La Farge Episcope and posting at the Bank, Post Office, and Village Office on August 9, 2019 was given.
*Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to approve the previous meetings minutes: (6-24-19/Public Hearing meeting; 7-8-19/Regular board meeting; 7-9-19/7-11-19/7-15-19/7-22-19/Special Library Board meetings; 7-23-19/Regular Library Board meeting; 7-24-19/Planning Commission meeting; and 7-30-19/Special Library Board meeting). (Carried).
*Correspondence: Received a thank you from the American Legion Post 308/220 Grizzlies, for allowing them to use the baseball field to host their tournament.
*No Public Comments.
*Utility Business: PWM Wayne Haugrud is also at the Reserve funding workshop but asked to share a letter from the State of Wisconsin that they’ve approved the final compliance alternatives plan for phosphorous (that MSA has been working on for us). This includes the implementation of the Phosphorous Multi-
Discharger Variance with the County payment option and a chemical phosphorous removal upgrade.
*No Old Business.
*New Superintendent of La Farge Schools, Meaghan Gustafson, was present to give information on some after school program funding needs. In May, they found out they’d no longer be receiving the federal grant they’ve had the past 5 years to support the program. This was too late in the year to get other funding. This is a big issue the school is facing. The kids need this childcare, which helps working families, is a safe place for kids after school, helps with wellness, helps them from running around town, and the primary concern is to not send any kid home with no one there. They serve as many as 50 students, from 4K thru 5th. They surveyed parents and 96% identified a need for this program. Now they’re seeking outside support to sustain it. In the survey, it was asked if families would contribute a tuition fee to help. They had 3 scenarios of funding, which included charging $1 a day, $2 a day, and $3 a day. It is still short about $10,000. She’s applied for several grants and has upcoming meetings with other businesses and agencies. She’s asking if the village can support anything for them. As this was not an action item, Appleman moved, Jensen seconded to put this on the September agenda for approval for up to $2,000, to adjust as needed. (Carried).
*Samantha Laskowski and Becky Comeau were present for an update on solar + storage and defining community energy goals. Becky circulated an I pad, showing the library solar production. The statistics so far are 5.85 megawatt hours produced, which if calculated at 10 cents per kw is $585. The Friends of the Library are planning to educate the public with an I pad app to look at the solar production. Then, the next step is to get a battery to be able stay open if needed. Batteries can also help with peak shaving. Another service agreement, like the other one for the solar panels, would be needed. It would be set up the same way, with the LLC paying, and the village owning in the end. They’re trying to get this in by year end. Would also need to let the insurance company know after the agreement is in place. Becky will get the equipment info for the agreement. This will first be presented to the library board for approval, then back to the village board for the final consent.
*Samantha gave an update on an Energy Independence Case study from Bloomfield, IA. She described how homes are losing energy, and needing upgrading with better insulation, etc. A lot of homes are old, and energy is going out the door. She reviewed what they’re doing to help homeowners be more efficient. They invested $750,000 in housing upgrades, which is paid back through an online bill financing model. They’re working on tighter homes to reduce peak demands. Since we’re governed by the PSC, it won’t work the same for us, but it’s something we may be able to investigate in the future, if we get our planning grants.
*George Wilbur was next, to discuss a letter of intent for an Energy efficiency loan program. He’s a volunteer on the resilience task force and has done some checking into the USDA Rural energy savings program. People are paying more for their utilities due to reduced insulation. This program is an advantage to utility customers as it will work on reducing peak demand. To qualify for the program, this letter of intent needs filed by the end of September. It’s not binding. The USDA lends the utility funding at 0% interest for up to 20 years. The utilities lend it out at 3-5% interest, which helps fund the utility costs. The loan stays with the property in the case a home is sold. Would need an independent coordinator to oversee this. The board felt this isn’t possible this year, with our Main Street and substation relocation projects. Our debt capacity and PSC approval also need looked at. It’s a great project but will need to revisit it in the future when we get our grants in place. George offered to help anyway he can. The board decided to hold off for now. Everyone was thanked for their presentations and information.
*Based on the Public Hearing meeting held on July 22 with Ontario, Readstown, & Viola, Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to approve a letter of support for a Joint Application for a Special Project Planning Grant Program (CDBG SP-PLNG). (Carried).
*Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to approve hiring Virginia Bilek and Kim Walker as the listing officials to do the annual dog count for the village. (Carried).
*Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to renew our ad in the Hidden Valleys magazine, for the cost of $266.00. (Carried).
*Received quotes for flood insurance contents coverage for the village shop and generator building. Wayne felt we didn’t need it for the shop, as they can get the vehicles out and have high shelves for the contents.
Reviewed different deductible options and premiums for the generator. Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to go with a $1,000 deductible coverage. (Carried).
*In honor of former Village Trustee Delores Sandmire, the board wanted to give an official name to the park area in the South end of town. Appleman moved, Nemec seconded to name it “Sandmire Memorial Park”. (Carried).
*Police Chief Report:
**Had 85 calls of service in July. The first of July had 3 burglaries (Organic Valley, Nuzum’s, and the Car Wash). The case is still under investigation.
**Successful 4th of July.
**At Municipal court, had an animal running at large case and a retail theft case.
**Will be attending training coming up in Eau Claire.
**Library: Cheryl thanked Library Director Rita Wachuta-Breckel for her 19 years of service. She’s retiring August 30th. There will be an Open House at the Library on August 28th, from 6-8 p.m. She will be greatly missed. Jessica Slaney has been hired as the new Director.
*Jensen moved, Nemec seconded to approve payment of the bills. (Carried).
*Jensen moved, Appleman seconded to adjourn. (Carried). Adjourned at 8:03 p.m.
Kimberly Walker, Village Clerk/Treasurer