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Village clerk’s work is lauded
Gays Mills
gays mills village board

GAYS MILLS - During the Village of Gays Mills Public Hearing on the Budget Monday night, former village president Craig Anderson injected a moment of levity.

Anderson, the only village resident attending the hearing with the exception of the village trustees, asked if the figure of $153,021 was the entire village tax levy.  Gays Mils Village Clerk Dawn McCann said it was, but noted there were other sources of revenue in the budget.

Acknowledging that fact, Anderson was still struck by what he considered the relatively low tax levy.

“I wonder what it’s like in the real world?” Anderson said.

Later in the regular meeting, the board passed the budget and tax levy as presented.

“Dawn deserves a lot of credit for all of the time she spent working on it,” Gays Mills Village President Harry Heisz said.

The board discussed, but took no action on a bid to complete the Old Mill Museum Roof Repairs.

Village trustee Kevin Murray explained the bid and other proposed work.

Murray said the bid received by the village for $55,000 was a good professional bid and the rebuilding of the roof would last

“It would be a nice job, done the right way,” Murray told the board. “But it is $55,000.”

Murray said Kickapoo Craftsman, a three-man crew of local workers, proposed tearing off the top of the roof for $3,500 to expose what was there and then making a contract on what to do from there.

Murray described a possible plan that would use a rubber roof and a small lee wall built on the steel rafters to create a slanted roof that would drain to the north or upriver.

Murray said the $55,000 bid would help to create a building that could be there for another 100 years, but the question was raising the money. 

Heisz said it was probably a good idea to wait for yet another company, which indicated it wanted the work, to make its proposal before making any choices.

Kevin Murray noted it would be important to see if the fundraising group (Friends of Gays Mills) wanted to go for the big project.

Earlier in the meeting, there was a brief unscheduled appearance by Dan Grebe from MSA Engineering indicating that his company was interested in the work the village needed in replacing its aging wastewater treatment plant.

Grebe handed out some literature on the firm. He indicated that he would return in January with others from the firm to make a presentation as the village began the task of finding an engineering firm.

An interesting suggested library board appointment surfaced during the library report. Village trustee Kim Pettit, also a library board member, proposed a 15-year-old library patron to become a trustee on the library board.

Kevin Murray strongly opposed having the teenager serve as a library board trustee. Although he supported involving the teen in the library, he questioned the ability of someone that age, a child, to make responsible decisions as a trustee on the library board.

Pettit defended the choice, noting the teenager’s interest in the library and the absolute necessity of having someone take the place of library board trustee Marjie Jurgensen, who is stepping down.

Pettit explained that service as a library board trustee is much different then serving as a village trustee. She noted that age was not specified in the library trustee job description. 

Other village trustees expressed mixed feelings.

Seamus Murray supported the nomination of the teenager to the position. He said  he liked the idea of get someone excited about the library in the position.

Aaron Fortney saw merit in having the teen serve as a trustee, but also had some hesitancy. He proposed that she might be made an intern to the board.

Kevin Murray questioned why there were no other people interested in serving on the board. He suggested other  potential library board trustees were unaware of the open position. He proposed advertising the library board position for two months. The board authorized advertising the position for one month.

Craig Anderson confirmed that anyone from the surrounding area served by the library, in addition to Gays Mills residents, could serve on the board.

Anyone interested in the serving on the library board should contact Gays Mills Village Librarian David Gibbs at 608-735-4331.

In other business, the Gays Mills Village Board:

• learned from village president Harry Heisz the search for an engineering firm will begin in earnest after January 1

• tabled  the Architectural Review Committee recommendations on North Mills and First Addition to North Mills Restrictions and Covenants until an attorney’s opinion on portions of it could be obtained

• learned during a kitchen report that the cooler had stopped working, but kitchen manager Jill Riggs had gotten it working again

• also learned that Heisz had gotten the keys back from John Lenz, whose contract as co-manager of the kitchen was terminated at the November meeting, when he could no longer be contacted and had not been at the facility for some time

• approved a change order and pay request for the TIF trail for pedestrians and bicyclists along Highway 131 that is connecting the Applewood Business Park to Gays Mills Community Commerce Center 

• approved Johnson Block & Company to continue preparing the village audits

• approved paying the village employees bonuses of $500 for the three fulltime employees and $250 for the three part-time employees from the unspent balance of their Health Resources Account, while noting none of the employees had received raises this year