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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Village of Pound Plans Christmas Parade Dec. 8

Plans for their 5th annual Christmas Parade of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 8 and cutbacks in the hours retail services will be available at the Pound Post Office occupied much of the discussion at the monthly meeting of Pound Village Board on Monday, Nov. 5.

Clerk Trish Schutte said anyone wishing to participate in the Christmas Parade may contact her at 906-897-4307 to obtain entry forms and instructions and reserve a spot. Lineup will be at 4:30 p.m. The parade itself starts at 5 p.m., and will follow the usual route across the overpass, down County Q to Larsen and then to the Community Center.

There is no charge for any part of the festivities, including parade entries. “We try to keep everything free,” Clerk Schutte said, “The parade, the party, everything.”

As usual, the parade will be followed by a gathering at the Community Center for a “chili dump” party, with chili and other treats contributed by area residents. Anyone who wants to assist with the celebration may bring a kettle of chili to add to batches of chili made by others in the waiting Nesco roasters. Generally there are also contributions of bars, cookies, cheese, crackers or other treats. Milk, coffee, apple cider and hot chocolate will be available. “This is a family function,” Clerk Schutte said, explaining that refreshments will not include alcohol. Those who do not bring chili or treats are also very welcome, board members indicated.

Schutte said donations of non perishable items for the food pantry are not required for admission, but would be greatly appreciated. Barrels for donations have been set up at local business places and the Village Hall on County Q. Contributions can be dropped off any time from now until the celebration. On parade day there will be donation barrels at the Community Center as well.

Community Christmas trees, one large and one small, are again being donated by John Leslie and Randy & Joanne Dodd. They will be decorated in time for the parade and the community social that follows.

Public Works Director Kevin Schutte reported he has been working on Community Center improvements and expects to have the new counter installed before Christmas Parade day. The counter they had ordered originally was sent back because it cost twice as much as another choice.

In response to a question from Village President Jay Martens, Schutte said the tornado siren isn’t working yet, but Schutte said he has been assembling it in preparation for installation.

Mike Rogodzinski warned board members they may be seeing strangers in the community “digging around in weird places,” and said they shouldn’t worry about it. He said they may be searching in the village due to a “Walk the Streets of Pound” geocache project set up by his son.

Rogodzinski explained geocaching is a hobby that’s been growing in popularity all across the nation. Someone, somewhere, hides “caches” of whatever small items they want, perhaps trinkets, perhaps notes, whatever. They identify the hiding places by posting hints and GPS coordinates on the geocache website. Other geocache enthusiasts then may spend an afternoon or a weekend seeking out the hidden items. It’s not a contest and there are no prizes, unless there are trinkets found. But it is fun. So far Rogodzinski knows there were 1,300 “hits” on his son’s site, and groups have come from Appleton and several areas of Michigan and elsewhere to find the “hidden treasures” in Pound.

Rogodzinski said his son has hidden items from the speed limit signs to Starzers and perhaps beyond. Visitors have posted comments complimenting the beauty of the village, Rogodzinski said.

He said his son did the project because he loves geo caching, and attracting visitors is good for the village.

Some time ago he planted a “travel bug” geo cache in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., with a sign, “I want to go home to the Village of Pound, Wisconsin,” and it was returned 14 months later. Now there has been one dropped in Branson, MO.

Schutte said he has been busy replacing missing and damaged signs in the village, replacing lights at the welcome sign and in general getting the village prepared for winter. The year’s supply of salt is again being purchased through Marinette County and is expected to arrive within the next week, Schutte said.

Mud jacking of new sections of sidewalks is complete, and all sections are up where they should be, Schutte said.

Martens reported he, Kevin Schutte and Trustee Wayne Gross attended a meeting with postal officials on Friday, Oct. 26 to learn about pending changes.

Hours for Post Office box customers will not be changed at this time, and everyone will keep their current box number unless they want to change to a different size box or get curbside delivery, Martens said, but postal retail services are being cut back in the village, “basically because it’s not earning its keep.” “We didn’t have much to say,” he added. New retail hours, for buying stamps, mailing packages, etc., will be 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

According to a sign posted at the Post Office, local businesses may also begin selling postal supplies.

Since October of 2011 carriers have done all their sorting at the Post Office in Coleman.

Martens predicted the new schedule will continue for a few years, and then the Pound Post Office will probably close.

Kevin and Trish Schutte both suggested the village should begin planning now to close their post office box, post the required address changes, get new letter heads and envelopes, and begin having mail delivered to the village hall. Clerk Schutte said it costs the village $100 a year to have her walk across the street to the post office for their mail rather than collecting it free from the mail box at the curb.

Others present said they too will probably be closing their post office boxes and opt for curbside delivery. A small post office box costs $75 a year.

Martens reported on an informative meeting of the Coleman Area Rescue Squad that mainly involved discussion of their 2013 budget, which has been set at $153,600. It was kept down by reducing the vehicle replacement fund contribution to $19,000. The Village of Pound pays the smallest percentage of the total budget, and their share will be $2,205.90 for next year. He said the squad responded to nine calls in the Village of Pound in 2011, and they expected the 2012 total to be about the same. Rogodzinski felt there were more calls, and the conclusion was that nine calls resulted in a patient being transported to the hospital. The full report is available on the rescue squad web site.

Rogodzinski presented the Pound Fire Department report prepared by Chief Turner Gross. He thanked the Pound Womans Club for a $100 donation and reported the department has been approved for a 50/50 DNR grant for a $3,000 slide-in brush unit for the UTV. The village paid the local $1,500 share, and will be reimbursed from the department’s fund raiser checkbook.

All fire department equipment is in good working order, including hydrants and cisterns. The pump truck was tested in September. The department had 16 members present for the only call in October, which was for a grass fire.

There were 17 members present for the department’s business meeting and two members attended the Marinette County MABAS meeting. All new members now have been trained on the truck, and the department had MABAS training for Oconto County.

Bills were approved for payment and the financial report was approved as presented.

The balance in all acounts is $128,232.85.

The village debt service report shows a balloon payment of $478,435.34 will be due on the loan for Business 141 improvements on Feb. 15, 2013. The WWC loan balance of $90,000 is due on May 3, 2015, and the WS-BAN loan balance of $759,841.88 is due on April 1, 2015.


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