SOLDIERS GROVE - The Soldiers Grove Village Board held their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, Nov. 12. Village president Paul Nicholson, and trustees Jerry Miller, Roy Davidson and Harrison Heilman were present.
The board had to reschedule the November 5 meeting because they did not have quorum. At the November 12 meeting, Nicholson determined that with only four members present again they could go forward with the meeting because he could vote.
Santa is coming
The little ones need not fear that COVID-19 will prevent Santa Claus from paying a visit in the Village of Soldiers Grove. Santa and Santa’s Elf will be featured on a fire engine in the village park to wave at the little children and pass out bags of goodies.
The jolly men in their special suits will make their appearance in the park on Saturday, Dec. 12, starting at 1 p.m.. Santa’s helpers will distribute the goodies in a COVID-safe manner to people in their cars, wearing masks and gloves.
In addition, the board approved a $500 donation to the ‘Operation Santa’ initiative being spearheaded by the Prairie du Chien Rotary Club.
The Fire Department announced that they plan to hold their Christmas Party as usual at the Soldiers Grove American Legion. As usual, members of the village board were invited to attend. Board member Harrison Heilman stated that, with the current surge in COVID-19 infections in the county, he did not think that holding the party was a good idea.
Director of Public Works Brian Copus told the board that his team plans to put the village’s Christmas lights up this week, “while the weather is still warmer.”
Public Works busy
The Soldiers Grove Public Works team had a busy month in October, with an impressive list of accomplishments. In that month, the team:
• drained and shut down the campground
• cleaned up and cut everything in front of the village office
• finished preparations for winter operations, including readying all equipment
• removed bushes from in front of the pharmacy to make it easier for mowing
• made a gravel chute for the sander and applied gravel to the new blacktop
• installed new water meters at the Campbell’s One Stop Mobil station
• moved flower beds in front of the bank to make it easier for plowing this winter
• checked all the street lights and contacted the power company for bulb replacements
Director of Public Works Brian Copus brought up the issue of the upcoming work to install the new water meters purchased with CARES Act funding.
“We’re probably going to want to hire a plumber to install the bigger meters, because it needs to go smoothly,” Copus said. “I will get an estimate about the cost of the work before the board’s next meeting.”
Copus said that his team’s plan is to haul sewage sludge next week, conditions permitting. He said that over the winter, one of their projects would be to cut down dead trees in the cemetery.
The board also discussed possibly hiring a third person for the public works team. The question is whether the third position should evolve from extra help in the summer to a summer/winter position.
“You need to think about the future, and who is going to take my position when I’m no longer here,” Copus said. “I’m not going to be here forever.”
Soldiers Grove Village President Paul Nicholson reported the following to the board:
• the loan from the State of Wisconsin for back due retirement has been paid off
• the village received a check from FEMA for 2018 flood damages in the amount of $159,207, which leaves an outstanding amount on the loan for repairing the damages of $23,578
• the village has signed the sewer system upgrade loan with People’s State Bank, and the Delta-3 engineers have started work.
In other business
In other business, the Soldiers Grove Village Board:
• heard that Roger Olson will again be the Fire Chief, with Paul Kinserdahl as First Assistant, and Josh Byl as Second Assistant
• approved the draft land survey for the Turnmire property sale
• learned that the village’s new property inspector will be Brad Smrcina
• scheduled the village budget public hearing for December 3, at 6 p.m., prior to the board meeting• agreed to wait until the full board was present to consider how best to tackle the task of a sewer rate increase for the village