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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Pound To Implement 2019 3% Sewer Rate Increase

Issue Date: July 15, 2021

Clerk/Treasurer Diane Patz told Pound Village board at its meeting on Monday, July 12 that while preparing the latest village newsletter she had come across a notice of a 3% sewer rate increase that was supposed to have gone into effect on March 30, 2019. She had done some research, and found that the increase approved by the board had never been put into effect. It had happened while there was an interim clerk in the office and she did not know there was supposed to be a change and no one had caught the error.

The motion approved by the board on Dec. 12, 2018 was to have the first increase go into effect for the first quarter of 2019. She had found the base quarterly rate was $99.48 in December of 2017. The quarterly rate had been increased to $102.46 at that time and the next increase should have brought it to $105.53, but that never happened, so now they are two years behind. Patz asked if the board felt they should raise the rate now, or if they should handle it some other way.

Trustees agreed with Village President Terry Earley that they should not try to recover the lost revenue, "but we should correct it and move forward" by approving a new motion to be placed into village records.

At his suggestion, Trustee Mike Rogodzinski moved to increase the sewer rate to $105.53 starting July 1, "in view of the motion approved in 2019 that never happened." Trustee Mary Meyer seconded the motion, and all voted in favor. Third quarter bills will reflect the $3.07 per quarter increase.

Sunday, July 4 was a great day, but Monday, July 5 was not so good, Clerk/Treasurer Dianne Patz reported to the Pound Village Board at its meeting on Monday, July 12. A lightning storm took out eight power poles in and around the village and a resulting power surge came back through telephone and electric lines to take out several pieces of equipment at the Village Hall, including the computer, modem and the fax portion of the new printer/copy machine.

Patz said the lightning first struck a pole by the industrial park, and then seven other poles went down, and the lightning surged through the phone line and into the computer and related equipment. The village insurance agent was out until Tuesday, Patz said, but she was confident everything would be covered.

In response to questions from board members, Patz said the surge did not affect the computer's hard drive, and she has backup copies of everything that was affected.

Other than that, June and July have been extremely busy, Patz said. The Village Hall is mostly to be closed for the week while she takes the second year of a three-year Municipal Clerk's Course that eventually will include everything from elections to budgeting, record keeping, licenses, and more.

Patz said the thumb drive copy of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities 2020 Local Government 101 class had arrived, and board members could either use it individually or watch it as a group.

The board was told that despite a rainy day, the annual Pound Car Show on Saturday, June 26 had a good turnout, and more than 70 cars were entered. On behalf of the Car Show Committee, Public Works Director Scott Fuelle presented Village President Terry Earley with a check to pay for two new stoves and vent hoods for the Community Center. Fuelle, who is a member of the Pound Car Show Committee, said the new stoves are in place and the vent hoods will be installed later this week. He said next year they plan to use Car Show proceeds to purchase a new refrigerator and dishwasher for the Community Center.

Charles Meyer, a member of the audience who is also on the Car Show Committee, described the Car Show turnout as "".very good for being held during a pouring rain," and added, "everybody went away with a smile."

The board at its June meeting had agreed to seek bids for purchase of a new truck for the Public Works Department. Earley told the board the old garbage truck is still sitting at Starzer's. He had told them to take the head off and let them know what he finds. He noted if they are lucky it might be just a head gasket, in which case they would get it fixed and use it just for garbage pickup, but still buy the new utility truck and snow plow. The sole offer was from L&S Truck Center, for a 2020 model with a stainless steel box and 8' plow, for a total of $70,804.50. Fuelle said the dealer had agreed to hold it for them until Tuesday, July 13, "and after that, there are no more."

Patz said she had talked with Stephenson National Bank and Trust loan officer and was told the $31,000 balance on the TID loan could be combined with the new purchase and another outstanding loan and payments could be kept at $3,347, almost the same as now. Interest would be 3.79 percent, and the combined loan would be paid off in two years.

Fuelle assured the board that was the truck he wanted, and it was determined there is storage space available for the plow and the new truck, and board approval was unanimous.

Fuelle reported he had attended the Village of Coleman Utility meeting, and had been informed that before next year they want an engineers report on how Pound would handle hooking up to their water system.

Fuelle said the storm sewer by the apartments has caved in and needs to be replaced. It runs down the middle of the driveway from County Q. Replacement cost is estimated at $5,500. Fuelle suggested perhaps they could use some of the Federal ARPA funds that were to be discussed later in the meeting.

