VILLAGE OF BRUCE
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
October 4th, 2021
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a scheduled monthly meeting of the Village Board was held on Monday, October 4th, 2021.
Village President Shane Trott presided and called to order the meeting at the Village Hall facility at 7:00 p.m. Board members present were Mark Zimmer, Jim Johnson, Kim Grasley, Loren Beebe and Galen Brainerd. Jessica Hayes attended also.
– PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE –
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Johnson to approve the September 7th, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting Minutes, carried. Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Johnson to approve the September 30th, 2021 Board of Review Minutes, carried.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Beebe to approve the Treasurer’s report as given, carried.
EMPLOYEE’S REPORT: Darlene Wundrow attended the meeting and informed the Board that the three monitoring wells have been drilled at Well #3 but have not been tested yet.
Water Meter Purchase Request: Wundrow asked for permission to purchase ten of the thirty water meters that were approved for purchase in 2022, at the September 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting. Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Brainerd to allow Wundrow to purchase ten of the thirty new water meters now and the remainder of the thirty water meters in 2022, carried.
Air Compressor Purchase: After discussing the options of going with a water filtration system with the wells, there is no need to purchase an air compressor. The scope of the project would include a stationary air compressor which would be used for back washing the filters.
Wundrow announced that she will be retiring effective October 31st, 2021. Wundrow has worked for the Village since 1995. The Board thanked her for all of her work for the last twenty-six years.
PETITIONERS-CITIZEN COMPLAINTS AND REQUESTS:
Bruce Blue Hills Lion’s Club – Park Facility Request: The Bruce Blue Hills Lion’s Club is asking permission to take the old cooler body out of the small pavilion by the ball diamond at the Bruce Park and install a new walk-in cooler. The project would be at no cost to the Village. Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Johnson to approve letting the Bruce Blue Hills Lion’s Club take out the old cooler body in the small pavilion and install a new walk-in cooler, carried.
Bob Lorkowski – Main Street Bounce-back Grant Application Discussion: Lorkowski did not attend the meeting.
Backpack Blessings – Donation Request: Nancy Kelley submitted a letter requesting a donation for the Bruce Backpack Blessings program. To feed one child throughout the school year would cost $135.00. Motion by Johnson, seconded by Brainerd to approve donating $500.00 to the Bruce Backpack Blessings program, carried.
PUBLIC COMMENTS:Jim Blazek attended the meeting in audience and asked how the progress was going on the special assessments for the Main Street Reconstruction Project. He was informed that the special assessments are not yet determined and could possibly be up to a couple years before anything is finalized.
Discussion and Action Regarding Corrective Work on Village Wells: Larry Gotham was unable to attend the meeting due to illness. Trott discussed an email of information sent by Gotham to share at the meeting on behalf of his absence. Trott announced that the ground water background monitoring wells have been installed. The three wells are currently being tested to determine the water quality to which the new water treatment plant will be required to treat. No results on the tests have been received at this time.
The Public Works Department, along with Village President and Gotham have met Jim Groose from Water Surplus filter company to discuss the filtration system that would be installed. The units are delivered to the project site as a unit and ready to install with very little connection work. This filter unit system is approvable by the DNR Safe Drinking Water Loan Program.
The filter will treat the manganese down to near zero. Not only is the unit compact and palatized but is the most economical choice. The filter prices range from $400,000 to $180,000. The good news is that due to the compact size, the Village will be able to install the unit in the existing well house/Village Shop building without having to add on. The Village will continue on the paperwork for the funding notice of intent to the DNR which is due by the end of the month. Additionally, the Village will talk with Rural Development, and if beneficial, will also look in to a block grant application next spring. This project will consist of a new water treatment plant and a transmission main connecting Well #3 to Well #1. The transmission main between Well #1 and Well #3 will extensively damage River Avenue. The next step is for the Board to authorize completing a pilot test plant to prove that the unit will meet the DNR requirements. The pilot test plant costs are covered under both the Rural Development 75% match grant and the proposed DNR Safe Drinking Water funding.
Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Grasley to approve completing a pilot test plant, carried.
Motion by Johnson seconded by Zimmer to redo the entire section of River Avenue that is damaged from the transmission main connecting Well #1 & Well #3, which would include all new water & sewer main, transmission main line and blacktop resurfacing, carried.
Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Johnson to table the ‘Discussion and Action Regarding Corrective Work on Village Wells’ issue until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
PSC-Water Rate Application: The Village has been notified that the water rate increase application filed has been approved by the Public Service Commission. The next step would be for the Board to decide when they want the rates to become effective. Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Grasley to approve implementing the new rates effective April 1st, 2022, carried. A typical 5/8 inch water meter will now see a base rate of $36.00 quarterly. This would be an increase of $11.28 from the previous rates. The Final Decision would also include a Public Fire Protection Charge on the quarterly bills of $18.15. Public fire protection service includes the use of hydrants for fire protection service and such quantities of water as may be demanded for the purpose of extinguishing fires within the municipal limits. This fee was previously being assessed to residents through the levy. With 50% of the charge continuing to be levied, the remaining 50% will now be applicable to non-general service customers who own property that is located within the municipal limits as well. Copies of the full Order and Final Decision can be obtained at the Village Hall Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Motion by Johnson, seconded by Grasley to table the ‘PSC-Water Rate Application’ issue until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
Sewer Rate Increase: Nothing new to report this month. Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Zimmer to table the “Sewer Rate Increase’ issue until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
Parcel #106-00081-0000 & #106-00082-0000 – 914 N. Main Street – Bid Opening & Action: The Village did not receive any bids for the sale of the property. Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Grasley to advertise for bids for an additional month in the Ladysmith News for the sale of the property and to table the ‘Parcel #106-00081-0000 & #106-00082-0000 – 914 N. Main Street – Bid Opening & Action’ item until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
Committee Meeting September 22nd, 2021 Report: Trott reported a committee meeting was held on September 22nd, 2021 to discuss possibly having a veteran’s memorial park in the Village. The committee is recommending the following:
1) Contact Eric Stoker who is the Rusk County Veteran’s Service Officer to discuss further
2) Determine possible locations. Locations discussed were: out at the Village park, across from the park on Highway 8 and Johnson Street and also out on the corner of Highway 8 & 40
3) The Village would be responsible for working with the artist.
