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Sewer report discussed by Soldiers Grove Village Board
Soldiers Grove

Note: this story is amended to reflect that some of the comments made in the discussion about the Pulling for Preston event, made by Paul Nicholson, were wrongly attributed to Vicki Campbell. The Independent apologizes for any misunderstandings that may have created.

SOLDIERS GROVE - At a meeting of the Soldiers Grove Village Board on Thursday, July 13, Soldiers Grove Director of Public Works Brian Copus reported that the village had received all ‘A’s’ one ‘B,’ and one ‘F’ on their Sewer Compliance Maintenance Annual Report for 2016.

“We always used to get all A’s,” Copus said. “We got the ‘F’ in the Effluent Quality: Phosphorous section, and we just told them that we’re doing what we can.”

The board moved to accept the report as presented.

At the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website, you can read the following information about phosphorous:

Phosphorus has long been recognized as the controlling factor in plant and algae growth in Wisconsin lakes and streams. Small increases in phosphorus can fuel substantial increases in aquatic plant and algae growth, which in turn can reduce recreational use, property values, and public health. See Reducing Phosphorus to Clean Up Lakes and Rivers for more information about phosphorus as a pollutant.

Sources of excess phosphorus: Phosphorus entering our lakes and streams comes from “point sources” - piped wastes such as municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants that release liquid effluent to lakes and rivers or spread sludge on fields; and from natural sources, including past phosphorus loads that build up in lake bottom sediments.

Phosphorus also comes from “nonpoint” or “runoff” pollution. Such pollution occurs when heavy rains and melting snow wash over farm fields and feedlots and carry fertilizer, manure and soil into lakes and streams, or carry phosphorus-containing contaminants from urban streets and parking lots.

Protecting human health and welfare: To protect human health and welfare, revisions to Wisconsin’s Phosphorus Water Quality Standards for surface waters were adopted on December 1, 2010. These revisions:

    Created water quality standards for phosphorus in surface waters. These standards set maximum thresholds for phosphorus in Wisconsin’s surface waters. See Chapter NR 102.

    Set procedures to implement these phosphorus standards in WPDES permits issued to point sources discharging to surface waters of the state. See Chapter NR 217.

    Helped to curb nonpoint sources of excess phosphorus by tightening agricultural performance standards. See Chapter NR 151.

The village board also discussed security for the upcoming ‘Pulling for Preston’ event. There was broad agreement that the village should provide the same level of support for the event that they provide for Dairy Days.

Paul Nicholson and Vicki Campbell brought up two issues that concerned them about the ‘Pulling for Preston’ event, and about events in general in the village park.

“I’m concerned that there were reports from ‘Pulling for Preston’ last year about underage drinking on Saturday night. I think we need to suggest to the Nelsons that they might need to look at adding privately contracted security staff beyond what the village provides. We don’t want one tragedy to lead to another,” Nicholson said.

Campbell was concerned about groups that use the park understanding what it costs the village to provide electricity for events.

“I noticed that at a recent event, the lights on the ball field were on 24/7, and the lights for the Lion’s shelter and the horse arena were left on all night. We just need people to understand and be responsible for getting the lights turned off,” said Campbell.

The board agreed to provide security for ‘Pulling for Preston’ at the rate of one officer for both nights, from the hours of 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Vicki Campbell agreed to represent the village’s concern about the need to have additional privately contracted security to the Nelsons.

In the Soldiers Grove Community Development Corporation portion of the report, Vicki Campbell made a report about the current status of room tax payments, and the village’s history of expenditures from the fund.

Campbell reported that a room tax payment had been received from the Old Oak Inn, but not from the Roth House.

She reported that since the village started collecting the room tax in 2005, they had spent $14,000 in advertising; $23,000 in charitable contributions to the Kickapoo Valley Association, Driftless Art Festival, and many others; $4,300 paying off the interest on the loan for the sign; $10,000 on miscellaneous items such as flowers; $7,300 on the village’s website; and they had paid for the CDC Committee Annual Supper several times.

“I’ve researched other communities in the area, and they all collect a room tax, which is ultimately paid by the patron, not the business,” Campbell reported. “Our rate is very similar to that charged in other communities of our size.”

Campbell reported that if delinquent room tax payments are not made by September, then the amounts due would be added to the business’s property tax bill.

Brian Copus did not make a fire department report.

“We didn’t hold a meeting this week, because Ben Clason was deployed to the flooding in Burlington for his swift water rescue skills.”

In other business, the Soldiers Grove Village Board:

• agreed to renew the listing on the property the village currently has for sale for six months. The approval was contingent upon the terms of “no charge to the village” remaining the same—the board declined to modify the asking price

• agreed to have the village clerk research costs and options for purchasing a flagpole sign that welcomes visitors to the village—similar signs are on display in the Village of Viola and the City of Viroqua

• heard a report from Copus that the paving was almost complete on Third Street—although manhole risers will not be needed for this job, the board agreed to purchase one of each of the three sizes of risers employed in the village so they have them on hand

• heard a report about a culvert that needed to be fixed on Tavern Road and agreed to rent the County excavator when they have it for another project—board member Shayne Chapman will do the actual work to replace the culvert once the new one is acquired.

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