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Gays Mills committees cannot recommend action to board
Making quorum an issue
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It was a lighter version of the Gays Mills Village Board’s committee meetings Monday night, with only three of the village’s six trustees in attendance.

The trustees along with village president Craig Anderson and village clerk Dawn McCann acted on what they could and discussed some of the other items.

The three village trustees present for the meeting were Geraldine Smith, Earl Winsor and Harry Heisz. Absent Monday night were trustees Kevin Murray, Albert Zegiel and Aaron Fortney. Because a quorum (two out of three of the appointed committee members) wasn’t present for the public works committee or the public property committee, agenda items could not be recommended to the board. Despite the lack of official committee recommendations, some of the items will undoubtedly appear on meeting agenda for board action at next Monday’s meeting.

The finance committee’s Smith and Anderson were present and the committee did review the offer of an appraiser to review the rents being charged at the Gays Mills Mercantile Center. The EDA required the village to hire an appraiser to review the rents being charged after a story in the Independent-Scout revealed the differences in amounts per square foot being charged to different tenants in the village-owned mall.

Anderson questioned the bid of the assessor, Sam Tesar. The village president thought the quoted $450 to $900 bid was high for the work being required. It was agreed Anderson would contact Tesar for a review of the work and the bid before next Monday’s board meeting.

Another item on the finance committee’s agenda, Smith’s request for a bistro update was answered by Anderson. The village president told Smith that the village, through its attorney, had contacted an attorney for Maxine Brooks, the bistro’s would-be proprietor. It was determined that Brooks was still interested in developing a bistro-style restaurant in two spaces in the northwest corner of the Gays Mills Mercantile Center.

Smith, along with village trustee Harry Heisz, was concerned that the plan be acted on in the near future.

In other business, the finance committee declined to recommend action on a purchase agreement for floodplain property and the subsequent purchase offer for a replacement home on Sunset Ridge Avenue in the relocation area adjacent to the Gays Mills Mercantile Center. CouleeCap’s representative Kahya Fox was not present to explain either purchase agreement.

The finance committee recommended the payment of the regular monthly bills, as well as a payment of $900 from EDA (Economic Development Administration) funds and another $1,100 from CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds to Jacaranda for work done in the previous month by consultant Julia Henley. Jacaranda is the new name of Henley’s consulting firm. It replaces Trillium, her former consulting firm.

Personnel committee chairperson Geraldine Smith recommended action on advertising for pool positions be put off for another month, while the future employment situation for last year’s pool director becomes clearer.

Although the public works committee did not have a quorum, it did hear a report from developer Dennis Childs on the future of a residence relocated from Main Street to Lot 17 in the new development by his brother Rusty Childs.

Dennis Childs explained that the relocated structure could not gain Energy Star certification, which is only available for new construction or massively reconstructed buildings. However, the structure could be certified under another program known as Hertz, which certifies to reconditioned building’s energy efficiency. The village requires Energy Star certification for any residence built in the new development. Its requirement for relocated buildings is less clear.

Village president Craig Anderson urged Dennis Childs to get Hertz certification for the building and present it to the  Gays Mills Architectural Review Committee for approval of an occupancy permit, so the dwelling could be sold and occupied.

Other items on the public works committee’s agenda including a review of the village’s kennel ordinance, the request of village resident Joe Klekamp to close an alley in the floodplain adjacent to his residence and allow him to obtain a nearby garage and lot owned by the village through a buyout.

The request of the Antique Tractor Pull to be held on Railroad Street between Main Street and Grove Street and finally the condition of the old school in the 600 block of Main Street were all briefly discussed, but without a quorum no recommendation on action could be made.

Similarly, the public property committee heard a report from recovery coordinator Julia Henley on an urban forestry grant that was approved for the village. The grant will help with the purchase and planting of trees in the village. However, without a quorum no action on a recommendation to the board could be taken.

The public property committee also briefly heard about the situation at the Gays Mills Mercantile Center.

Correspondence from the Crawford County Historical Society on what they considered expensive bills for work done on the log cabin village buildings was also discussed.

 Village president Craig Anderson pointed out that the village was not involved with work done on the cabins, although the village did own them. The work was commissioned through the Friends of Gays Mills and it was that organization that had presented the bills for payment to the Crawford County Historical Society, Anderson explained.

Without a quorum no recommendations for board action on any of the public property committee agenda items could be made.