4) Working with area and community groups for fundraising was discussed.
5) You would not have to be deceased to be on the mural
Veteran’s Memorial Park Site: Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Grasley to move forward with the project and aprove the Public Works Committee’s recommendations, carried. Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Johnson to table the ‘Veteran’s Memorial Park Site’ item until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
North Main Street Reconstruction Project:
Trott again discussed an email of information sent by Gotham to share at the meeting on behalf of his absence.
A pay request was submitted the morning of the meeting from Haas, Inc. in the amount of $190,304.00 for contracted work on the North Main Street Project. Due to the late arrival of the invoice and legal time to have it posted on the agenda, the Board denied to pay the request.
Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Johnson to table the ‘North Main Street Reconstruction Project Discussion’ item until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
Additional ATV Route Signage Cost: The Board is still waiting to receive a quote from the ATV Club for additional ATV route signage costs. Motion by Grasley, seconded by Beebe to table the ‘Additional ATV Route Signage Cost’ issue until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
2022 Library Budget Approval: Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Beebe to approve the Bruce Library’s 2022 budget at $48,901.49, carried.
Employee Manual Update: Nothing new to report this month. Motion by Johnson, seconded by Beebe to table the ‘Employee Manual Update’ issue until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
Committee September 16th, 2021 Report: A committee meeting was held on September 16th, 2021 to discuss employee complaints with payroll along with personnel issues and employee wage negotiations. The committee met with Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Hayes at the Village Hall. The committee discussed the following:
-Vehicle allowance is now paid out $50.00 every month to Wundrow, Will & Gudis, and $50.00 quarterly to Hayes. Vehicle allowance will now only be paid out to employees for recorded and submitted mileage every month. An explanation of why is required along with a starting mileage and ending mileage
-Veteran’s Day will now be a paid holiday
-A 3% raise will be given to all employees across the Board
-A mandatory half hour lunch break. Employees will have to clock out and clock in. Shop Hours 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Hall hours 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
-Board will review time sheets to time clock after checks have been written and fix any discrepancies on the next payroll check.
-Vacation, sick and holiday pay is based off of 8 hour days (8 hours) across the Board to all employee
No action was taken on the committee’s discussion at this time and an additional meeting will need to be scheduled.
Committee Meeting September 29th, 2021 Report: A committee meeting was held on September 29th to discuss the resignation of Public Works Director Darlene Wundrow. The committee discussed the following:
-Gudis will work on obtaining his water license by the end of October 2021
-Placing an ad in the Ladysmith News to fill a part time position. The individual would need to hold a CDL license or have the ability to obtain one.
-Gudis would take responsibility for the computer filings
-Investigate the possibility of getting the Main Office software program at the Village Shop
-Someone would need to be assigned the title of ‘Public Works Director’- No determination at this time
-Possibly pay Will & Gudis the same hourly rate
No action was taken on the committee’s discussion.
Committee Meeting September 30th, 2021 Report: A committee meeting was held on September 30th to discuss employee wage negotiations for 2022 with employees. The committee met with Wundrow, Will & Gudis at the Village Hall. No action was taken on the committee’s recommendations at this time and an additional meeting needs to be scheduled.
Employee Wage Negotiations: An additional meeting will be scheduled this month. Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Grasley to table the ‘Employee Wage Negotiations’ issue until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
Employee Retirement: Trott read aloud a resignation letter submitted from Darlene Wundrow.
Committee Meeting September 16th, 2021 Report: A committee meeting was held on September 16th, 2021 to discuss the possibility of contracting with the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department. The interest in doing so would be so the Village would have the power to start enforcing their ordinances. Currently without a municipal officer or court, the Village ordinances have no way of being enforced. The committee discussed going through the ordinances the Village has in place currently as they would need to be added to the Sheriff’s Department system. A specific group of ordinances would be chosen to start with.
Sheriff Wallace will speak with Ann Boehmer (Sheriff’s Department Jail Account Specialist) and Lori Gorsegner (County Clerk of Court) about court and ordinance specifics.
The committee is recommending exploring costs with the auditor at the budget workshop in October to see what the Village has in the budget for moving forward with the idea. No action was taken at this time.
Rusk County Sheriff’s Department Contract Discussion & Action: Motion by Johnson, seconded by Zimmer to move ahead with the idea of contracting with the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department, carried. Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Grasley to table the ‘Rusk County Sheriff’s Department Contract Discussion & Action’ item until the November, 2021 Regular Monthly Board Meeting, carried.
APPROVAL OF BILLS: Motion by Brainerd, seconded by Grasley to pay vouchers and electronic payments totaling $164,894.32, carried.
Budget Workshop: Tuesday, October 12th, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.
Fall Clean Up-October 15th, 16th, & 18th, 2021. An attendant will be on duty at the collection site from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Curbside Pick-Up will be on Monday, October 18th, 2021. For those unable to haul their own refuse please call the Village Hall at 868-2185 by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 15th to arrange for pick-up.
Christmas in Bruce – December 11th, 2021
ADJOURNMENT: Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Grasley to adjourn, carried. Adjournment was at 8:22 p.m.