SOLDIERS GROVE - Guy and Tammy Nelson discussed the upcoming ‘Pulling for Preston’ event at a meeting of the Soldiers Grove Village Board last Thursday.
Guy told the board that he had added a special country western music performance to the event to be held on Friday, July 28. Country Western singer Canaan Smith is scheduled to be the performer.
The truck and tractor pull, as well as the barbecue cook off and more music, is planned for Saturday, July 29 in the village park.
The Nelsons presented the village with an application for a picnic liquor license and proof of insurance that are needed to produce the event.
The Canaan Smith concert on Friday night is a “big financial risk,” Nelson told the board.
“We’re doing it for people, for the community. We’re doing it for the event, not what we make or donate,” Nelson said of Friday night’s Canaan Smith appearance.
The Nelsons are planning on meeting with Crawford County Highway Commissioner Dennis Pelock and Sheriff Dale McCullick in an attempt to avoid some of the traffic issues that arose last year.
Essentially, traffic wasn’t allowed to cross the park on Highway 131 because that was where the event was being held and admission was being charged.
Some local residents complained about the inconvenience the event caused them. Nelson believes the problem can be solved by allowing traffic to use a one-way street through the park as a two-way street during the event. Several village trustees seemed to think that was a possibility.
Nelson said they would advertise the event in town, so that “locals know things will not be normal for a day.”
Electric power access was another topic Nelson presented to the board. He believes better electric service in the area of the park used by the cook off and the music stage would make sense.
“We’re not the only ones using it,” Nelson said. He noted the area was also used by the BMW Motorcycle Club during their annual rally.
Profits generated by the event could be used to bring electric power to the parking lot area, according to Nelson. He believes this installation of electric power would address what the village needs in the long term.
There is an estimate from Tom Cody that the installation of combined permanent and portable use electric power for the parking lot area would cost $5,000.
Nelson also noted that renting the stage, sound equipment and lights for two nights will cost $10,000. He noted having a stage available would also enable others to put on shows or concerts.
“Anything we spend would have to be justified to the taxpayers,” village trustee Paul Nicholson pointed out.
Nelson noted that events, like the one he’s producing, have the potential of bringing 2,000 to 3,000 people to the village.
“I like the cost-share idea and putting money into the upgrade and it’s not just for Pulling for Preston,” Nicholson said.
Soldiers Grove Village President Steve George told Nelson he would be available to join the meetings being held with Commissioner Pelock and Sheriff McCullick.
Nelson cautioned that there would almost certainly be somebody complaining about the inconvenience caused by the Pulling for Preston event.
“It’s only a day and two nights,” Nelson said.
“It will be about communications,” Nicholson said. “That will be the key (to minimizing complaints).”
After a brief discussion about camping and camping fees, Nelson decided to rent the entire campground and provide the camping to those attending Pulling for Preston. Nelson offered to rent the entire campground for $600 as the BMW Club does every spring for their annual event.
Village trustee Roy Davidson moved to allow Nelson to rent the entire campsite for $600 and Jerry Miller seconded the motion. The board passed the motion.
Earlier in the meeting, the board opened three sealed bids for paving work to be done on Third Street, Park Avenue and North Clayton Road. Iverson’s low bid on all segments of the project was accepted. The other two bidders were Scott’s Construction and Sheldon’s Construction.
Because of the cost of the project and the amount of money budgeted, the board decided to do the work on North Clayton Road for $7,665 and Third Street for $17,739. They will not do the work on Park Avenue, which would have had a cost of an additional $17,366 in the Iverson bid. The Park Avenue work will be addressed in the future.
In other business, the Soldiers Grove Village Board:
• adopted the county ATV ordinance to regulate ATV use on designated trails on village streets
• approved a $250 request from Driftless Wisconsin for the JEM (Joint Effort Marketing) Grant
• learned that costs to repair a handicap/elderly elevator at the Soldiers Grove Public Library, which was damaged by lighting, will be partially covered by an insurance policy
• approved hiring two sheriff’s department deputies for increased protection at the Dairy Days celebration
• declined to take action on a proposed ordinance