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Pool season ends with mixed news
Wetlands development update given
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The Gays Mills Swimming Pool saw a small jump in use and revenues this year, reported pool manager Jen Klekamp at the village board meeting on Monday, Oct. 6.

The pool saw 4,774 visits in the course of its 84-day season, without a single rain day.

There may be some maintenance issues though and Gays Mills Public Works Director Jim Chellevold would need to look over the baby pool and a pump in the big pool.

“The baby pool drained itself the day before we closed,” Klekamp said. “Until Jimmer looks it over, we don’t really know what is wrong.”

Klekamp will also price a sealing paint for the bathhouse floors with an eye at refinishing them for next year.

The Kickapoo Culinary Center reported a ‘soft’ third quarter, which was still better than the previous year, according to manager Brad Niemcek.

Niemcek made recommendations to the board on community room improvements for the village budget, suggesting $1,000 be put aside for improving the sound system. The figure was based upon a figure provided by Richland Grant Telephone Cooperative performing the installation.

“I will work on getting numbers for working installation of a fridge and sink in the community room closet for the budget,” Niemcek added, saying that would alleviate some recurring conflicts around community room use and kitchen use.

Niemcek also recommended tabling budgeting for tinting the community room windows and purchasing chairs for the space.

Niemcek also reported on progress of the Gays Mills Economic Planning Association’s (GMEDA) preliminary dredging application with the DNR.

“GMEDA hosted Tracy Hames of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association on September 21,” Niemcek said. “I was unable to attend, but basically, he told us to be careful.”

GMEDA is now waiting on an evaluation and report from Hames with recommendations on how to deal with the slough treatment and trail, according to Niemcek.

“Julia (Henley) explained to me that getting the site recognized with a wetlands area status would help get agency support, making more available to us in order to proceed,” Niemcek continued.

Niemcek said they (GMEDA) still needed to decide how to proceed with the proposal to build out into the slough and how to treat the issues around the slough.

Niemcek did not have an update on the Kickapoo waterway marker, though village president Harry Heisz was able to speak to the project’s status.

“The DNR was not okay with the rope across the river, saying it created a hazard to boating traffic,” Heisz said. “So, it looks like we will need to change the plan. It will have to be buoys out in the water to warn people (before they get too close to the dam).”

Changes to some of the conservancy-zoned areas in the village to agriculture zoning was approved unanimously based on the zoning committee’s recommendation.

“What’s the benefit to changing the zoning,” asked trustee Ed Block.

“Houses in the areas zoned conservancy can only put 50 percent of the home’s value back into the property nor was it meant for full-time residency,” replied Heisz. “If someone’s home burns or is damaged, it really gets in the way of them being able to repair them. And when we looked into this, many of the homes are lived in year round.”

Changing the zoning allowed the village to bring everything into compliance with the village ordinances, Heisz noted.

After viewing the two bids received for installing a new side door at the Gays Mills Community Building on Main Street, the board voted to approve the bid for $150 received from Greg Vereschagin.

Kay Smiley spoke at length to the board about maintenance issues with the Gays Mills Community Building on Main Street.

In addition to both side doors needing replacement, the threshold on the entrance appears to no longer be screwed into the cement, Smiley noted. She also indicated a need for base trim on two sides of the floor, broken cement leading up to the entrance, and requested permission to paint the floors of the kitchen and bathroom.

Heisz noted that there would probably be money left in the budget to cover the paint and requested bids on the other items. The village budget for 2015, not yet final, currently has $2,000 planned for maintenance issues with the building.

Smiley also mentioned that she had received suggestions about painting the space to add color and possibly installing cooler strips inside the entry to reduce heat loss as people entered and exited the building.

Heisz was quick to say the long plastic strips used to reduce energy loss in coolers would create a safety concern and that other options should be explored.

Smiley also requested pre-approval on a Crawford County Community Fund grant application for $5,000 to be made through the village.

Miriam Simons, who is working on the grant application with Smiley, explained that they were seeking to raise $10,000 in total to create an “Intergenerational Community Development” project. The project would involve creating a boys club, teen dances, health and exercise classes, art classes, social activities for seniors, and other activities.

The group hopes that if they can receive this grant they can leverage it to gain funding from other sources as well. They also plan to count volunteer time and resources as an “in-kind match.”

The board approved the appointing trustees Ed Block and Geraldine Smith to approve or deny the finished application by October 15 with input from village clerk Dawn McCann, who would have to handle the financial management if the funds are granted.

The only dissent was from trustee John Johnson who commented on the group’s plan that “if they don’t know what they are doing, I don’t know why we should back them.”

The board voted unanimously to change the village ordinance on in-line skates and skateboards to prohibit their use at the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center.

Some youth have been using the kitchen loading dock as a skateboarding ramp, according to Heisz, raising concerns over liability and injury.

The village has received the updated FEMA floodplain maps. Community members are invited to view the maps in the village office. Any concerns should be made known. The village has 90 days to appeal the changes made to the map.

The village met in closed session to discuss their response to the Notice of Claim by Derek McCormick. The village board voted to deny the claim.

The next board meeting will be on November 3, 2014 at 6 p.m. and a budget meeting will be held on November 10, 2014 at 6 p.m. Both meetings will be held in the village boardroom.

In other business, the Gays Mills Village Board:

• received an invitation from Kay Smiley to attend the viewing of the Blood Moon DVD’s at the Gays Mills Community Building;

• heard an update from Block on the lights being replaced along Main Street;

• heard that there was no progress on the storm sewer drain on Jay Haggerty’s property at 411 Orin Street;

• Heisz agreed to determine ownership of the wayside properties;

• votes to leave the trustee and committee positions vacant until the April election;

• appointed Geraldine Smith to the library board;

• heard that the request for annexation was at a standstill with no decision indicated by the landowners;

• heard that community room windows have been found unlocked and lights on in the building in the early hours of the morning, indicating that someone has been in there building unlawfully;

• approved operator’s license applications for Justina LaLande, John LaLande, Jacqueline Dickman, Rebeca McCullick, and Michael Dickman;

• approved the cigarette license application for J & J on Main, LLC;

• approved the Class ‘B’ beer and liquor alcohol beverage license application for J & J on Main, LLC, Justine LaLande, formerly known as Last Call on Main Street;

• approved the temporary Class ‘B’ alcohol beverage license application for Driftless Wisconsin in November 5, 2014 in the Community Commerce Center; and

• approved the changes to the 2015 Gundersen Health Plan.