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Colfax holds special meeting for EMT compensation

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — The Colfax Village Board planned to hold a special meeting April 1 to discuss compensation for the Colfax Rescue Squad’s on-call EMTs.

Rescue squad compensation was an agenda item for the village board’s March 25 meeting.

The village board should hold a special meeting in open session to discuss compensation for the EMTs, advised Jackie Ponto, administrator-clerk-treasurer.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development makes a distinction between EMTs who are employees and must be paid at least the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and EMTs who are volunteers and are compensated with a nominal fee.

A “nominal fee’ is defined as less than 20 percent of what it would cost to hire a full-time permanent employee to do the job.

The Colfax EMTs are volunteers, and the village board must review the pay schedule and make changes based on recommendations from the village’s attorney, Ponto told the village board.

The Colfax Village Board approved holding a special meeting at 6 p.m. at the Colfax Rescue Squad Building on April 1 to discuss EMT on-call compensation.

The Colfax Rescue Squad serves the Towns of Colfax, Elk Mound, Grant, Otter Creek, Tainter, Sand Creek and the Villages of Colfax, Elk Mound and Wheeler.

Ice issues

The Colfax Rescue Squad building itself also was a topic for discussion among village board members.

Snow has been melting off the roof of the building and has created problems with ice.

Ice melt material, sand and salt has not helped the problem, Ponto said.

Chris Olson, village trustee, recalled that the village board had authorized “ice dams” several years ago.

The ice dams were installed above the doors and are working very well, said Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad.

Unfortunately, if the ice dams were installed all over the building, the snow would not slide off the roof, and the building would have too much snow load and could end up with a collapsed roof, said Rand Bates, director of public works.

The Colfax Rescue Squad is housed in the east end of the Department of Public Works building on Railroad Avenue.

Gutters would not help the problem, Bates said, because when the snow melts, the gutters would fill up, freeze and would break.

Heat tape could be applied to the gutters and the downspout, but then finding a way to drain the water becomes a problem, he said.

Railroad Avenue does not have any storm sewers.

Mark Halpin, village trustee, presided at the March 25 meeting in the absence of Village President Gary Stene and suggested that Bates should assess the situation, check with contractors and report back to the village board at the next regular meeting April 8.