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Gays Mills Village to manage shared-use kitchen
GM Village Hall

GAYS MILLS - The Gays Mills Economic Development Association has announced it will cease managing the shared use kitchen in the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center on August 3, 2020.

During their meeting Monday night, the Gays Mills Village Board learned that GMEDA sent a letter to the village indicating their intention to end their agreement to manage the Kickapoo Culinary Center. GMEDA has had local resident Brad Niemcek serve as the manager of the shared use kitchen since the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center opened in 2012.

Under Niemcek’s direction, the Kickapoo Culinary Center has served as a springboard for a couple of local food businesses. Most notable among the businesses that were incubated by the shared-use kitchen might be the Austin’s Rush Creek Farm homegrown organic processed vegetable business.

Others that come to mind include a line of frozen organic piecrusts developed by chef Monique Hooker, some hazelnut processing work, some farm raised fish processing and much more.

Under the direction of Niemcek and GMEDA, the licensed kitchen accrued an array of commercial equipment including, ovens, stoves, a mixer and much more. The kitchen also features a walk-in cooler and a walk-in freezer.

The GMEDA announcement will give the village nearly a year-and-a-half to figure out the management of the shared-use kitchen going forward.

In addition to the kitchen, Niemcek helped with the rental and use of the attached community room, which is used for weddings, meetings, community events and more.

Although the village’s director of public works was not available to present an update, Gays Mills resident Bob Lomas was recognized to make comments about the state of snow removal and other matters.

The report began with village president Harry Heisz noting the public works crew had been doing a pretty good job of fighting with the snow. Heisz said that some equipment had been repaired and was now up and running.

Lomas told the board that he was concerned that snow around fire hydrants was not being removed and that access by the fire department would be a problem. Lomas and Heisz discussed where hydrants were inaccessible.

The Gays Mills resident also questioned what was being done about unlicensed vehicles being illegally stored on properties in the village.

Harry Heisz informed Bob Lomas that the village procedure required those making complaints to file written complaints so the village had a record of the complaint before taking action on it.

At one point, Lomas noted that village trustee Albert Zegiel had two vehicles on his property with expired plates.

Zegiel acknowledged he had not renewed the plates and would attend to it directly. He noted the vehicles were not abandoned.

In other business, the Gays Mills Village Board:

• approved allowing the village clerks office to pay routine utility bills in a timely manner prior to receiving the board’s approval  

• agreed the village spring cleanup day would be Saturday, April 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• decided against scheduling a fall cleanup day at this point

• approved placing an ad for lifeguard and bathhouse swimming pool employees

• discussed the swimming pool manager applications (there are none) in closed session

• discussed identifying specific properties to be included in the disaster mitigation buyout application in closed session as required to comply with the Privacy Act of 1974, a State of Wisconsin Statute. The statute permits convening in closed session for the purpose of discussing financial data of specific persons when there may be a substantial adverse effect on the reputation of those persons.