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Gays Mills Board approves budget and discusses flooding
GM Village Hall

GAYS MILLS - Nothing much really seems to happen in Gays Mills that doesn’t include a discussion of the recent floods and that was the case at Monday night’s village board meeting.

Oh, it started with a brief discussion of the 2019 Budgets and Tax Levy in public hearing. The board learned the totals of the general budget had to be adjusted to reflect the loss of about $9,000 shared state transportation revenue.

Later in the meeting under new business, the board approved the proposed balanced general budget of $742,722 of both revenue and expenditures. They likewise approved a balanced water utility budget of $112,632 and a balanced sewer utility budget of $145,335. The tax levy of $150,579 was also approved.

The board also got updated reports from both the director of the Kickapoo Culinary Center Brad Niemcek and the village’s volunteer forester Cindy Kohles.

Niemcek told the board that the Kickapoo Culinary Center, a shared-use kitchen, continued to break even. 

Niemcek also briefly discussed his efforts to repair and clean chairs used in the Community Commerce Center’s Community Room.

For her part, Kohles discussed funding from the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Grant, which is due to be received for 2018 soon and the budgeted amount for 2019 that is likely to be approved.

However, it was lowering the flood relocation lot prices that really stimulated the discussion.

The three village trustees, Lee Ruegg, Kim Pettit and Albert Zegiel, along with village president Harry Heisz seemed to agree the relocation lot prices should be lowered to one dollar for anyone relocating from a damaged floodplain residence. They also seemed to agree that anyone else (not relocating from the floodplain) wishing to build on a lot would have to pay just $1,000 for the lot. 

However, all would have to pay the approximately $4,000 in fees to hook up the sewer, water and electric. The board stopped short of actually approving the $6,000 reduction in relocation lot prices though–choosing instead to table the matter until the next meeting.

Pettit seemed to speak for others on the board when she said she needed to better understand the documents setting up the relocation site and the requirements for houses being built or moved there.

“We need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s,” Pettit told her fellow board members. “Remember three of us on this board weren’t on this board for the last flood recovery.”

In the end, Ruegg moved to table the matter to the next board meeting and Pettit seconded the motion. The board approved tabling the matter. It should be noted that village trustees Krista Eitsert and Aaron Fortney were not present for the meeting.

In other business, the Gays Mills Village Board:

• learned from the forester that the tree board would adopt a different method of offering assistance to private landowners for tree  removal based on prioritizing the danger of trees to be removed

• declined after some discussion to have the village act as a sponsor for a picnic license, allowing alcohol sales, for a benefit for Kathy Johnson–fearing the potential liability for the village and the precedent it might set

• renewed the property and liability insurance policy with Tricor-EMC

• discounted 10,000 gallons of sewer charges for J&J’s on Main at $6.90 per 1,000 gallons because the amount was above normal usage due to the flood

• approved operator licenses for Robin Collins, Dawson Anderson and Anita Nelson