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Kitchen capability will be expanded
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Monique Hooker’s ‘Got to Have Pie’ has purchased a blast chiller, which will become part of the Kickapoo Culinary Center in the near future, according to KCC manager Brad Niemcek’s report to the Gays Mills Village Board on Monday, Jan. 5.

Hooker was able to purchase the chiller through a grant, according to Niemcek. The piece of equipment will be installed at the kitchen. It allows for racks of food to be cooled rapidly, protecting it from bacterial growth during the cooling process.

Niemcek reported that the chiller is a part of Hooker’s plans to expand her company product line with soups, once local produce is back in season.

 The board approved an assignment agreement with Crawford County relating to the acquisition and site clearance of the old school building at 600 Main Street and the residence at 225 S. Gay Street.

The agreement stipulates that the county will provide the funds for those activities. The village will reimburse the county once the DNR releases grant funds, explained Dale Klemme of Community Development Alternatives.

The projects must be completed by June 30, 2016.

The agreement will also involve the village quit claiming the property to the county. Once the sites are cleared and the county reimbursed, the county will deed the properties back to the village.

J&J on Main owner Justina LaLande requested that the village rent the former Mickelson’s Market lot and approve installation of a single volleyball court.

Because the property is under deed restrictions, it cannot be rented nor can any permanent structure be placed upon it, Heisz explained. Additionally, the village had previously decided to maintain a portion of the property along Main Street for use during the village’s spring and fall festivals.

Smith suggested a letter of agreement that allowed the Justina LaLande and her husband to use a portion of the lot at no cost.

LaLande offered to keep the property mowed, relieving the village of property maintenance.

Johnson moved that the village approve a letter of agreement allowing LaLande to create a volleyball court on the back of the property and assume responsibility for keeping the lot mowed. It was approved unanimously.

In other business, the Gays Mills Village Board:

• approved allowing Kay Smiley to hang her business sign in an alternate spot on the community building at 212 Main Street;

• approved renting the community building on Main Street for $10 for a community meal on Friday nights unless an event needs the space;

• heard from Miriam Simmons on her exercise class and approved continuing her rental arrangement until class sizes increase;

• heard an update on the search for a street sweeper;

• approved sending a rezoning request for the industrial park land allowing agriculture as a conditional use to the planning commission;

• discussed the need for trees to be trimmed at the upper wayside on Highway 171 heading to the orchards;

• accepted having Brad Niemcek provide reports of the Crawford County Economic Development Corporation Board bi-monthly meetings due to inability to find a volunteer to represent the village;

• tabled discussion of the employee health insurance;

• approved amendments to revise properties and timelines for flood acquisition (600 Main St., 225 S. Gay St.) and flood mitigation properties (216 Orin St., 110 Orin St.);

• denied a request to sponsor a team at the North Crawford Alumni & Friends Basketball Tournament;

• approved a five-year contract with Town & Country Sanitation for curbside garbage pickup ($1,100/month) and curbside recycling pickup ($500/month);

• approved the auditing contract with certified public accounting firm Johnson Block and Company;

• approved a Temporary Class B picnic liquor license for Crawford Stewardship Project for February 7;

• approved Operator’s Licenses for Traci Lund (Marketplace) and Kim Wiegel (J&J on Main);

• set the next meeting for February 2 at 6 p.m.