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Village board scrutinizing fire department purchases
In Soldiers Grove
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Purchases by the Soldiers Grove Fire Department came under the scrutiny of the village board at their meeting on Thursday, Aug. 8.

Bill Zirk, the Soldiers Grove Fire Department Secretary and Treasurer, presented the department’s report. Zirk told the board that a freeze on department purchases was hurting him personally in interest charges on his company, DNZ Rescue Products, for items already purchased.

Zirk asked if the department had permission to purchase a manifold gauge for a piece of equipment used in splitting multiple hoses. He was told there would be no more purchases without board approval. After further discussion about the importance of replacing the defective gauge, it was decided the gauge should be purchased.

Jim Helgerson made the motion to approve purchasing the gauge and Roy Davidson seconded the motion. The board voted to approve the purchase.

Soldiers Grove Village President Laurel Hestetune told Zirk that the fire department needed to go through the village just like the library in making any purchases.

The fire department’s missing eight radios have had an effect on how the department will proceed, Zirk told the board.

“The radios put us over the top,” Zirk said. “We decided we have to be more accountable.”

Paul Nicolson agreed with Zirk and encouraged the department to take care of the situation.

Village trustee Jerry Moran questioned why single vehicles were parked at the fire department at 10 or 11 p.m.

Zirk said the officers of the department had looked into the situation.

In other business, the Soldiers Grove Village Board:

• heard a report on the art festival indicating Wi-Fi internet would be available for the event to allow artists to process credit cards for sales

• approved a change order of $1,925 for completing the air conditioning system at the newly remodeled library

• decided to purchase two decorative solar LED lights for the courtyard area behind the businesses a village offices at a cost of $110 each

• discussed a request for a sewer and water utility rate adjustment for an apartment at 201 Pine Street which result from mislabeled meters, but decided it was up to the owner to resolve the situation with the tenants involved

• agreed Our Savior’s Lutheran Church could paint the gazebo as a community project and the village would supply the paint

• approved operator licenses for Reesa Norwood and Jennifer Smart