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Soldiers Grove receives land offer
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A referendum may be in the future for Soldiers Grove residents after Ed Thoftne expressed interest in purchasing 29.5 acres of forested land off New Well Road at the regular board meeting held on Oct. 4.

The village property would need to be surveyed, appraised and easements put in place before it could be sold. It also has marketable timber, which the village would need to address. The board will research the issue before making any decisions.

A special board meeting is planned for Oct. 16 to review bids on the Library Expansion Project. Cele Wolf reported on the project to the board, noting bids had begun to come in. The construction contract may be awarded at the Oct. 16 meeting. Once awarded, construction on the project can begin.

The Soldiers Grove Community Development Corporation had drafted a letter to owners of the vehicles being parked along the Highway 61 side of the Solar Town parking lot, where the new flower planters are located. The letter asks owners if they can park elsewhere and will be placed on the windshields of the vehicles.

Vicki and Brian Campbell recently filled the new planters with mums and small trees.  The planters are part of CDC efforts to beautify the village and promote tourism.

Discussion over vacation time for part-time employees was discussed and then tabled for closed session at next month’s regular meeting. One of the village’s summer employees due to be laid off had accumulated vacation time. The board plans to go over the Personnel Policy, last updated in December 2010. It was suggested they meet with the Public Works Committee to discuss what they feel would be fair for the regular and part-time employees.

The board unanimously approved a motion by Jim Helgerson to enact a moratorium on mining operations within the village limits to allow the board adequate time to study the subject and to decide if any licensing ordinance would need to be enacted.

William and Karen Prestwood, owners of the Baker Creek Mobil Home Court, requested relocation of a fire hydrant in the court. They would like to develop the site the hydrant occupies, so another mobile home could be placed there. The board will look into the cost of relocation before making a decision.

In other business, the Soldiers Grove Village Board:

• heard from Jerry and Liz Quebe that attendance and sales were up at the Driftless Area Art Festival

• heard in a report that cement work by the clinic and pharmacy are near completion and VMH will be responsible for landscaping

• approved the contract with Coulee Region Mechanical Contractors for commercial cross connection surveying of the village;

• approved completion of a simplified rate case application to increase water and sewer rates by three percent for 2013

• oassed sewer residential equivalency rates for apartments and businesses for 2013

• approved a sewer credit of $77.08 for Tolene Buroker for water not entering the sewage system due to an undetected leak underneath her mobile home

• approved $1,178.60 for the installation of new carpet in the Village Clerk’s Office

• decided to place an ad in the 2013 Driftless Wisconsin Visitor’s Guide/Map for $740 to be split with the CDC

• approved a donation of $100 toward the Annual Community Thanksgiving Meal

• set Halloween Trick-or-Treat hours for Oct. 31 from 4 to 7 p.m.

• approved the picnic license application for the Big Buck Rod-n-Gun Club’s Fall Fundraiser Dinner on Oct. 20

• tabled the donation to the North Crawford Gridiron Club

• scheduled the budget committee meeting for Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.