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Village website to be improved
Soldiers Grove
Soldiers Grove

SOLDIERS GROVE - Despite the hot-button issue of food trucks in the village, discussed in the public input section of the September 2 meeting, the Soldiers Grove Village Board took up a full agenda of other business.

The village’s aged website was a major topic at the meeting. Village president Paul Nicholson reported that since the last board meeting, he and Village clerk Kaitlynn Gander, had managed to gain access to the site.

“Our website is aged and neglected at this point, with an expired license” Nicholson said. “If we contract with a new website designer/operator, it would be possible to salvage the existing information on the current site, and also make upgrades such as making it more smart phone friendly.”

Nicholson reported that he and Gander had been in contact with two such providers to obtain bids on the project. He said that he had received a quote from the Town’s Association for $1,297 the first year, and $519 per year after that. Al Buss, owner of Constellation Web Services, of rural Readstown, was another provider that submitted a bid, and was present to speak at the meeting.

“Your current website is fine, but the State Elections Board has stated that they want every municipality in the state to have a ‘.gov’ domain name,” Buss said. “In designing a new website, there are lots of things to consider.”

Local businessman, and owner of the Tobacco Warehouse Inn in the village, Noel Miller, weighed in on the issue.

“We need to investigate this issue more to ensure that our end product is of high quality, and I think we need to put a committee together,” Miller said.

Nicholson pointed out that there is already a committee, composed of business owners in the village and chaired by Soldiers Grove Village Trustee Homer Arndt, that was created to make a plan for how to use CDC money on advertising for the village. Miller agreed that the website issue should be referred to that committee.

Marlie Barlow plaque

Another item of business the board discussed was placement of a plaque commemorating the Soldiers Grove native Marlie Barlow, a writer, photographer and world traveller.

The ‘Barlow Studio Suite’ at the Tobacco Warehouse Inn in the village is named after him, and the library in the village houses an extensive collection of his work.

Barlow returned from his travels to the Kickapoo Valley late in life. He went on to formally document the rich history of Soldiers Grove, wrote two picture books about the area, and became Soldiers Grove's local historian.

The board discussed placement of a plaque commemorating him in the village park, and agreed that they did not want it placed in front of the Veteran’s Memorial. They decided to tell the group involved in placing the plaque that they would consider a proposed placement on the one-way street at the back of the campground area or in front of the library.

In other business

In other business, the board:

• voted unanimously by roll call vote to pay application #3 from JI Construction for work on the village’s sanitary sewer system upgrade

• voted unanimously by roll call vote to approve submission of an application for a Wisconsin DNR Clean Water Fund grant

• voted unanimously by roll call vote to approve a Wisconsin DNR Clean Water Fund Reimbursement Resolution

• heard public input from village trustee Steve George about ongoing problems with fallen trees in Baker Creek, lack of response from Wisconsin DNR on the issue, and concern that ongoing issues could damage the village’s walking trail

• approved operator licenses for Randy Swiggum and Andreas Transo

• approved $250 in sponsorship for Driftless Wisconsin.