GAYS MILLS - At its meeting Monday night, the Gays Mills Village Board approved increasing the cost of using the Community Room for weddings to $500 for essentially a three-day rental.
The Community Room, located in the six-year-old Gays Mills Community Commerce Center, can accommodate up to 300 people and has a view of the slough and wooded hillsides above it. For an additional rental fee, the adjacent full-size commercial kitchen can be rented for a reasonable rate.
In his presentation to the board, Kickapoo Culinary Center Director Brad Niemcek said that caterers and wedding planners had said the facility is one the nicest wedding venues in Southwest Wisconsin.
Weddings were renting the room for $100. Niemcek said even the increased rate of $500 is far below what the room is worth in comparison to other wedding venues. For $500, the wedding party has access to the room for setup on Friday, use of the room for the wedding on Saturday and access to the room on Sunday for cleanup.
Despite raising the rate to $500 for weddings, the deposit was going to remain at $50. Village trustee Kim Pettit questioned whether $50 was enough to cover the cost of cleaning a large mess left in the room or potential damage to the room. She suggested raising the deposit amount to $250.
In answer to a question from the board, Gays Mills Village Clerk Dawn McCann said the old Community Building, located at 212 Main Street, rents for $100 per day and to rent it for three days would cost $300.
Trustee Albert Zegiel moved to approve the rate and security deposit increase for weddings and Pettit seconded the motion.
Gays Mills Village President Harry Hesiz got Niemcek to stipulate that costs for routine cleaning of the room, hallways and bathrooms would be paid for out of the $500 rental fee. Cleaning extreme messes left behind or repairs for damages would be paid for from the deposit.
After a discussion of the use of the deposit, the rental rate and the other purposes besides weddings originally envisioned for the room, the board passed the motion increasing the rent for weddings to $500 for three days and $250 for the security deposit. The voice vote approving the increase appeared to be split with three in favor and two opposed. Village trustee Erin Martin did not attend the meeting and village president Harry Heisz did not vote on the rental increase.
During his Stump Dodger Trail report, Niemcek told the board that fundraising had exceed the targeted $22,500 and reached $28,000. This, combined with the in-kind contribution of labor and materials, fulfilled the village’s portion of $44,500, which created a $44,500 grant from the DNR to match that amount.
Niemcek told the board the trail budget going forward would focus on amenities, like the purchase of benches, tables and bike racks.
The co-chairperson of the trail committee also told the board that bids have been taken to gravel a section of the trail from Robb Park to an alley that connects to Gay Street. Another area running west from South Rebecca Street near the dead end back toward Railroad Street would also be graveled to create more trail.
Niemcek told the board that there has been some trouble keeping four-wheelers off of the trail.
Heisz said if the motorized vehicles will not stay off the trail, it might be necessary to install a few poles at strategic locations to stop them from using it. The trail is designed to be used by pedestrians and bicyclists. Signs declare motorized vehicles are prohibited.
Later under new business, Zegiel moved to adopt an ordinance amending the sewer volume charges to increase those charges to $6.90 per 1,000 gallons in 2018. The current volume charge for sewer is $4.60 per 1,000 gallons.
In other business, the Gays Mills Village Board:
• agreed to get bids to update the electrical panels at the ballpark
• agreed to not adopt an ordinance that would have allowed telephone participation at board and committee meetings
• received a draft of the 2018 budget, but declined to discuss it until the November meeting, when more will be known about available state revenue
• tabled action on choosing an employee health plan until the next meeting
• approved an operator’s license for Anita Nelson
• donated $100 toward the Crawford County Clean Sweep to be held October 27
• set Monday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. as the date and time for the next board meeting