All village officials were present. Others on hand were Charles Meyer, Del Hannon, Jim Seewald, Kevin Schutte, a member of the press and Mary Jo, Francis J., and Theresa Lewandowski.

At its June meeting, Dan Bieber had asked the board to consider annexing his 16-acre property near the round-about on Hwy. 141 adjacent to the village but located in the Town of Beaver and creating a new TIF District to extend water and sewer lines there.

Bieber had explained that he had been approached by a retail chain interested in the property, which currently is separated from the village by the railroad tracks. "It would be a pretty big store," Bieber had said. Water and sewer lines would need to be extended about 1,500 feet and would need to go under the railroad tracks. Craig Schuh, Ayres Associates Engineer, said the cost could be in the $500,000 range, but could be covered by taxes on new buildings during the 20-year life of the TIF District.

Discussion and possible action on Bieber's annexation request was on the agenda for the July 12 meeting. There has been speculation that the new business will be a Dollar Store or a Quik Trip.

During time for public comment at the July 12 meeting the Lewandowskis said they were not in favor of having a commercial district developed across the street from their property. Theresa Lewandowski said she and her sister Mary Jo live on a Century Farm on Alpine Lane, right next to Bob and Laura's, and very near the Hwy. 64/Hwy. 141 round-about where the proposed business development would be located.

She questioned the value of another Dollar Store to community residents, since there is already one in Coleman and in Crivitz. "Clearly, we would not like to have a retail explosion across the street from our Century Farm," she declared. "We would like to keep it as a rural area," and repeated ""does this community need another store of this type?" She mentioned the cost of extending sewer and water, and said for the majority of residents, the new store would have no impact. "Give some thought to who is going to benefit," she urged, adding that clearly would be the individual who owns the land.

Francis J. Lewandowski said "leap frog" development, with businesses scattered here and there, is not good, and asked how this development would fit in with the earlier plans for the Town of Beaver. "I personally would not like to see it," he concluded.

Next to address the board was Charles Meyer, who asked how the citation process is going. Patz told him having the computers down for the past week had slowed things down, and she is out of the office this week, but would touch base with the Coleman Police Chief next week and get more letters out to property owners specifying what they need to get done.

Meyer, mentioning repairs to the old garbage truck and purchase of the new vehicle, urged the board to establish a policy of listing the pros and cons of things before moving forward.

He also asked if the board would consider allowing a controlled burn next winter for a huge brush pile on a neighbor's property caused by trees felled during storms last summer. He said the pile is 75 yards from the nearest house. Earley felt that should be allowed, if the fire department will be on hand. Rogodzinski agreed, but said they should be certain the Fire Department is not liable, and be sure to notify county's 911 Dispatch, because they would surely be getting calls.

Rogodzinski reported the Fire Department had no activities report for June. They had issued the $1,200 rent check to Prue Rental, and Tom Prue had donated $400 back to the department.

Earley asked if the Village of Pound was interested in a used siren that the Village of Lena is taking down, but the board chose not to, because Marinette County Emergency Management prefers for communities to use the weather radio for emergency messaging.

Discussion turned to use of the ARPA (Local Fiscal Recovery Funds) that the village will be receiving from the Federal government to be used mainly for infrastructure, as well as the annexation pros and cons, and expensive water and sewer work the village needs to get done in the ner future.

Rogodzinski is assistant fire chief, and the Fire Department was holding a meeting and training session at the same time as the board meeting. After repeated interruptions while he was trying to speak in regard to annexation and ARPA fund issues, Rogodzinski declared, "I don't have to take this!" and exited the meeting. He did not return, and the meeting went on.

After adjournment, Patz commented that the village is dealing with some very difficult issues and challenges, and sympathized that Rogodzinski kept being interrupted by everybody while he was trying to make a point.

No action was taken in regard to use of the ARPA funds. Board members leaned toward using that money for sewer, water and other infrastructure in the existing portion of the village, not in possible annexation areas. In regard to the possible annexation, and the board plans to set up a meeting with the property owner, the engineer from Ayres Associates, and Ehlers, to help with financial planning.

Fall cleanup was set for Saturday, Sept. 25, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. After bills and financial reports were approved the meeting was adjourned.


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