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Pound Authorizes Earley To Issue Village Citations

Issue Date: January 13, 2021

The Village of Pound and Village of Coleman appear poised to cooperate on two major issues - a backup water supply for Pound, and enforcement of ordinances. Both possibilities were on the agenda for the regular monthly meeting of Pound Village board at 6 p.m Monday, Jan. 11. The meeting was held at the Community Center to comply with Covid-19 social distancing recommendations.

Village President Terry Earley participated by phone since he is isolating himself due to Covid exposure. Trustees Wayne Gross, Mary Meyer, John Homontowski and Mike Rogodzinski were present along with Clerk/Treasurer Diane Patz, Public Works Director Scott Fuelle, Northeast Wisconsin Municipal Court Judge Clifford Patz, and residents Del Hannon and Kevin Schutte, who formerly was Village President and then became Public Works Director.

Proposals to join the Northeast Wisconsin Municipal Court and to hire Coleman Police Chief Ida Soletske as code enforcement officer for Pound were postponed until after the April 6 elections, since Patz is on the ballot for re-election to another four year term. The Northeast Wisconsin Municipal court serves the villages of Coleman and Crivitz, and the towns of Beaver and Pound in Marinette County and Town of Brazeau in Oconto County. Court sessions are held in the Coleman Municipal Building.

The water issue had arisen in November when Pound learned that radium content of its sole well may exceed DNR allowable levels, and the village has no backup water supply. The Pound board had delegated representatives to attend the next meeting of the Coleman Water and Sewer Utility to discuss possibilities of obtaining a backup water supply from them.

That meeting had been held at 11 a.m. in Coleman, with Pound represented by Trustee Wayne Gross, Clerk/Treasurer Diane Patz and Pubic Works Director Scott Fuelle. They reported to their board Monday evening that the Coleman Water Utility board had authorized them to continue investigating two possible options for purchasing water from them, either on demand or as a continuous supply.

Gross said Thad Majewski of Cedar Corp., the contracted engineering consultant for the Village of Coleman and its sewer and water utility, had provided advice at that morning's meeting, and noted that a report dating back to 1998 had cited the possibility of Pound and Coleman cooperating on the Pound water supply.

Gross said the Pound board probably should set up a committee to investigate the possibilities and decide how far they can go before they hire an engineering consultant to do a feasibility study. Pipes would need to cross a 40-acre span to bring water from the Coleman utility to the Pound water supply, and pumps may be required.

Discussion on joining the Municipal Court had begun in response to complaints of property maintenance ordinance violations when board members realized they had no approved way to handle the complaints or enforce the ordinances they adopted.

At its Jan. 11 meeting the Pound Village Board authorized Earley to issue notices of ordinance violation complaints after input from Fuelle, but held off temporarily on hiring Soletske as code enforcement officer, and joining the Northeast Wisconsin Municipal Court for enforcement.

During his monthly report to the board, Fuelle extended thanks to David Navis and Del Hannon for helping out with snowplowing while he was on vacation, and to Don Yencheski for donating winter clothing for his use that included a winter jacket, spring jacket, rain suit, safety vest and pants.

He issued reminders that owners must keep walks shoveled in front of their properties, and that garbage disposal now costs $1 per bag, so two pink tags are required. Homontowski suggested asking Ace Hardware to staple two of the 50-cent pink tags together before selling them as an additional reminder.

Fuelle said there are still problems with vehicles tearing up the turf in the park behind the cemetery and asked anyone with information on the culprits to let them know.

Fuelle also said when going through old paperwork in his office he had found documents showing that for over 20 years the village had known that they were expected to hook up with Coleman for water.

He added, "I also found a lot inappropriate things on the computer, "...things from Equity Bar, and inappropriate downloads from the prior employee." He said he did not want to be responsible for having those downloads on the computer he was using, and asked the board how he should get them removed.

Homontowski noted board members had not seen the things Fuelle was worried about, and wondered if they should set a special meeting to do that. He asked if the downloads were personal material, and Fuelle said they were. Gross asked if the downloads would be offensive to anybody, and Fuelle said they would.

Clerk Patz asked if UES could download all that material onto a flash drive, so it would still be available for village records but would no longer be on the computer.

Rogodzinski expressed concern that downloads from the Internet could include spyware that would compromise village information, and Gross suggested having Earley look at the items in question and then decide what to do. Homontowski continued to feel the board should have a special meeting, but finally agreed Earley could look at the computer content, but should contact them as to when and where he would be doing it.

Motion was then made by Gross, seconded by Rogodzinski and unanimously approved to have Earley look at the computer contents and decide if a special meeting would be appropriate.

Next subject was consideration of a person to issue ordinance citations. Earley noted if Fuelle or anyone else saw ordinance violations they would need to contact someone, possibly Soletske, to issue a citation, and asked if anyone wanted to volunteer. Fuelle said he would do that.

"That's a lot of responsibility on you," Homontowski commented.

Gross felt the complaint also should be reviewed by Earley before they would issue a citation.

After brief discussion the board agreed ordinance violation citations should be initiated by Fuelle, authorized by Earley, and then issued by Soletske. Motion to have ordinance violations initiated by Fuelle, authorized by Earley and then served by another authority was made by Gross, seconded by Meyer and unanimously approved.

Action on the proposed contract to hire Soletske as the person to serve the citations was postponed until the April meeting after input from Clerk Patz. Patz said in a conversation that afternoon she had been advised by Coleman Village Clerk Lori Gross that Pound could go ahead with the motion to hire Soletske, but Coleman couldn't sign a contract and get it into effect until after the April elections, probably on May 1. Clerk Patz said she had spoken with the Marinette County Sheriff's Department and was told they would prefer not to handle ordinance citations.

In other business, Clerk Patz reported she had spoken with a League of Municipalities representative in regard to insurance, and he would give them a quote for coverage next year. The board then unanimously approved a motion to accept the quote from Insurance Works Agency, Inc. for 2021 insurance coverages.

There was one building permit issued during the past month.

Before the meeting adjourned Judge Patz advised the board that he had met recently with the Village of Coleman Courts Committee and they wanted to hold off on admitting the Village of Pound to the Northeast Wisconsin Municipal Court until his new term starts on May 1.

At the board's special meeting on Dec. 29 Judge Patz had explained how the Northeast Wisconsin Municipal Court works and advised them to hire Soletske as enforcement officer. He had explained how she has worked with him and the court to get cooperation of owners to get properties brought into line with Coleman property maintenance ordinances.

At the Jan. 11 meeting he suggested that if Pound wants to do join the court and hire Soletske they could go through a lot of the paper work ahead of time and be ready to go for May 1.


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