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Soldiers Grove reviews decision to scale back snow removal
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Changes to snow removal in Soldiers Grove continued to be a topic of discussion at the latest village board meeting held on Thursday, Dec. 6.

While nobody from the public was present to speak, Village President Laurel Hestetune reported receiving many calls at home about the new sidewalk policy.

“The complaint is that the village owns half the sidewalk,” Hestetune said. “Are they (the village) going to clean half of it off, is what they wanted to know.”

“This isn’t an issue in Boscobel or Viroqua,” village trustee Vicki Campbell said. “If it’s in front of your property it’s your responsibility. We’ve had to let an employee go because of budget cuts. Do they want us to hire them back too?”

The issue arose out of the village’s policy to split the cost of installing sidewalks with residents of the village.

The board approved a motion by trustee Shayne Chapman to update the ordinance to include the 48-hour deadline for snow removal.

Lacking further input, the board tabled any continued discussion of sidewalks, turning instead to road plowing. Cuts in state aid to cover snowplowing costs resulted in lower funds for the village. The village also lost funding due to streets that do not appear on the state list of village-owned roads.

Hestetune will look into amending the street list with the state to include Church Street, Mills Street, and Baker Creek Road. In the meantime, the village will continue plowing them as it has done in the past.

The board approved two requests from the library relating to the expansion project. The first was acceptance of a Letter of Credit in lieu of a Performance Bond from Hansen Building, pending approval by the village attorney. The second was authorization of the issuance of an Intent to Award to Hansen Building. The two items will allow remodeling of the former pharmacy building to begin.

The library expansion committee informed the board of the opportunity to participate in some aspects of the work, which did not need to be acted upon immediately, and that would result in funds from the Community Development Block Grant awarded to the library for the project being used to upgrade and make improvements for the village’s community building.

Library expansion committee member Jerry Quebe explained that the matching grant, if utilized, would allow the village to make approximately $40,000 in improvements at a cost of $24,000 to the village. Those improvements would be updated electrical system, air conditioning of the village’s community room, and new solar glazing for the library and community building. The glazing is deteriorating and will need to be replaced within the near future, according to Quebe. The village board did not act upon the additional information.

One of the Soldiers Grove Fire Department trucks will need to be replaced. The #2 tanker truck had a rust hole in the bottom that could not be adequately repaired. While the replacement was not planned in the fire department’s budget, they will look into replacement pricing to present to the board in the future.

The board inquired if the disused truck parked by the village building would be disposed of soon. The fire department is still seeking prospects for selling it.

The board approved the third option for remapping the village presented by Kurt Muchow of Vierbicher Engineering. The new map will use actual survey points within the village so the new map can be aligned with the county mapping system.

“This is not a legal boundary survey,” Muchow explained. “Each map option increases the accuracy. It creates a base map you can add a layer to later for zoning, sewer, whatever you need.”

Other actions included:

• approving minutes form the Nov. 19, 2012 meeting

• approving bills and giving clerk Tamara Kepler approval to pay incoming bills for end-of-year processing

• voting to send discontinuation of fluoride addition to village water to referendum in the next election

• voting to pay commercial cross connection expenses and bill the businesses

• approving donation to Santa Claus, same amount as in previous year;

• approving employee bonuses, same as last year;

• approving proposed 2013 budget and tax levy ordinance

• tabling the donation request from the Crawford County Community Fund

• hearing updates on quotes being sought for the village truck trade-in, lawn tractor and fire hydrant relocation