VILLAGE OF BRUCE
BOARD MEETING MINUTES
September 8, 2015
Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a scheduled monthly meeting of the Village Board was held on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.
Village President Mike Newman presided and called to order the meeting at the Village Hall facility at 7:00 p.m. Board members present were Mark Zimmer, Shane Trott, Jim Doke, Gayanne Skogen, Bobbi Jo Fillion and Jim Moore. Both Clerks attended also.
Motion by Fillion, seconded by Skogen to approve the Agenda, carried.
Motion by Doke, seconded by Fillion to dispense of the reading and approve the minutes of the August 3, 2015 Regular Board Meeting, carried.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Motion by Fillion, seconded by Trott to approve the Treasurer’s report as given, carried.
Pine Trees in Village Park: Bob Hauser, DNR Forester from Ladysmith attended the meeting and went over details of the Urban Forestry grant that is available to help offset the costs of removing diseased trees in the Village Park. It is a 50/50 matching grant and the application deadline is October 1, 2015. The Village would have to fund the project then submit receipts and would be reimbursed half the amount. Maximum awarded would be $5,000.00, with the Village matching that amount. An award letter would be issued to the Village if they are selected for the grant. Work would have to begin after January 1, 2016. Hauser has spoken to several contractors who would be willing to remove the trees at no charge to the Village if they could have the logs. The Village would have to remove the limbs and stumps left behind in 2016. If any new trees were planted in the affected area that also would have to be done in the same year. Discussion was held on hiring someone to grind the stumps and the cost involved. Darlene Wundrow asked if the Board would consider taking out a few trees this year that are an immediate safety hazard and then plan, budget and talk about applying for the grant in the 2016-2017 cycle. Hauser thought that would be a good idea then a grant administrator from the DNR Forestry Department could come and meet with the Board to discuss a plan and offer suggestions for future removal of the trees. A half a dozen trees that are affected by the disease should be removed this year yet.
Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Fillion to refer the issue to Committee to meet with Bob Hauser to discuss options available to remove the diseased pine trees in the Village Park and to table the issue until the October 5, 2015 Regular Board Meeting, carried.
Darlene Wundrow reported the Village did not get the bid on the snow plow trucks at Barron County. The search will continue for a replacement truck. Photos have been submitted to the DNR showing the re-landscaping of the burning pit area that the village workers did and the Village’s use permit has been re-issued.
PETITIONERS-CITIZEN COMPLAINTS AND REQUESTS: None
PUBLIC COMMENTS: Pat Sturzl attended the meeting with concerns about the public access route off of Chippewa Avenue that the Village had an agreement with the landowner. The landowner carved out a trail thinking it was a public access area but it’s on Pat Sturzl’s property.
Trees were removed that shouldn’t have been and the Board discussed what could be done to correct it. The Board will investigate the issue further.
Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Trott to approve a building permit for William Blick to re-side his house at 617 N. 4th Street, carried.
Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Fillion to approve a building permit for James Wester to build a twenty-six foot by thirty foot storage shed on his property at 587 E. Arthur Avenue, carried.
Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Fillion to approve a building permit for Tammy and John Baker, Jr., to build a twelve foot by sixteen foot shed at 906 N. Blackburn Street, carried.
Operator’s License: Motion by Fillion, seconded by Trott to approve an operator’s license for Amanda M. Kuciauskus, carried.
Bow Hunting Permits: Motion by Fillion, seconded by Zimmer to approve bow hunting permits for Michael Collins, Jim Lee and Richard Christianson to hunt deer with a bow on Village owned property, carried.
Payment Received from CN Railroad for Rental of Barricades: A check for two hundred-fifty dollars has been received from CN Railroad for reimbursement for the rental of barricades at the 1st Street railroad crossing.
Potential New Village Shop-Larry Gotham: Larry Gotham, of Rusk Surveying, attended the meeting to discuss options with the Board on whether a new building could be constructed in the future where the present one is. He had met with Darlene a few weeks prior to the meeting and discussed what would be needed for a new building. The shop and water tower sits on 90% vacated streets, right-of-way land. There were two streets; one on the east side and one on the north side that were vacated years ago and proper title to them is unclear. He recommended contacting our attorney for a legal opinion so we have a clear title for the property. If the Board went through with the project and borrowed money to fund, providing proof of a clear title would be the first step to have completed. The proposed building for that site would be approximately 48 feet by 100 feet and would house the existing well. There would also be enough space for all the equipment and vehicles. The new 4800 square foot building could cost anywhere from $400,000.00 to $500,000.00 according to Gotham. He provided photos and floor plans of a building being constructed in the Town of Flambeau to show the Board options for what could be built in Bruce. Plans for the building would require state and DNR approval. The well would have to be housed in a separate room and so would the chemical feed equipment. Several updates for the building were discussed including replacing the existing pump control panel and piping for it. Financing may be available through the DNR with their Safe Drinking Water Loan Program and Gotham explained the process for application. Two thirds of the cost of the project can be attributed to the water utility putting the interest rate at one percent through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program. The deadline is October 31, 2015 and Gotham would assist the Village in filing the “Notice of Intent” if they chose to do so. Deadline to file the actual project application is June 30th, 2016 and finalizing the project and loan deadline is June 30th, 2017. Administration and applications fees are estimated at around $10,000.00. Along with the application there is a separate form to be filled out that is rated by a point system to determine if we would be eligible for principal forgiveness funds. The State Trust Fund and local banks are also other options for loans. Discussion was held and no decision was made to move forward with the project. Motion by Fillion, seconded by Zimmer to refer the “Potential New Village Shop” issue to Committee to discuss further, carried.
