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Grandaw Seated As Crivitz Village President, Behrendt Elected Trustee

Issue Date: May 5, 2021

At the Crivitz Village Board meeting on Wednesday, April 28 Trustee Amy Grandaw resigned to accept her new role as Village President, and Ross Behrendt was promptly elected to fill the resulting trustee vacancy. Grandaw was elected village president on April 6. The trustee position Grandaw vacated would have ended on April 27, 2022.

Before the meeting adjourned, village residents were reminded that the village's 30th annual Spring Cleanup will be held on Saturday, May 15, and again the volunteer firemen have offered to pick up large items on Friday, May 14. However, anyone needing this service has to call and register by the end of the day on Friday, May 7 to have their items removed.

At the start of the meeting returning Trustee Jeff Dorschner and newly elected trustees George R. Gocht and Ginger Deschane were sworn in by Clerk/Treasurer Marilyn Padgett for two-year terms and seated on the board, with Grandaw presiding over her first meeting as Village President. Other officials present were trustees Stew Swanson and Michael Strandt and Village Attorney Frank Calvert.

After dealing with routine approvals of minutes, vouchers and financial reports, the board unanimously voted to accept Grandaw's resignation from her trustee position and proceeded to accept nominations of candidates interested in filling that position.

Dorschner nominated Behrendt, Strandt nominated former trustee Gloria Kainz-Kinziger, and Gocht nominated Jon Kersten.

Trustees were to vote until one of the nominees received four affirmative votes. However, Behrendt was elected on the first round, with "yes" votes from Deschane, Swanson, Dorschner and Grandaw. He was then sworn in by Padgett and seated to begin his duties on the board.

Committee appointments were then approved without dissent. Dorschner chairs the Operational Committee, with trustees Swanson and Gocht as members, and Deschane chairs the Administrative and Development Committee, with Strandt and Behrendt as members.

Zoning Board of Appeals members are Robin Hanson, Randy Atwood, Charlie Johnson, Jared Kinziger, and Chair Herald Porfilio, with Charlie DeSchmidt as 1st alternate and Gene Golla as 2nd alternate.

Luke Deschane was appointed for another 2-year term as fire chief, with affirmative votes from everyone except Swanson, who abstained. That appointment runs from April 28, 2021 through April 26, 2023.

Other officials reappointed for new 2-year terms were Building Inspector/Zoning Administrator Jane Meissner,

Attorney Frank Calvert, Assessor R&R assessing, and Health Officer Nancy Rosner. The Weed Commissioner post is vacant.

Adding a bit of humor to the meeting, Fire Chief Deschane had brought a gavel and crown as surprise gifts for the newly seated Village President.

The 2020 Audit report, presented virtually by a spokesman for the Kerber & Rose CPA firm, gave the village a good financial report card. The auditor said the audit went off without a hitch, and gave high praise for Padgett, who she described as "one of the best I've ever worked with."

She said the federal grants brought some changes in the approved budget, and made the audit process a little more complicated by providing additional resources for the village.

Commenting on Water and Sewer Utility finances, the auditor recommended that the village consider a sewer rate increase. She said the past year and the year before had losses - $150,308 in 2019 and $22,822 in 2020, equating to a 6.09% negative return in 2019 and .12% negative return in 2020. She offered assistance from KerberRose if the village wants assistance in calculating a Sewer Utility increase.

She advised the village to consider looking into additional collateral to fully insure all financial accounts, or place deposits in various other banks for greater protection of assets. Federal agencies only insure accounts up to a total of $250,000.

Overall, the audit report said the village, with a 23% unassigned general fund balance, " is in a great position to weather any storms that may come your way."

She said the village has a good staff, but too small to accomplish the segregation of duties preferred by accounting standards. Overall, the audit showed "...very positive results for the village, especially in this challenging year," the auditor said. Government spending for 2020 showed a $380,000 increase compared to 2019, mainly due to additions to capital asset increases and expenditures related to Covid grants.

Referring to the detailed audit report, the auditor commented that the report, "which shows all that the village has and all that it owes," would make good bedtime reading for anyone suffering from insomnia.

The board approved a Fire Department MABAS agreement with the state of Michigan, purchase of five garage door openers for the Fire Department building from EZ Glide for $6,000, painting of Fire Department entry doors for up to $1,000, contracting with Lexipol for Police Department policy and procedures services for up to $1,595, Fireworks Licenses through April 30, 2022 for Victory Fireworks and T&B One Stop, design of a Welcome to Crivitz sign by Boyle Design Group of Marinette for no more than $2,580.

They also approved purchase and installation of a Luxaire central air conditioning system for the wastewater treatment facility from Boilers & Furnace works for $2,994; abandonment of the wastewater treatment facility well to be handled by Lusier's for up to $1,200; purchase of two fire hydrants from Ferguson Waterworks for up to $8,000, painting of 15 fire hydrants by Ferguson Waterworks for up to $1,500, and water meter testing to be done by the same firm for up to $2,000.

Near the end of the meeting a member of the public asked what was being done about hiring a permanent Chief of Police for the village. Grandaw said they had been waiting for the new board to be seated, and now the committee will meet and start working on it.

Swanson objected to a political sign with an obscenity being displayed on a village street used to approach the recycling center. He remarked it could be in a garage, but should not be outside for everyone to see. Police officers were to be asked to speak to the home owner displaying the sign. Padgett noted the City of Marinette has adopted an ordinance regulating how long political signs can be displayed.


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