April 24th, 2013
“Elmwood takes delivery of new truck for EPD”
Submitted by Rick A. Talford
ELMWOOD, WI – The Village Board met on Monday, April 8th at the Auditorium for their monthly meeting. Trustee Trisha Knops was absent this month.
Public Input was discussed first at the meeting. Sandra Weix and the Library Director Jeanne Friedell spoke to the board about the work being done at the library. Mrs. Weix spoke of the finances the library currently has in place, and she explained the restrictions they have on certain funds that are not openly available for use. The State Investment Funds that belong to the library are only usable for library material and remodeling projects. They can’t be used on salaries, repairs or maintenance. The majority of the wages are paid from received village funds. There is also an Act 150 Fund that is used, once the village funds are gone. She then added “The gifts and memorials have restrictions as well. There are funds through the friends of the library, and those are unusable unless the committee pre-approves their use.” Friedell then explained she has 20 years experience. She then explained what they have been working on the last six months at the library. “We have removed close to 6K items that were outdated. We spoke to the community, and we have added more music and DVD’s. Circulation is up a little bit and the overall usage is down.” The library has plans to make use of space, by making a storage area into their office. The office will then become usable space for library items. There was also a report that the library is used about 56 percent by Elmwood Citizens. She also reported, “Dunn County provided more funds to the library, than years prior.”
Resident Paul Peterson then spoke to the board, and asked them about allowing him to use a main street property, for a rental. There is currently an Ordinance against this use, on the lower levels of property on Main Street. Peterson does not plan on doing anything soon, but wanted to throw it out there for the board to consider. He asked them who he would need to speak to, in order to start the process. He explained his feelings that the town has nothing happening and they know nothing is going to happen. He stated “Schuler’s have been around for a hundred years, and the bars of course have stayed. Other than those there is really not anyone bringing business into the town.” The board did try to respond by saying they had a beauty parlor, and they’re thinking that a bakery may come to town as well. That has been a claim for a few years, but has not become a reality to date. He was advised to make contact with the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Peterson and Delorse Radtke currently seat that committee. He then questioned if the board had the control, due to it being an ordinance. No action was taken.
The Spring Election was then discussed. Write-in candidate Delorse Radtke became a member of the board again, after many years of not being involved. Trustee Neil Boltic ended his time on the board at the meeting, as he came up a couple votes short of staying. He was also a write-in candidate. Incumbents Brian Buck and Mike Sand both remain on the board.
There is a Spring Clean-up scheduled for April 15-19, 2013 for residents to clean up their properties. Trustee Susan Dzubay commented “I have seen too many junk vehicles in people’s yards.” If there are any questions on what items can be picked up or dropped off, you can call the Village Office at (715) 639-3792.
Resolution 2013-03: Approving and Designating a Public Depository and Authorizing Signatures was next on the agenda. This was brought up, due to the retirement of the deputy clerk. These forms will need to be updated.
Approving the Clerk/Treasurer to 100 percent was provided by Trustee Brian Buck. When Bruce Hartung was on the board, they decided to hire a new clerk at 80 percent, until she became familiar with the job. They would then decide if they wanted to put her up to 100 percent. “This was never completed,” added Buck. Village Clerk/Treasurer Amy Wayne, Chief Matt Broehm and Public Works Employees Jamie Reitz and Josh Kern are the only full-time employees with the village at this point. Butch will remain a part-time employee at 70 percent, and the board will replace the deputy clerk with a 50 percent part-time assistant for the office.
The Deputy Clerk Retirement was then approved. It was stated by President Bill Stewart “After cutting her hours back twice, the deputy clerk decided to leave her job with the village. We will move forward and hire an assistant at 50 percent.” This was voted upon, and was unanimous. After 21 years of service to the residents of Elmwood, Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Vicki Lehmann has retired. While speaking to Mrs. Lehmann over the phone, she told me “I will greatly miss working with the citizens of Elmwood. I felt like it was the time for me to leave the village office and move on. My work with the residents was very fulfilling and I will miss that the most. I will spend time with my grand-children who live in the Menomonie Area.”
The Public Works Employees raise was then discussed by Trustee Brian Buck. He explained to the board members “The Personnel and Finance Committee met, and they also spoke to other members of the board, in order to consider giving a raise to the underpaid workers.” Buck claimed they were underpaid, compared to other communities. It was stated “They had been putting applications out with other municipalities.” As of April 22, 2013 the raises will go into effect. Jamie and Josh were given raises to keep them employed in the village, instead of them retaining employment elsewhere. Jamie was bumped up $2.15/Hr. and Josh received $2.71/Hr. “In the past, we have provided a one to three percent raise, at the annual reviews.” Buck added. This was voted on unanimously. Buck then explained the village received a 49K payment from Genesis, and they decided this was the time to do this. Buck said “We felt the part-time staff was getting way too much in benefits, and we needed to cut them back. President Stewart added “They could easily drive 18 miles and get $6/Hr. more in wages.” If the citizens would like to know what the employees are receiving for wages and benefits, these are all public records that are available for review upon request.
The Police Vehicle Accessories and Graphics information was provided by Trustee Buck as well. The new truck has been delivered to the village. They have selected blue and silver for the graphics on the truck. This will be done by Velocity Graphics. They did buy a full size Ford truck that has 4wd. The truck has a v-6 engine and has plenty of space versus a car. The purchase of a SUV or squad car would have been near $4,500 less, but they feel there will be less required in maintenance in the long run. They also state the truck will get better fuel mileage than the current car. They also plan on buying a lockable cover, so they can store equipment in the back. The board approved up to $800 for this purchase. The grant that they worked on getting was received, and it covered 35 percent of the purchase. The current squad will be sold after it is stripped of police equipment. It has 107K miles on it currently. They feel the truck will be ready for use as of May 6, 2013.
Resolution 2013-04 Adopting the Pierce County Hazard Mitigation Plan: This is a plan that is used in regards to the Nuclear Power Plant in Red Wing. Elmwood is the reception center for everyone involved with a nuclear incident, if it were to happen. The update was approved.
Committee and Board Reports: There were no reports to provide, other than what was already discussed previously in the meeting.
Paying the bill was approved and the meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.