Drainage Ditch at Village Park: Motion by Fillion, seconded by Trott to approve tabling the “Drainage Ditch at Village Park” issue until the October, 2015 Regular Board Meeting, carried.
ATV Routes Signage: Dave Williams and volunteers from The Rusk Riders ATV Club have installed all the signs for the ATV routes in the Village and they are officially open for use. There are no off road trails designated use, streets only. North Main Street to Washington Avenue & South Main Street to the Village limits cannot be used along with Arthur Avenue (Highway 8) and Highway 40 North. At this point there is no legal access from points east, west or south of the Village. Riders from the north can access the Village from Trails End Avenue. Motion by Fillion, seconded by Trott to remove the “ATV Routes Signage” issue from the Agenda, carried.
Library Lease Agreement: Motion by Doke, seconded by Fillion to approve leaving the annual payment at $4,753.03 for 2016, increasing the payment 3% for 2017, another 3% for 2018 and another 3% in 2019, then renegotiate the agreement for 2020, carried.
2016 Library Budget Approval: The Board reviewed the proposed 2016 budget of $40,457.80 for the Library. Motion by Doke, seconded by Zimmer to approve the proposed $40,457.80 Library Budget for 2016, carried.
Employee Wage Negotiations-Committee Meetings August 12th & 27th, 2015 Reports & Recommendations: The Committee met on August 12th & 27th to review the 2016 employee wage requests. Recommendations for approval were read. They are as follows; grant an eighty-five cent per hour wage increase to the Deputy Clerk; all other regular workers and staff would receive a 3% pay raise. Sick days remain unchanged. All regular workers & staff are given the opportunity to opt out of the Village provided life insurance policy. They would receive the Village portion of the premium in lieu of the policy. To receive “retirement” benefits a regular or part-time regular worker must have worked at the Village for 15 consecutive years, at an average of four hours per day. Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Fillion to approve the recommended 2016 employee wage increases of eighty-five cents an hour for the Deputy Clerk, all other workers and staff receiving a three percent increase, the option to receive an annual stipend for the Village’s portion of a life insurance policy premium and an employee must have worked for the Village for 15 consecutive years at an average of four hours per day to receive retirement benefits, carried.
Employee Rehire-Committee Meeting September 3, 2015 Report & Recommendation: The Committee met on September 3rd to interview Casey Gudis for a regular/ part time employee position that is available since the announcements of the retirements of Bob Weinert and Toby Kostick. The Committee recommends hiring Casey Gudis for the regular/part-time position as a plow truck operator/village worker, at four hours per day, beginning with a probationary period starting at $15.00 per hour, beginning November 1, 2015 and to grant the Public Works Director the authority to hire an extra plow truck operator, on an hourly, as needed basis. Motion by Fillion, seconded by Zimmer to approve hiring Casey Gudis for the regular/part-time position as a plow truck operator/village worker, at four hours per day, beginning a probationary period at $15.00 per hour, beginning November 1, 2015 and to grant the Public Works Director the authority to hire an extra plow truck operator, on an hourly, as needed basis, carried.
Plow Truck Purchase-Bid Submitted to Barron County Highway Dept.: Newman reported two bids were submitted to the Barron County Highway Department on two plow trucks that were for sale. The Village was not selected on either truck so the search continues for a replacement plow truck.
Kiwanis Playground Equipment Grant Donation-Arlene Knops: Motion by Fillion, seconded by Trott to approve tabling the “Kiwanis Playground Equipment Grant Donation” issue until the October, 2015 Regular Board Meeting, carried.
Main Street Beautification Project Update: Newman read a letter from Lorna Meyer of Dairyland State Bank updating the Main Street Beautification Project. Murals have been placed in the large windows at 714 North Main Street and paid for by the Bruce Kiwanis, Bruce Lions Club, Dairyland State Bank and Bob Lorkowski. Exterior painting will take place and pricing for a sign to advertise the ability to “Enjoy Four Seasons of Fun in the Bruce Blue Hills Area” is being obtained. Michael Frear, owner of the building at 724 North Main Street, has given permission to place murals with an Americana theme in his four windows. Pricing and sponsors for these murals are currently being sought. A verbal agreement between Sandra Jez, owner of 720 North Main Street and Kenneth Raddatz, to attractively display the barstools he manufactures in Bruce in the two windows available at Mrs. Jez’ building. James Harris, owner of the Bruce Laundromat, has allowed for the creation of flower beds or green space at the entrance of his business. Brian Herrick, owner of the Bruce Theatre, would be willing to put up seasonal messages on his marquis. These messages would serve as a warm and inviting greeting to our Village. Several requests to consider in making improvements were read and discussed.
APPROVAL OF BILLS: Motion by Fillion, seconded by Zimmer to pay vouchers and electronic tax payments totaling $28,118.77, carried.
Thirteenth Annual Safety & Wellness Fair: will be held Saturday, September 12, 2015 at the Ladysmith Fire Hall, 511 Miner Avenue, Ladysmith, WI 54848
ADJOURNMENT: Motion by Zimmer, seconded by Fillion to adjourn, carried. Adjournment was at 8:22 p.m.